He hasn’t done it since 2002, but Roy Jones, who is currently referring to himself to the media as “Superman,” maintains that he will score a knockout in his next fight.
His next fight, just his fourth in four years, comes on January 19, against Felix Trinidad at Madison Square Garden. Jones has maintained that he will render the Puerto Rican unable to continue sometime in the first four rounds.
The bout, promoted by Don King, will be televised on pay per view, for $50 a pop.
The pairing of the two aging superstars has been met with a mixed reaction from TSS Universe. Some are intrigued at the style clash, and curious to see what Jones (51-4-2, 38 KOs), who turns 39 on Jan. 16, and Tito (42-2-1, 35 KOs), who turns 35 on Jan. 10, have left in the tank.
Others say they will turn up their noses, and watch UFC on Jan. 19, or let their wife use a “Chick Flick” card, and hit the multiplex instead.
Jones, who has historically been spotty in doing promotion for his bouts, now seems to realize that with KO losses to Tarver and Glen Johnson, and another defeat at the hands of Tarver on his resume, he cannot skate by and assume everyone will tune in.
Thus, he’s been exceedingly gracious with the media, and showing up for every promo task booked for him. Also, he’s been promising to knock Tito out, a bold pronouncement, considering the last person Jones kayoed was Clinton Woods, back in 2002.
Jones has been training in California, PA, and is nearing the end of a three-month camp. Paring down his weight has been difficult, he says, but come fight time he will hit his mark, and then Trinidad.
Why, Jones was asked, is he so confident he can stop Tito, who has been kayoed just once, by Hopkins in their post 9-11 clash, in 2001.
“He’s smaller than me,” Jones explained on a conference call Tuesday. The Floridian, who last gloved up in July, taking a UD12 from Anthony Hanshaw, in a fight in which he showed flashed of the “old Roy,” not just an old Roy, says his body is back in form now.
Making heavyweight, and beating John Ruiz in 2003, while weighing in at 193 pounds, and then dropping back down to 175, sapped him. He had to lose muscle weight, and he didn’t realize how detrimental that was until just recently, he says.
“Trust me, he’s not going the distance with me,” Jones told callers.
He went into the Superman shtick, and said he was Clark Kent for awhile, but he’s back wearing the cape.
As always, I look out for the interest of the average fan, who isn’t made of money. So I asked Roy and promoter King if they’d consider a money back guarantee for Garden fans if Jones doesn’t manage to stop Trinidad.
King chuckled mightily, and went into a monologue.
“So that’s a yes, Don?”
King laughed again.
But score a point as a promoter for Jones. He’s promising viewers, and those considering making the purchase, that he’s not going to fight using tactics we all expect. He’s not simply going to stick, and move, and move, and move, and stick, and steal rounds with intermittent flurries, as Tito plods after him. No, he says, he feels he must stop Trinidad, as Hopkins did, or this outing won’t be a success. Smart strategy, Jones, you’ve evidently been picking up moves from the master, King.
“I guarantee he won’t make twelve rounds with me,” Jones reiterated.
One questioner called from Puerto Rico, and Jones wouldn’t take the bait, and admit making 170 would be that tough.
“You in Puerto Rico. Think I would tell you? You’d be the last to know! But it ain’t gonna last four round, no.”
Jones, for the record, hasn’t weighed less than 171 pounds since 1996, when he weighed 167 ½ to fight Bryant Brannon. The weight cutting angle adds a layer of drama to this fight, and is a potential plus for Trinidad, who has to hope that Jones’ legs will be weak from the effort.
Jones did bring up his Faith several times, and said it was God’s will that he’s fighting at this late stage in his athletic life. If he’d not lost to Tarver and Johnson, and won the gold medal he deserved in the ’88 Olympics, he says, he’d probably be retired. Knowing that God was drawing up the lifepath, Jones didn’t party too hearty, and drink and smoke, he says.
If he gets past Tito, Jones said he’d consider anyone and everyone, except Hopkins, and wouldn’t be averse to going overseas to meet Joe Calzaghe, and making 168. Hopkins, Jones says, wants no part of him.
King said he was pleased as punch to be working with this cooperative version of RJJ, and at 76, he feels a similar level of revitalization as the boxer. He maintains the fight will be a good one, because Trinidad, who initially wanted to target Money Mayweather, will be properly motivated to be his best against the legend Jones.
Also, in the Yikes Department… Jones said he’d take the winner of a rumored Mike Tyson/Evander Holyfield bout.
“I can see myself fighting the winner of anything,” he said. “Don King would make it happen quick.”
Tyson/Holyfield III…that sounds like something dreamed up by Lex Luthor. But we all know that it would make piles of money, don’t we?
Let your best flurries rip, TSS Universe.
Will making weight sap Roy, and leave him in Clark Kent mode?
Is Jones just promising a KO to lure in viewers, and will he simply revert to form, and fight a cautious effort?