Roy Jones Jr. born January 16, 1969 is an American boxer. As a professional he has captured numerous championships in the Middleweight, Super middleweight, Light heavyweight and Heavyweight divisions.
He is the only boxer in history to start his career as a junior middleweight, and go on to win a heavyweight title. He is also noted for holding the WBC, WBA, IBF, IBO, NABF, WBF, and IBA light heavyweight championships; a record seven belts at the same time. Jones left his mark in boxing history when he won the WBA heavyweight title, becoming the first former middleweight champion to win a Heavyweight title in 106 years. Jones was named “Fighter of the Decade” for the 1990s by the Boxing Writers Association of America.
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.
Jones represented the United States at the 1988 Seoul Olympic Games, where he won the silver medal. He dominated his opponents, never losing a single round en route to the final. His participation in the final was met with controversy when he lost a 3-2 decision to South Korean fighter Park Si-Hun despite pummeling Park for three rounds, landing 86 punches to Parks 32. Park himself apologized to Jones afterward, and the referee told Jones that he was dumbstruck by the judges decision. One judge shortly thereafter admitted the decision was a mistake, and all three judges voting against Jones were eventually suspended.
An official IOC investigation concluding in 1997 found that three of the judges were wined and dined by South Korean officials. This led to calls for Jones to be awarded a gold medal, but the IOC still officially stands by the decision, despite the allegations. Jones was awarded the Val Barker trophy as the best stylistic boxer of the 1988 games, which was only the third and to this day the last time in the competitions history when the award did not go to one of the gold medal winners. The incident led Olympic organizers to establish a new scoring system for Olympic boxing.
On turning professional, he had already sparred with many professional boxers, including NABFchampion Ronnie Essett, IBF world champion Lindell Holmes and Sugar Ray Leonard. Jones began as a professional on May 6, 1989, knocking out Ricky Randall in 2 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 November 18, 1994, he was set to face undefeated IBF super middleweight champion James Toney, #1 ranked “pound for pound” contender. Toney had gone undefeated in 46 bouts and was rated the best in the world. The Jones/Toney fight was ultra-hyped, and Jones for the first time in his career was the underdog. Over the course of the 12-round unanimous decision, Jones demonstrated his greatness. He danced circles around Toney, scoring a flash knockdown in the third round. Ring magazine called Jones performance the most dominant of any big fight in 20 years. Revelations that Toney was badly under prepared and dehydrated would surface in the days following the fight. Toney himself would reveal in an interview with Ring magazine that he had taken laxatives and diuretics the day of the weigh-in to make weight.
In 1995, Jones defended his super middleweight title successfully multiple times. He began the year by knocking out Antoine Byrd in round one. He faced former world lightweight champion Vinny Pazienza and defeated him in round six. He then beat Tony Thornton in round two by KO. In 1996, Jones maintained his winning ways, defeating Merqui Sosa by knockout in two, and future world champion Eric Lucas in round 11. When he boxed Lucas, he became the first athlete to participate in two paid sports events on the same day. He had played a basketball game in the morning and defended his boxing title in Jacksonville, Florida that evening. He also held a press conference in the ring just before the fight, taking questions from a chair in the middle of the ring and defending his choice of Bryant Brannon as his opponent instead of Frankie Liles, his nemesis from the amateurs. He then defeated Bryant Brannon in a round two TKO.
The 40 year old former multiple world champion and eventual hall of famer Mike McCallum was defeated by a wide decision in 12 rounds. Jones became a member of boxings exclusive group of world champions in three weight divisions by winning the WBC light heavyweight championship. After Mike McCallum lost the World Boxing Council light heavyweight crown to Roy Jones, he called Jones “the greatest fighter of my time.` In 1997 Jones had his first professional loss, a disqualification against Montell Griffin.
Griffin jumped out to an early lead on Jones but by round 9 Jones was ahead on the scorecards by a point and had Griffin on the canvas early in round nine. But as Griffin took a knee on the canvas to avoid further punishment, Jones hit him twice. Subsequently, Jones was disqualified and lost his title. Jones sought an immediate rematch and regained the world light heavyweight title easily, knocking Griffin down within the first 2 minutes 31 seconds of the fight, then ending the fight by knocking Griffin out just over two minutes in with a leaping left hand shot.
In 1998, Jones began by knocking out former light heavyweight and future cruiserweight champion Virgil Hill He followed that with a win against the WBA light heavyweight champion, Lou Del Valle, by a decision in 12 on July 18, to unify the WBC and WBA belts. Jones had to climb off the canvas for the first time in his career, as he was dropped in round eight, but continued to out box Del Valle throughout the rest of the fight and gained a unanimous decision. Jones then followed with a defense against Otis Grant. He retained the crown by knocking Grant out in ten rounds.
