(Transcribed by Michael Readman) During the 213th edition of “On The Ropes” I was joined by returning guest and former 4 division world champion, Roy Jones Jr. In part 1 of my interview with Roy, I get his thoughts on the recent return of Manny Pacquiao, who defeated Timothy Bradley in their long awaited rematch. Jones Jr talked in great detail about the fight, and what he thinks is next for Pacquiao. Additionally Jones give his views on HBO vs. Showtime’s battle, and if he thinks Pacquiao should become a promotion free agent. Here is what Roy Jones Jr had to say.
Jenna J: Roy, we recently saw Manny Pacquiao avenge his defeat to Timothy Bradley. Now that you’ve had some time to reflect on that fight, what are your thoughts?
Roy Jones Jr: I thought he had a pretty good performance, I still thought he(Pacquiao) beat him worse the first time than he did the second time. Second time around he got the correct nod but I thought he deserved the nod the first time. I still thought he looked good.
Timothy Bradley made some pretty good adjustments to enable him to do better in the second fight than he did in the first fight but I still thought that Pacquiao pretty much controlled the fight and won it. I thought he won it bigger the first time than he did the second time.
Jenna J: It appeared that Bradley was trying to counter Manny Pacquiao to score that one punch KO. Do you think that was tactically a bad plan for him, do you think he should have tried to box instead?
Roy Jones Jr: No. To be honest with you, the first fight he had success late, it was so late that we didn’t care about it because he had lost the fight so bad by the time we got to the late rounds. Everybody thought he was so far behind that the late rally didn’t do him no good the first fight.
The second fight he came out with a good strategy early and that was the correct strategy to try and get ahead. That strategy actually had him in the fight for a little while because after the first four rounds Timothy Bradley wasn’t losing the fight, and the very first fight after the first four rounds, Tim Bradley was losing the fight bad.
I thought he made a great change, a great strategy change. I know he said he hurt his ankle or whatever happened — I don’t know and I don’t see why he would have reason to lie — but I thought he did make a good strategy change.
His original plan was to go for broke and why not? I don’t think he was gonna out box Pacquiao, I don’t think he out boxed Pacquiao the first time and the truth is, I don’t think Timothy Bradley will ever out box Pacquiao. He was just out to try and beat him because he definitely will not knock Pacquiao out, I don’t think.
Jenna J: Watching Manny Pacquiao now compared to the Manny Pacquiao of almost two years ago against Bradley, do you think he’s changed as a fighter? Do you think his approach in the ring has changed?
Roy Jones Jr: No, his approach hasn’t changed, his first goal would be the things that happen to him and with the opponent. Timothy Bradley came built strong, looking strong, throwing good strong punches early.
The first fight I never saw Tim Bradley hit Pacquiao and Pacquiao smiled at him. The second fight he hit Pacquiao with a good shot and Pacquiao smiled as to say, “Well okay you’ve got a little power but I’m still gonna put it on you.” He hit Pacquiao with some good clean shots and Pacquiao just had a great reaction to those shots and Pacquiao did his thing.
It’s like Max Kellerman said, “Timothy Bradley is a good fighter and Manny Pacquiao is a good great fighter.” Manny Pacquiao’s skill level is just a little bit higher than Timothy Bradley’s skill level but Tim Bradley has enough fight in his heart to equal out that disadvantage in skill level. That’s why I thought it was a good fight.
Jenna J: Everyone is wondering what’s next for Pacquiao at this point, what do you think is the best road for Manny Pacquiao next?
Roy Jones Jr: Well, I don’t know what the best road is for him is. I know a lot of people would like to see him fight Provodnikov, but I wouldn’t because him and Provodnikov share the same trainer in Freddie Roach.
If it’s not Provodnikov — and I know a lot of people said no and they don’t wanna see it, but I would love to see him fight Marquez for a fifth time because that fight will guarantee we’ll get a good fight. It will guarantee something crazy’s gonna happen and we’re almost pretty sure that somebody’s probably gonna go to sleep, who? we don’t know.
Jenna J: In your honest opinion from what you’ve seen from both fighters since that point, how do you think Pacquiao-Marquez 5 would go?
Roy Jones Jr: I don’t know, it possibly could go the same. When Marquez knocked Pacquiao out, Pacquiao had Marquez in the clutches of death himself, he was almost out of there and he caught Pacquiao and knocked him out. that fight was pretty much up for grabs as far as knockouts.
Since then, Marquez has a loss to Bradley and Pacquiao has a win against Bradley. With that being said, you can’t look at it and say A is gonna beat B or B is gonna beat A because one beat Bradley and then the other lost to Bradley. The one that knocked him out is the one who lost to Bradley and he lost clearly to Bradley.
With that being said, I mean neither fighter has done any more than the other fighter. Pacquiao beat Bradley before Bradley beat Marquez, Bradley went and beat Marquez and then Pacquiao beat Bradley again — he didn’t beat him as bad as he beat him the first time but he beat him again. So that doesn’t mean that Pacquiao wins because he beat Bradley because he had beaten Bradley before Marquez knocked him out the first time!
Jenna J: Roy, you obviously work for HBO right now and you notice that there is a battle of the networks. What do you think of HBO vs. Showtime, do you think it’s bad for boxing?
Roy Jones Jr: Yeah it’s bad for boxing because it’s preventing boxing from having some very good fights. There are fights that will really keep the boxing fans interested if they can happen, but because of the battle of the networks, it’s not happening.
Truthfully speaking, a lot of the situations of the battle of the networks are what some promoters want and what some fighters might even want. Some promoters don’t stick their fighters in the ring against different fighters that they think they might lose to. So, in a lot of instances this is what some people want.
When I was active, I didn’t really have a true promoter, I was promoting myself because I didn’t want nobody to tell me I could or couldn’t fight the best person in my weight division or the next closest person to me on the weight division above me or two weight divisions above me or two weight divisions below me. If they say my name, we’re gonna fight. That’s why I stood on my own, God was my promoter, whatever God allowed me to do, I did.
Jenna J: Manny Pacquiao is a big enough star to be his own promoter. Do you think when his contract is up at the end of December that maybe he should remain a promotional free agent so he has the freedom to make whatever fights he wants?
Roy Jones Jr: I thought he should have done that the last time his contact came up but he didn’t. He loves what Bob Arum is doing for him and I guess if he loves it that much, that’s what he should do. Me, myself, I thought he should have done that last time his contract came up.