Roy Jones Jr!
Roy Levesta Jones Jr. (born January 16, 1969) is an American former professional boxer, boxing commentator, boxing trainer, rapper, and actor who holds dual American and Russian citizenship. He competed in boxing from 1989 to 2018, and held multiple world championships in four weight classes, including titles at middleweight, super middleweight, light heavyweight and heavyweight, and is the only boxer in history to start his professional career at light middleweight and go on to win a heavyweight title. As an amateur he represented the United States at the 1988 Summer Olympics, winning a silver medal in the light middleweight division after one of the most controversial decisions in boxing history.
Jones is considered by many to be one of the best boxers of all time, pound for pound, and left his mark in the sport’s history when he won the WBA heavyweight title in 2003, becoming the first former middleweight champion to win a heavyweight title in 106 years. In 1999 he became the undisputed light heavyweight champion by unifying the WBA, WBC, and IBF titles. During his prime, Jones was known for possessing exceptional hand speed, athleticism, movement and reflexes.
As of February 2018, Jones holds the record for the most wins in unified light heavyweight title bouts in boxing history, at twelve. The Ring magazine named Jones the Fighter of the Year in 1994, and the World Boxing Hall of Fame named him the Fighter of the Year for 2003. He is also a three-time winner of the Best Boxer ESPY Award (1996, 2000, and 2003). The Boxing Writers Association of America named him as the Fighter of the Decade for the 1990s.
Roy Jones Jr. was born to a family with a boxing tradition. His father, Roy Jones Sr., a Vietnam war veteran who was awarded a Bronze Star for valor after he rescued another soldier, was also a middleweight boxer. Roy Jones Sr. fought Marvin Hagler on June 10, 1977 (which happened to be Hagler’s 36th pro fight,) on the undercard of the Sugar Ray Leonard vs. Vinnie DeBarros fight. Hagler knocked Jones Sr. out in the third round and received $1,500 to Leonard’s $50,000.
Jones won the 1984 United States National Junior Olympics in the 119 lb (54 kg) weight division, the 1986 United States National Golden Gloves in the 139 lb (63 kg) division, and the 1987 United States National Golden Gloves in the 156 lb (71 kg) division. As an amateur, he ended his career with a 121–13 record.
On turning professional, he had already sparred with many professional boxers, including NABF Champion Ronnie Essett, IBF Champion Lindell Holmes and Sugar Ray Leonard. Jones began as a professional on May 6, 1989, knocking out Ricky Randall in two rounds in Pensacola at the Bayfront Auditorium. For his next fight, he faced the more experienced Stephan Johnson in Atlantic City, beating him by a knockout in round eight.
Jones built a record of 15–0 with 15 knockouts before stepping up in class to meet former World Welterweight Champion Jorge Vaca in a Pay Per View fight on January 10, 1992. He knocked Vaca out in round one to reach 16 knockout wins in a row. After one more KO, Jones went the distance for the first time against future world champion Jorge Castro, winning a 10-round decision in front of a USA Network national audience.
On December 30, 2017, Jones announced that he would return to the Bay Center in Pensacola, Florida to headline the Island Fights 46 on February 8, 2018. Jones had previously headlined Island Fights, which is a show that included both boxing and MMA bouts. Speaking of the event, Jones said, “My last day at the Bay. It’s my last one for the bayfront … Civic Center, Pensacola, Bayfront Arena, whatever you want to call it. So if you want to come to see my last day in Pensacola, be there February 8. That’s my last one there.” He stated it would be his final fight. Jones announced Scott Sigmon (30-11-1, 16 KOs) as his opponent for the 10 round bout. Jones ended his boxing career defeating Sigmon via a one-sided 10 round unanimous decision, also winning the vacant World Boxing Union cruiserweight title in the process. All three judges scored the fight 98-92 in favour of Jones. Jones started off the better boxer landed upper cuts and hooks and remained in control throughout the fight. Jones landed an uppercut in round 5 which knocked Sigmon’s mouthpiece out. In round 6, Sigmon began throwing more punches, although they were weak combinations easily blocked by Jones. Jones was also able to counter most of the shots Sigmon threw.
After the fight, Jones stated he had fought with a bicep injury. He also called for a boxing match against 42-year-old former UFC middleweight champion Anderson Silva. In the post-fight interview, he said, “I knew Scott was tough, I knew Scott was game and I knew Scott would keep coming. However, I don’t make excuses, but last week I tore my biceps in my left arm again and I refused to pull out. Other than that [fight], chapter closed.” Jones retired after 75 professional fights over 29 years; 66 wins, 47 coming inside the distance and 9 losses.