Jones began 1999 by knocking out the WBC number one ranked contender at the time, Rick Frazier. On June 5 of that year, when he beat the IBFs world champion, Reggie Johnson, by a lop-sided 12-round decision to add that belt to the WBC and WBA belts he already owned in the division. Jones dropped Johnson hard in the second round, but backed off and allowed Reggie to finish the fight.
2000 began with Jones easily beating the hard-punching David Telesco via a 12 round decision on January 15, at Radio City Music Hall to retain the light heavyweight world championship. Jones reportedly fractured his wrist a few weeks before this fight and fought almost exclusively one-handed. He entered the ring surrounded by the famous group of dancers, The Rockettes. His next fight was also a first-time boxing event for a venue, as he traveled to Indianapolis and retained his title with an 11-round TKO over Richard Hall at the Conseco Fieldhouse. Jones ended the year with a 10-round stoppage of undefeated Eric Harding in New Orleans.
In 2001, Jones released Round One: The Album, a rap CD. That year he retained the title against Derrick Harmon by a knockout in ten, and against future world champion Julio César González of Mexico by a 12-round unanimous decision. In 2002, Jones retained his title by knocking out Glen Kelly in seven rounds. Jones then defeated future world champion Clinton Woods by technical knockout. He performed a song from his CD during his ring entrance.
WBA Heavyweight Champion
On March 1, 2003, in Las Vegas Roy Jones defeated John Ruiz, the man who defeated Evander Holyfield, for the WBA heavyweight title. Jones officially weighed in at 193 lb and Ruiz at 226 lb. Jones became the first former middleweight title holder to win a heavyweight title in 106 years. Jones also became the first fighter to start his career as a junior middleweight and win a heavyweight title.
On November 8, 2003, Jones came back down to the light heavyweight division to fully duplicate Bob Fitzsimmons feat from 1896. He regained the light heavyweight championship belt by beating Antonio Tarver. And by doing this, he became the second boxer in history to win a heavyweight title, then regain the light heavyweight title. Jones won by majority decision. On May 15, 2004, Jones faced Tarver in a rematch. Jones was heavily favored to win, but Tarver knocked him down at 1:41 of the second round. Jones had won the first round (Tarver only landed two punches in the first round), but in the second, as Jones tried a combination, he was caught by a big counter left hook from Tarver. Jones got on his feet by the count, but for the first time in his career was ruled unable to continue by the referee. On September 25, 2004, Jones attempted to win the IBF light heavyweight title from Glen Johnson in a match in Memphis, Tennessee. Johnson knocked out Jones 49 seconds into the ninth round. Jones lay on the canvas for three minutes after being counted out.
Jones took on Prince Badi Ajamu on July 29, 2006, at the Qwest Arena in Boise, Idaho. Jones defeated Ajamu by a unanimous decision, winning the NABO light heavyweight title. Next up for Jones was the undefeated Anthony Hanshaw, on July 14, 2007, at the Mississippi Coast Coliseum in Biloxi, Mississippi. Hanshaw was knocked down in the 11th round. Jones won the bout by unanimous decision and in doing so won the IBC light heavyweight title.
On January 19, 2008, Jones faced former 147 and 154 pound five-time world champion Félix Trinidad at Madison Square Garden in New York City. The bout was fought at a catch weight of 170 lbs. Jones had a noticeable size and speed advantage, and in round seven, a short right hand to the temple dropped Trinidad to his knees. Jones fired a combination in the tenth round to send Trinidad down once more. Jones won the fight by scores of 117-109 and 116-110 (twice). This was the first time a former heavyweight champion returned to fight successfully at 170 lbs.
Roy Jones Jr vs Joe Calzaghe for The Ring light heavyweight championship in New York City at Madison Square Garden on September 20, 2008 on HBO PPV. Ultimately Jones lost by unanimous decision, winning only 2 rounds on the 3 official judges cards. Jones defeated Omar Sheika on March 21, 2009, via fifth-round technical knockout. On August 15, 2009, Jones beat former super middleweight champion Jeff Lacy in 10 rounds after Lacys corner stopped the fight. Lacy had never been knocked out or stopped before. In December 2009 Danny Green defeated Jones in a first round TKO. Roy Jones Jr and Bernard Hopkins met in a rematch bout, on April 3, 2010 in Las Vegas. Hopkins was awarded with a unanimous decision.
On May 21, 2011 Denis Lebedev stopped Roy Jones Jr. with 10 seconds remaining in the 10th and final round of what had been a competitive cruiserweight fight and many ringside observers felt Jones Jr. was ahead on the scorecards.