Roy Jones Jr. Keeps Win Streak Alive

By Ted Sares on August 17, 2015
Roy Jones Jr. Keeps Win Streak Alive
He now picks his spots and works in a more comfortable groove. (Rich Schultz/Getty)

If fast fingers and a hardwired sense of swing defined Peterson, fast hands and a seldom-seen sense of reflexes defined Jones…

“Had Roy Jones Jr. defended his heavyweight title even once before walking away, there’s no telling where his legacy would stand today.”—Brian Campbell

“Watching that fight made it hard to believe Roy was once the best fighter on the planet and it wasn’t close. He’s maybe 5% what he once was.”—Dan Rafael

“Can’t nobody tell Roy Jones when to start, and nobody can tell Roy Jones when he should stop. Roy Jones is going to do what he wants to do, and I am enjoying myself in the ring and I am going to get back where I want to be.”—Jones

A prime Roy Jones Jr. was as good as it gets. Had he retired after the first Tarver fight, his record would have been 50-1 and his place among the top five modern all-time greats would have been well justified. As it is, he still will rate among the top ten on my lists because, as Larry Merchant said during the Bryant Brannon fight in 1996, he was “Oscar Peterson with Boxing Gloves.” And if fast fingers and a hardwired sense of swing defined Peterson, fast hands and a seldom-seen sense of reflexes defined Jones.

Since that fateful Tarver fight in 2004, Roy has gone 13-6, and his reflexes and tremendous athleticism have disappeared. But since his brutal KO at the hands of Denis Lebedev (the brutality being intensified by referee Steve Smoger recalcitrance) in May 2011, Roy has gone 8-0 with his last five coming by way of stoppage.

He now continues to pick his spots and works in a more comfortable and safe groove and like his one-time nemesis, Glen Johnson, he has become a road warrior deluxe fighting in such locales as Latvia, Florida, Connecticut, North Carolina, Russia, Poland, and North Carolina. However, unlike Glen who is finding it increasingly difficult to win against top to mid-tier opponents, Jones needs to stay in his current niche.

The 46-year-old Jones is now (62-8 with 45 KOs) with his latest win coming against limited West Virginian Eric Watkins (12-9). The future boxing Hall of Fame member and former multi-division titleholder registered a lighting fast, one-punch KO in the sixth round Sunday in Mashantucket, Connecticut. A lethal and signature left hook ended matters concussively. See:

Jones is scheduled to face Danny Santiago (33-7-1) on August 29 in Sint Maarten, the Netherlands, and then Tony Moran (15-6) on September 12 in Liverpool, England. Santiago will be the best fighter Jones has faced in his current win streak; Danny has faced stiff opposition (including Beibut Shumenov, Danny Green, Zsolt Erdei, and Tarver) and could present a real danger for Roy. Whether primetime opportunities will present themselves at the end of these two bouts (assuming that he wins, of course) remains to be seen, but for Roy’s well-being, I for one hope he that he continues to rack up win after win in his current niche because the specter (and lasting memory)  of him being knocked out is a painful one.

As for ESPN’s Dan Rafael’s comments, Rafael has never shown much affinity for boxers—the guys who risk their lives so Rafael can write about and often insult them and even, from time to time, question their courage and then get paid handsomely by ESPN. But to quote Thomas Hauser, that’s why boxing is often viewed as a cesspool. 

Ted Sares is a member of the Ring 4 Boxing Hall of Fame (New England) and a member of Ring 10 (New York). He is one of the oldest active powerlifters in the world and competes full power raw in the Grand Master Class.

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  1. fazla rabbi 12:53am, 03/16/2018

    thanks for your post..i like boxing

  2. fazla rabbi 12:50am, 03/16/2018

    thanks for this article…i am boxing lover…always i visit this site for reading your post..thanks dear author

  3. Tex Hassler 02:32pm, 08/20/2015

    Roy might just get another title shot but I doubt he gets another title.

  4. KB 06:22pm, 08/19/2015

    It’s a self-inflicting phenomena. It feeds on itself. And it’s terribly dangerous.

