I Like Roy Jones To Beat Floyd Mayweather

Jones vs Tarver001During a recent interview, Roy Jones Jr claimed that Manny Pacquiao would be a tougher task for him than Floyd Mayweather. Jones, a former four weight world champion [middleweight, super middleweight, light heavyweight and heavyweight], claimed that if weight, size and age were in line, he would have the perfect style to neutralise Floyd Mayweather. Manny Pacquiao's style however, he said, would be far more difficult for him to crack.

“The young Roy Jones, would probably beat Floyd Mayweather, because basically Mayweather has the same style as James Toney. My style is different to theirs. But when you come back and start talking about Manny Pacquiao, he's a whole different animal. He's a southpaw who throws bombs. You've got to survive his power first, then you deal with him. That's still left to be seen. Of course with my size I'll beat him, but if I was in his weight class, that would be a good fight to see, ” said Jones.

So how would hypothetical contests involving Roy Jones and Floyd Mayweather and Manny Pacquiao actually look then?

Part 1. Roy Jones versus Floyd Mayweather

By claiming that Mayweather has the same style as Toney, Jones is insinuating that Mayweather, a counterpuncher like Toney, would be using a lot of upper body movement to evade punches. Jones is also aware that both Toney and Mayweather share the same defensive shell – chin tucked in behind their left shoulder- which they like to roll and counter from. During their fight in 1994, Jones was able to use his speed and movement to neutralise Toney's defense. Jones' style was very much his own during his prime. Using his legs, Jones always kept the fight at his distance. Often backing up, Jones would lure his opponent in, then attack in lightning quick bursts. This style proved to be Toney's downfall. By feinting Toney into his defensive shell, Jones, using his superior footwork, was able to step around Toney and attack from a variety of different angles. Because he stood flat footed and because of Jones' hand and foot speed advantage, Toney was unable to adjust.

While there are obvious similarities between Mayweather and Toney, there are also some differences.

Firstly, Mayweather, like Jones used to be, is a rare athletic talent blessed with A+ handspeed and reflexes. As a result, Mayweather can afford to rely on physical gifts, as well as craft, whereas Toney – who possessed decent hand speed early in his career – relied purely on technique. Secondly, Mayweather's foot speed, while not as fast as it once was, is still very quick. Toney on the other hand, was often exposed in the footspeed department. As a result of his tendency to over do his defense, Toney would often go long periods without letting his hands go, whereas Mayweather's transition from defense to offense was seamless. Mayweather's defense is there to set up his offense.

Personally, I feel Roy Jones would have the stylistic advantage over Floyd Mayweather. By evidence, Mayweather always looked better against aggressive types who chose to press the attack, rather than sit back [Corrales, Gatti and Hatton]. Likewise, prime Jones also looked good when he allowed his opponent to be the aggressor [Pazienza, Brannon and Ruiz]. However, some of Jones' best wins came against supreme ring technicians, albeit some of them were past their prime [Toney, Hopkins, Hill, Mccallum and Reggie Johnson.]

It's difficult to tell who had the faster hands of the two. Jones threw more power shots at speed, whereas Floyd threw his jab more. Because Jones was the larger of the two, and was carrying more weight, I’d say Jones had the faster hands in a pound for pound sense. While there's not much to separate them in terms of hand speed, the superior footspeed belongs to Jones. Jones could move around the ring quicker than any fighter I've ever seen.

While both fighters are essentially defensive minded fighters, Roy should be considered the more offensive minded of the two as he would often take more risks when attacking than Floyd. As a result, Mayweather is deemed a more cautious fighter than Prime Jones was. Mayweather prefers to throw one punch at a time, primarily the straight right hand, which he only allows to be released with any frequency once his opponents’ primary weapon is taken away. Jones' primary weapon was his mobility. In order for Floyd to take Roy's mobility away, he would have to fight a far more aggressive fight than he is accustomed to. Mayweather would have to be more aggressive and try and cut the ring off.

Look at Jean Pascal against Chad Dawson, which is a similar matchup stylistically. Dawson was forced into taking the lead against Pascal, who, because of his in and out style of boxing, had Dawson on the defensive every time he leapt in with his combinations.

A defensive counterpuncher will always struggle with unpredictable, sporadic offense.

