Future hall of famer and former 4 division world champion Roy Jones Jr, now 47 is approaching the end of his legendary boxing career. Jones fights this weekend against Rodney Moore in what is expected to be a showcase fight for his home town fans in Pensacola, Florida. Roy has hinted that this could be the last bout of his career as he is now working as a boxing trainer in addition to already being commentator with HBO.
In part 1 of my “On The Ropes” boxing radio interview with Roy Jones Jr, I get his thoughts on the recent Andre Ward – Alexander Brand event that he commentated for. Jones talked about Ward vs. Kovalev and how he could see that fight playing out. Additionally, Roy talked about his upcoming return fight, what fans can expect from him and what drives him to continue to box in the ring. Here is what Roy Jones Jr had to say.
Jenna J: You recently called Andre Ward’s most recent fight against Alexander Brand. What did you think about Ward’s performance?
Roy Jones Jr: I thought Andre Ward did a very good job with Alexander Brand, he took care of him the way he was supposed to. I would have liked to see him get a knockout, but at the same time, since he’s preparing for the Kovalev fight, he didn’t’ want to take unnecessary chances and get any cuts or issues that would cause him a problem in the Kovalev fight. I can understand why he was as cautious as he was and why he didn’t take that gamble to try to take Brand out of there.
Jenna J: Do you think Andre gained anything by having this fight?
Roy Jones Jr: Yeah he had an opportunity to work his craft and get to work on his timing. That’s what people don’t understand, although the competition wasn’t the best, you still have to have timing and because he’s been so inactive, he wanted another chance to work on getting his timing and rhythm together.
He wanted some not so tough opponent so it wouldn’t cause him issues or cost him the Kovalev fight. At the same time, he wanted to get some rounds in, throwing punches, getting his rhythm right, getting his counter reaction timed right and just doing things to get it tied together.
Jenna J: Do you think people are making a little too much out of the last opponent that each guy has had, Ward with Brand and Kovalev with Chilemba?
Roy Jones Jr: Chilemba is a really good fighter. I don’t know Brand as well as I know Chilemba, but I do know Chilemba. I have trained Chilemba on a couple of occasions and he’s a very good fighter, just not the most powerful fighter — which was a very smart fight for Kovalev because you needed a guy who had a big heart but not a lot of power because they didn’t want to take a chance of risking this big fight with Andre Ward.
Jenna J: In terms of the fight between Ward and Kovalev, how do you see it playing out?
Roy Jones Jr: I still see it as a pretty even fight, both fighters can win the fight. Both guys are determined, both guys have a lot to prove, Kovalev more so than Ward. Both guys want to prove that they are the supreme guy at light heavyweight, therefore both guys have a lot on the line. It’s a great fight, great situation, and I still see it as a fifty-fifty fight right now but we’ll see what happens.
Jenna J: You were the best pound-for-pound best fighter in the world at one point. Do you think the winner of that fight would deserve that type of a claim?
Roy Jones Jr: Well it would be close because if Ward wins, he’s still clearly the pound-for-pound guy. If Kovalev wins, he comes close, but he still has a few more obstacles to climb because he will have beaten the pound-for-pound guy right now but at the same time, there are a couple of other guys looming in the wind there.
Just because you beat the pound-for-pound guy doesn’t make you the pound-for-pound guy, although Kovalev does have a strong claim for it and because the claim is so strong, I can understand people giving it to him if he does win. The winner of that fight could become the clear cut guy.
Jenna J: You have an event coming up in Pensacola. Can you tell us about the card?
Roy Jones Jr: It’s a great fight, probably my last one. I love Pensacola, I thank the fans for being so supportive throughout the years. This is my way of saying thanks as I’m on my way out. I love boxing, I love the sport but there comes a time when you have to start looking at your exit. I always wanted to exit the way that I wanted to exit.
Jenna J: What kind of a show do you want to put on in this event?
Roy Jones Jr: Just a good show for the fans as always. I got a good fighter in front of me who is going to try to land big bombs and get me out of there, and I love that. I always like to put on a show for the fans. I got the quickest hands in boxing still, so I’m going to be out there showing that and we’ll see what happens.
Jenna J: If you perform well, do you think you will fight again?
Roy Jones Jr: It’s very possible. I can’t make a prediction now though.
Jenna J: Besides the competition, what motivates you to get into the ring?
Roy Jones Jr: I love it, I love the sport. I love doing a lot things that I don’t feel like people are doing.
Jenna J: If your last fight does end up being your last, how do you feel about the career you had?
Roy Jones Jr: I’ve had a stellar career, I’m very happy and satisfied with my career. My career is everything I wanted it to be.