    Some just can’t get out.

  5. Joe Masterleo 05:40pm, 08/19/2015

    With few exceptions (like one, in George Foreman) such is boxing’s version of death by cop. After all, there’s a perverse form of honor among daredevils to die with their boots on, be carried out on their shield, or in cases like Jones, to retire with as few synapses intact as possible. A post-prime boxer is a culture of one. They that live by punches, ultimately die by them.

  6. FrankinDallas 04:47pm, 08/19/2015

    BTW….RJJ has petitioned Putin for Russian citizenship.

  7. FrankinDallas 04:11pm, 08/19/2015

    There are only two means by which you can ban a boxer from fighting: one is a rock solid medically proven injury. Yes, that could mean a 60 yr old boxer vs a much younger guy.

    The other way is for no one to watch the event. Once the promoters lose money, they will inflict a ban by themselves.

  8. KB 12:49pm, 08/19/2015

    Es, everyone forgets Meldrick yet his story may be the very worse of all. He went from great to slurring his words. How totally awful was that.

  9. es Milano 12:46pm, 08/19/2015

    Meldrick Taylor.

  10. KB 06:47am, 08/19/2015

    I understand your angst and disgust

  11. strongman 06:45am, 08/19/2015

    It is a very touchy subject telling a fighter when he should quit but look at fighters like Terry Norris he was only 30 when in front of our eyes he could not pull the trigger to a tuneup fight to Keith Mullings gone a 5 million dollar payday to DLH then lost 2 fights badly afterwards long story short he was hiding his Parkinsons and admits if his license was not revoked he would of not of quit fighting this is a sport that allowed Tommy Morrison to comeback my stomach turns watching it now on Youtube.

  12. KB 03:53pm, 08/18/2015

    Strong, after NY banned him, Holyfield went 6-2-1nc. He beat some quality people and almost got the Title against Valuev. The fact NY felt sorry for him is precisely the reason most commissions as just plain awful. This is a business. It’s not about sentimentality.

  13. strongman 01:43pm, 08/18/2015

    Again I HATED when MikeTyson was in that animal stage of his career the biting fouling and just being a punk in the ring but he redeemed himself in my eye after quitting and staying retired he turned down 20 30 even 40 million when he was penniless no amount could make him comeback he said the smell of leather was making him sick it was how much he hated the sport but respcted it too much to just come in for a payday.

  14. strongman 01:27pm, 08/18/2015

    Not all fighters are built the same Foreman and Hopkins are freak of natures I agree as far as Holyfield yes NYS did jump the gun but they did not want to see a great fighter turn into a gatekeeper which was Holyfields next step down because he was horrible against LarryDonald who usally fought safety first fought with out any regard plus he was koed by JamesToney before that.It is sad watching a champion go down the ladder .

  15. KB 12:45pm, 08/18/2015

    HAHAHAHAHAHAA. Well, since I’m 78 I guess I’m good to go up on the platform

  16. John aka L.L. Cool John 12:41pm, 08/18/2015

    One last comment ...
    If we start banning boxers at a certain age, should we look into banning 70-year-old powerlifters?

  17. John aka L.L. Cool John 12:37pm, 08/18/2015

    If there was a ban on fighters, say, over 40, George Foreman would have never regained the heavyweight title against Michael Moorer at the age of 45. If fighters can pass a neurological exam and are fit to fight, I see no reason why they cannot apply their trade. Personally, however, I wouldn’t watch a Jones fight if it were on free TV. I liked the guy and don’t care to see a major beat down put on him.
    For what it’s worth: I’ve never referred to a fighter as a “bum” and I never would.
    Nice piece, Ted. It’s generated a good debate.
    Old Yank? Damn, I haven’t heard that name in years. That name goes back to the old ESB days. I remember Yank being a big fan of Kelly Pavlik.

  18. KB 12:24pm, 08/18/2015

    strongman, Great point. And it works both ways. The way I have always argued it was on the basis of a fighter’s entire body of work and not just his prime. Mancini might be an example. When a solid and even great fighter fizzles at the end, that should be taken into account and as someone who is lucky enough to vote, I do take that into account.