By being out of range, and launching an ambush, you are surprising the counterpuncher, hence his first motion will be to cover up and defend. In theory, if the counterpuncher does not know what type of attack is coming next, you are in essence giving him nothing to counter.

No doubt, Mayweather is the superior technician of the two, but it's hard to see past Mayweather's low risk taking. Jones on the other hand would place a lot more emphasis on offense. Roy would be throwing his combinations whilst moving. As a result, his attack would be very creative and unpredictable. Jones could lead with hard and fast left hooks to the body followed by a right hand up top or vice versa. If Mayweather chose to press the attack, Jones would be backing up, then leap in at every angle imaginable. Mayweather, a counterpuncher, would be spending too much time trying to evade Jones’ offense, namely his left hook lead, as opposed to attempting to initiate his own.

Technically, Floyd is the better defender. His ability to block, slip and counter in close is breathtaking. Yet ask yourself this; Who have you seen hit with the cleaner shots, Roy Jones from 1994-2004? Or Floyd Mayweather from 1999 until present day?

It's easy to forget just how good Roy Jones actually was defensively. We did not know how bad Jones' chin was, as a direct result of his legs being so good. His legs, as opposed to Mayweather's upper body, were HIS defense. During his prime, I cannot name a single occasion where I saw Jones hit clean, let alone hurt, whereas Floyd Mayweather has been hit clean and hurt on numerous occasions during his best years [Castillo, Corley and Mosley].

If I had to pick an area in which Mayweather would have the significant advantage, it would have to be in close. I regard Floyd Mayweather as the best inside fighter in boxing at the moment. Just like when Pernell Whitaker proved he was better than Julio Cesar Chavez in close during their bout, Floyd Mayweather proved his inside mastery during his undressing of formidable inside fighter Ricky Hatton. While Jones was no slouch on the inside, it is this area where his best asset, his legs, would be ineffective, and Mayweather's best asset, his technical skills, would be very effective. If the fight was fought in the pocket, in a conventional way, like Kalambay versus McCallum or Barrera versus Juan Manuel Marquez, then I'd favour Floyd.

Unfortunately for Floyd, this would not be the destination of the action.

On a personal note, my favourite fighter of all time is Roberto Duran. Apart from being one of the best aggressors in boxing history, I also think he was one of the best ring technicians ever. In his first fight with Ray Leonard, Duran dominated the action with his superior craft in close. Leonard could not match him in the skills department. His handspeed was nowhere to be seen. Contrast this fight with the rematch, and you see an entirely different fight. Duran's superior technical skills were rendered useless by Leonard's foot speed and movement. Duran could not get close enough to Leonard in order to do what he did best.

While the disparity in foot speed would not be as huge as it was between Leonard and Duran, there would be enough of it in Jones' favour to take a lot of Mayweather's best work away from him. Opponents that stand in front of Floyd, like Gatti, Mosley and even Juan Manuel Marquez [uncharacteristically in their fight] will get eaten up by his vast spectrum of skills. From a pure boxing perspective, there have not been many better, if any, than Floyd Mayweather.

However, Roy Jones was arguably the most unique talent in boxing history. He had the boxing brain to maximise his athletic talent, which resulted in Jones' style being very hard to decipher. Yes, Sergio Martinez has a similar sort of style to Jones, and yes, I'd pick Floyd Mayweather over Martinez at 154 if ever they decide to face each other.

Again, ask yourself, could you see Roy Jones struggling with Matthew Macklin the way Martinez did? Neither can I.

Consequently, I would have to agree with Roy Jones' assumption that he would hold the advantages over Floyd Mayweather, both physically and stylistically.

Mayweather is a tremendous talent, a fighter whose style translates to more longevity than that of Jones'. Once Jones' other-worldly speed of hand and more importantly, speed of foot had diminished, he did not have the technical skills to fall back on, whereas once Mayweather's physical gifts fade, an all time great defensive skill set will see him ok.

But when it comes to both fighters at their best, for my money, Roy Jones Jr, would have proved to be better than Floyd Mayweather.

Part 2 [ Jones versus Pacquiao] coming soon….

