Freakonomics! Jones vs. Gunn
Fighting is as definitive as it gets. If you win you win. If you lose you lose. But at least you know if you have won or lost…
Friday night at the Chase Center in Wilmington, Delaware, Roy Jones Jr. (64-9, 46 KOs), the future Hall of Famer from Pensacola, Florida, isn’t fighting Butterbean, Antonio Inoki, or Rod Salka. Those guys are tough, but none of them made his bones as a bare-knuckle fighter.
Roy Jones has won titles in every division from middleweight to heavyweight dating back to 1989. Although he is fighting for the little-known vacant WBF cruiserweight title, what makes this fighting interesting, insofar as this fight is interesting, is that he is fighting Bobby Gunn, from Hackensack, New Jersey, by way of Niagara Falls, Ontario, Canada, who has a 21-6-1 (18 KOs) record with gloves and is unbeaten as a bare-knuckler.
The fight won’t be in a dank cellar one step ahead of the law. It will be on pay-per-view. The Marquess of Queensberry Rules will be in effect, which puts Gunn at a disadvantage. Like the Mayweather-McGregor superfight one hears so much about these days, if and when they fight it will be in a ring, not in a cage.
McGregor will be lucky if he lays a glove on him.
Roy Jones expects a fight Friday night and is psyched.
“Bobby Gunn is a mean dude,” he said. “To be 72-0 with 72 knockouts in bare knuckles, says you beating somebody up for the heck of it. People ask why I am fighting him. It’s because I respect that. This guy is a killer, and I try to do things different.
“I love a person who won’t quit, and he won’t quit for nothing. He has 72 wins with 72 knockouts — bare-knuckle.”
The fight has its detractors, but Jones isn’t one of them.
“I am at-heart an entertainer,” he said. “that’s who I am.”
Compared to Roy’s rocket to superstardom, Gunn has labored in the shadows.
His last three gloved fights were against current and former champions, Tomasz Adamek (IBF cruiserweight champ and 37-1 at the time) in 2009, James Toney (73-7-3) in 2012, and Glen Johnson (52-18-2) in 2013 in his last bout.
It has been a few years since Gunn has been in the ring, but he’s ready for Friday night.
“Nothing was handed to me,” Gunn said. “I fought hard for everything my whole life. I’m born and bred a fighting man from birth.
“I am fighting one of the greats, one of the greatest fighters who ever lived. I respect him more today that I did 20 years ago. I’ve seen a lot of horseshit on the Internet, people running him down. Saying he’s too old, this or that. Why don’t you guys get in the ring and fight him, then?”
Gunn wants Roy Jones bad. He thinks about him morning, noon and night.
“I spend all day thinking of Roy, and I spend my nights dreaming of him,” Gunn said. “I can’t wait to meet him in the ring on Friday.”
Roy Jones is on a win streak, having won 11 of his last 12 fights, after three successive defeats in 2009-2011 to Danny Green, Bernard Hopkins and Denis Lebedev. With the exception of a KO loss in Enzo Maccarinelli in 2015, he has been taking it easy, more or less, if not as easy as he should, but still won’t admit that fighting is as definitive as it gets.
If you win you win. If you lose you lose. But at least you know if you have won or lost.