Roy Jones Jr Profile
|Born||Jan 16, 1969|
|Birthplace||Pensacola, Florida, USA|
|Division||Light Heavyweight Limit: 175 Pounds|
|Professional Record||66-9 (47)|
'RJ' is a legend of the sport who won world titles in four weight classes, including heavyweight, and dominated the light heavyweight scene from 1997 to 2003.
Roy Jones Jr. is viewed as one of the best boxers of the 1990s, who was voted Ring Magazine's Fighter of the Year in 1994.
He's an all-time great who dominated the light heavyweight division between 1997 and 2003.
But Jones Jr's success doesn't end there. He had already been a two-weight world champion when he stepped up to light heavyweight in 1996 after winning straps in the middleweight and super middleweight divisions.
Jones Jr. is known for his frightening speed, brilliant reflexes and punching power. He recorded victories over the likes of Bernard Hopkins, Virgil Hill and Antonio Tarver during his hugely successful career.
In the early 2000s, Jones Jr. made history by winning the WBA heavyweight strap from John Ruiz. That made him the first fighter to win a heavyweight world title after starting their career in the light middleweight division.
The American, also famous for his film and music ventures, reminded everyone of his greatness with the song 'Ya'll Must've Forgot' in 2002.
The greatest hits: Hopkins, Toney and Griffin
Jones Jr. turned pro in 1989 and recorded a series of knockout victories in his hometown of Pensacola. He beat Argentinian legend Jorge Castro via unanimous decision in 1992 to move up the rankings, earning himself a title shot against Hopkins the following year.
The vacant IBF middleweight world championship was on the line. Jones Jr. put in a strong performance despite stepping up on the big stage for the first time, outlanding Hopkins' punches 35% to 23%.
Jones Jr. moved up to super middleweight the following year to challenge undefeated American Toney for the IBF strap.
Toney's impressive wins over Tony Thornton and Charles Williams saw him become favourite before the bout, while Jones Jr. was the underdog for the first time in his career.
But he changed things around completely once the first bell had sounded.
Jones Jr. made his opponent look sluggish and landed the more telling shots through the fight. He knocked down Toney for only the second time in his career with a solid left hook in the third round.
After dominating for the rest of the fight, "Captain Hook" took a unanimous decision victory as the judges scored it 119-108, 118-109 and 117-110.
Jones Jr. defended his title with a number of TKO wins before moving up to light heavyweight. In 1996 he became the WBC's interim champion, putting him in line for a shot at the world title against Montell Griffin.
Griffin started brightly and took an early lead, although Jones Jr. got himself back into the fight and was ahead on the scorecards by round nine.
Jones Jr then caught his opponent with a big right hand, forcing Griffin to retreat. Jones Jr stalked before landing another flurry of blows, sending Griffin's knee to the canvas for a knockdown. But RJ then hit Griffin twice more, forcing him to be disqualified as he was handed the first loss of his career.
They met for a highly-anticipated rematch five months later, with Jones Jr in search of revenge and the world title.
He dominated the bout right from the start. A left hook troubled Griffin and a couple of shots later he was against the ropes - the referee gave a knockdown to "Superman".
Griffin appeared concerned and was dodging punches on instinct rather than throwing anything back. With 40 seconds left of the first round, Jones Jr. caught Griffin flush with a stunning left hook to end the fight.
He had successfully avenged his disqualification just months earlier with a hugely impressive performance.
World heavyweight champion
He dominated the light heavyweight division from 1997 to 2002, picking up all four major belts to become undisputed world champion.
The American fancied a new challenge and in 2003 he competed at heavyweight for the first time.
He was aiming to become the first fighter to start their career at light middleweight and go on to become world heavyweight king.
His opponent was WBA title holder John Ruiz, who had beaten the legendary Evander Holyfield three years earlier.
Fans were intrigued to see how Jones Jr would compete in the glory division, given his limited size. He was only 5ft 11in but with extra weight his punching power was expected to be deadly.
In fact, it was his speed which decided the bout. Ruiz couldn't get close enough to trouble Jones Jr, and the latter got the better of most exchanges with some brilliant counter-punching. It ended 116-112, 118-110 and 117-111 on the judges' scorecards as Jones Jr. made history.
Exhibition fight vs Mike Tyson
He retired in February 2018 with a record of 66-9 (47 KOs). But that wasn't the end for Jones Jr. Just two years later, he announced a massive exhibition bout against fearsome heavyweight legend Mike Tyson.
After a series of delays, the eight-rounder took place on November 28 2020 at the Staples Center in LA. Due to the coronavirus pandemic, no fans were allowed in, although it racked up over 1.3 million PPV buys.
The fight was a chance for young fans to witness two of the greatest to ever do it in the ring, long after they had officially retired. Tyson showed some of his infamous 'peek-a-boo' style, as well as landing some sharp left hooks. The exhibition was scored a draw.
The retired fighter earned a reported $55million during his career. His exhibition bout with Mike Tyson saw him bring in another $1million.
His current net worth is believed to be $7million.
Jones Jr. was born and brought up in Pensacola, Florida. He grew up in an extremely tough household. While his mother was gentle, his father was a war veteran who treated his son harshly. He would taunt, fight and physically abuse Jones Jr. in an attempt to make him strong.
Jones Jr. went on to state that his tough upbringing meant he didn't care about getting hurt during his professional career.
He has three sons with his wife Natlyn: Roy Jones III, DeShaun and DeAndre.
He's had a very active career outside of the sport. In the early 2000s, he pursued his dream of becoming a rapper by releasing 'Round One: The Album'. He also formed a rap group, called Body Head Bangerz, which released another album in 2004.
Jones Jr's acting career started when he played himself in the 1997 film The Devil's Advocate. He's since appeared in boxing films Southpaw and Creed 2, as well as The Matrix series.
Jones Jr. had a brilliant amateur record which ended at 121-13 when he turned pro. He won gold at the 1984 USA Junior Olympics and two National Golden Gloves championships.
He was the youngest fighter to represent America at the 1988 Olympics in Seoul, where he competed in the light middleweight division.
Jones Jr. blitzed his way to the final and didn't give up a single round to his opponents. However, he was on the receiving end of a hugely controversial decision in the gold-medal match.
Despite seemingly beating South Korea's Park Si-Hun, he lost via split decision. The offending judges were later suspended and the scandal forced the Olympics to change their scoring system.
He was awarded the Val Barker trophy in the aftermath, as the best stylistic boxer to feature at the Games.
Roy Jones Jr News
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- Nov 29, 2020