Comment on this article


-Radam G :

Styles, brains and timing give one fighter the edge over another. Money May stayed away from the late Vernon "The Viper" Forrest, the prime Tony "The Tijuana Tornado" Margarito, and even the chump-time long, tall Paul Williams. No matter how great one is or may become, you stay away from certain built, size and type of style of fighters when they are in their prime. And this is because they also have the confidence, savvy and psyche to beat you. Boxing is 80 percent mental. And an arse thrashing comes more because of the mental jazz, not the physical whoop-azz. Money May's Philly-shell style of getting down would have been easy breezy for a prime Roy Jones Jr. Matter of fact, Money May would not have laid a glove on the Superman Roy. Other in-theirr-prime fighters that would have beaten Money May are Sugar Ray Leonard, Wilfredo Benitez, Aaron Pryor, Don Curry, Marvelous Marvin Hagler, Hector "Macho Time" Camacho and even Milton McCory, Mark Breland and Terry Norris, just to name a few. Being one of the P4P best of all times is knowing "when to hold 'em, when to fold 'em" and when to stay the double fudge away from 'em until they are on the down slide. And those arses you can easily rodeo ride. This is why matching fighters of different eras is a BIG NO-NO! The game is business of prize fighting, not pride fighting. Only a few fighters have ever fought the fight that everybody wanted to see. One fighter that comes to mind, is GOAT Ali. In his own words, he was "CRAZY." It was super hard to get him to duck a dangerous-don't-need-to-fight-that-arse opponent. The GOAT Ali was sincerely a fighting champion and a fighter. But he should not have been. And for the word, though it appeared publicly that Sugarman Roy, couldn't get alone with his pops, "Big Roy," Big Roy protected his boy's arse. As I've spit to you muthasuckas a million and one times, the game is full of opticial illusion and to those not in da know, mass confusions. Holla!

-brownsugar :

Theres actually a video of Floyd sparring with Roy Jones on you tube,... although it's hard to tell if it's the real Jones with his face obscured by the head gear. I think a young 130lb Floyd was nearly as incredibly apt as Roy was,.. the way he'd leap in with left hooks or stab opponents in the gut from across the ring with piercing left jab. But it's hard to argue against Jones who was a tad bit more spectacular when performing one of his vast array of raw physical prowess.
The comparison between Toney and Mayweather is unsuitable as comparing Floyd with Bhop, although each were crafty boxers, neither Bhop or Toney resembled the raw explosiveness of a Floyd in his prime. Nowadays Floyd is less flamboyant and has a One-Size-Fits-All style of boxing,... his style never actually changes,.. but he knows how to ensnare any opponent within his ever tightening web of well polished technique..... inevitably closing the trap apon his hapless oponents
Floyd is still basically a big junior welterweight,... he walks around at 152 -155 while most welters weigh-in at 165lbs (including Cotto in his prime) between fights.
it's a testament to his style and strategy that he has negated his opponents physical advantages who often outweighed him by 11-17 lbs decisively just by relying on boxing skill alone.
Hypothetically speaking...... I think if Floyd faced some of the greatest boxers in history, he'd come out close to the top. I think Sugar Ray Leonard would have been the only one capable of giving him a challenge given his near inexhaustable stamina,... his Assassinator style of boxing, ..... his sheer determination and singleminded will to win. .......or possibly a prime 135lb Duran who could win a fight by KO even when it appeared he was losing. the extemely Dangerous Duran in his best day knew how to sacrifice the Queen in order to claim a check-mate.
Hagler was good from a steak and potatoes perspective, nothing fancy, a hard worker, but easily befuddled by good boxers. Hagler would overthink himself and become overly self conscious against the better boxers. ...for instance...... If Hagler had let his hands fly against Duran and leonard the way he cut loose against Leonard, there's no way Duran or Leonard would have lasted the distance with the normally cruel and sadistic (in the ring) champ...(they say that gorillas are strong enough to rip truck tires in half, or yank the metal bars from their zoo cages asunder,... but they never try.... because they don't know that they can... that's the way Hagler was in the ring when facing good boxers.....
Anyways the fantasy scenerios could continue all night. I think this is a good place for me to stop. (for now)

-brownsugar :

The way that Hagler cut loose against Hearns (gotta hire my proof reader back)

-ali :

The 130lbs Floyd was untouchable period 168 Roy was too..its hard to pick this fight but I think Floyd would find a way to win....Duran would have got schooled by Mayweather cause he would have fought him the same way sugar ray fought him in the 2nd fight...Terry Norris, Aaron Pryor, Tommy Hearns and Sugar Ray I think wouldn't have a great chance at beating Mayweather...Btw Roy jones was droped in his prime by a very average fighter I can't remember his name but he was a light skinned southpaw and Ruiz hurt him too.

-Radam G :

SCLA ["light-skinned"> Ali, what da fudge? You are the ultimate Money May nuthugger and fall-off-the-cliff __ ___ ____! You will get on your knees for Money May in a South Central Los Angeles gunshot moment and even take a bullet straight up your a$$ for that muthasucka. I bet you have all type of Money May photos by the side of your bed with that lotion and grease. Hehehehe! Quit making all that noise. You probably even have a Money May blow-up doll. O+MG-O-P-P! Holla!

-deepwater :

roy knows how to beat the philly crab. go cotto

-deepwater :

lou devalle from da bronx put roy down. he was mad because roy smashed his sister melissa salimone in traing camp..lol

-ali :

Deepwater LMAO!!!! Thanks fam

-ali :

Triple O.G miss me with all that gay talk fam...look I said its a tough fight to call... right now if you asked me who would win I would say Roy that's how unsure im am about who wins that fight... here's my favorite fighters of all-time 1.Ali 2.Roy Jones 3.Terry Norris 4.Floyd Mayweather 5.James Toney...so if they was to fight I would be rooting for Roy... but it's hard for me to pick anyone over Floyd he's just that damn good.

-michaelabii :

Wow ! This is why I love this community. Great analysis from all who contributed. I think RJJ is wrong though. Toney was uncompetitive because he was not in the best of shape for that fight and the only similarities with Floyd are the shoulder roll defense which Floyd does better anyways. It would have been close but I think Floyd would have the mental edge in a close hard fought battle. I never thought RJJ had that "winner take all" mentality mostly because he was so much better than his opposition. However, he did show some of that resolve in the first fight with Tarver but not since then. Like Ray Leonard, Floyd has an underated mental strengh that surprises opponents most times. Short of Ray Robinson a young ray Leonard is my best fighter of all time. I also love the Ali who completely mugged Cleveland Williams. Many boxing historians say the Ali of that night would have beaten any heavyweight put in front of him - Ali was big, exceptionaly fast and strong enough to put down a big strong heavyweight called "the cat" with combinations thrown while going backwards. Ray Leonard on the other hand circa 1981 - 1982 was all that and some. He also became a murderous body puncher and his demolition of Dave Boy Green was as complete an annihilation of an opponent as I have seen. One attribute he shares with Floyd and Roy is a great stamina level. Roy could eat up 12 rounds in his sleep and Ray would often look as fresh in the 15th as he did in the 1st. Floyd is well known for his conditioning. Notice Nazeem Richards, Mosleys trainer scream at Shane "this kids gift is his conditioning" !

-brownsugar :

Wow Michael that was worthy of a pulitzer....and I'm not justs saying that because I appreciate Floyds talent.

-Shoulder Roll Defense :

These comparison articles are getting out of hand. The major advantage that Mayweather has over RJ is his chin. RJ never faced a fighter with the hand speed of Floyd and vice versa. However, Floyd has shown on different ocassions the ability to take a shot while RJ's chin is like glass china. The prime Mayweather, before the hand problems at super featherweight/lightweight/jr. welterweight took his opponents out. Take a look at his KO percentage during his reign at those weights and you quickly realize that Roy would be in a world of trouble. Roy is Ali without the chin, he did everything wrong technically (pulling straight back, hands down, etc.) and when father time caught up with him that glass chin got exposed. Ali, on the other hand, has one of the top 5 chins of all time and his ring savvy is off the charts. Roy isn't the sharpest tool in the shed (lol) and Mayweather has the uncanny ability to adjust on the fly to his opponent, ultimately doing whatever it takes to get the "W." Holla!

-brownsugar :

wow,... nuff said......LADIES AND GENTLEMEN.....I think we have a verdict.... AND THE WINNER IS,..... BY A MAJORITY DECISION OF 116-112, 116-112, AND 113-115(put your worst judges name here______________). ........ THE UNDEFEATED.... FLOYD MAYWEATHERRRRRRR.!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!....

-kris thompson :

Mr Wylie! I appreciate you voice however what about the Scarlet Pimpernels love for Maywaether! God bless!