  19. KB 12:20pm, 08/18/2015

    I believe NY banned Holyfield years ago but he still fought on and almost won a championship. The court of public opinion should not play a role in a boxer’s livelihood unless it is manifest that the boxer is totally 100% shot.

  20. strongman 12:18pm, 08/18/2015

    Knowing when to pack it in is a very underrated attribute in making the IBHOF in my eyes I hate when fans just say to only remember the prime years and disregard the 15 losses that may occur afterwards .If Marciano 54-7 instead of 49-0 boxing would judge him different.

  21. KB 11:54am, 08/18/2015

    Asher, good point, but if you ban Jones who is on a winning streak, then you must also ban scores of other fighters. What criteria would you use? The only fail-safe one is age but that would not work because the new norm keeps on increasing.

    Jones can fight for as long as he wants just as Glen Johnson can. If Jones lost 4 in a row by stoppage, then a commission might ban him much like the UK did with Danny Williams, but Danny is not Roy.

    As for State Commissions, as long as they continue to appoint political hacks like they do in , for example, Massachusetts, you will never get protection for the boxers. Most of these hacks are clueless when it comes to boxing and just love the prestige and enjoy the meetings. That crap sickens me.
    \ Bottom line: How do you tell a guy who has won 8 in a row that he no longer should fight. A fraction of gold still has some glitter to it.

  22. Asher 11:35am, 08/18/2015

    RJJ is not risking a Quarry like ending - he’s destined for one. Why this intelligent man who could make other career choices continues to fight is bewildering. Shame on the state “commissions” who still license this man to fight. These commissions are not there to protect the fighters, they are little more than shills for unscrupulous promoters. Something to ponder: just because Jones can continue to fight, does not mean that he should.

  23. es Milano 10:33am, 08/18/2015

    Old Yank. Did you not learn your lesson over at ESB?

    dont bring that sort of slime over here.

  24. KB 10:27am, 08/18/2015

    Thanks Don aka Your name. I pay him no mind.

  25. Don from Prov 10:06am, 08/18/2015

    One big difference between writers and boxers is that writers don’t, for the most part put, their lives on the line to ply their trade. Working forward from that fact,  I respect anyone who refuses to call those willing to risk their life in a boxing ring a bum, and find little room for respecting those who do call them bums.  Schneider (or Old Yank as he would like us to think he is commonly called) has been lugging his personal cross from boxing site to boxing site (and being thrown off most of them) in order to try and impugn Ted Sares.  I thought Schneider had been banned from this site as well.
    Do we really have to listen to his bile and his silliness. Mr. Ecksel?

  26. KB 08:35am, 08/18/2015

    Strong, you are 100% correct. Same with SRL and Sugar Ray Seals and Sugar Shane Mosley. It is the rule; not the exception.

  27. KB 08:32am, 08/18/2015

    Thanks es Milano and Big Wally.

    Bob, I agree but that risk is also taken by Briggs, Glen Johnson, Wright, Ruddock, and a truckload of other fighters who just can’t leave. At least Roy seems to be enjoying himself. But the vision of him ending up like the Quarry Brothers is an alarming and scary one.. In his last 8 fights, he has seldom been tagged, but Danny Santiago represents real danger.

  28. KB 08:20am, 08/18/2015

    Glen, Rafael’s preferences are with himself, firs , second, and third. When Angulo almost lost his eye against Lara, Dan called Angulo a coward for quitting.

    Admittedly, he has a great ting going for him, but he appeals to the simplistic nature of boxing fans rather than the serious one.

    And for what its worth, he is also arrogant and has little time for anyone.

    No, I don’t like him one bit.

  29. KB 08:15am, 08/18/2015

    Old Yank, whatever the case, I have always strived to avoid calling fighters “bums.”

  30. strongman 06:21am, 08/18/2015

    Dan Rafael has barnacles on his butt true but if you listen to Roy Jones he honestly believes he is back he even put another album out again every song about him lol how do fans and writers not cringe knowing that when Jones gets koed its not pretty just too many times we saw him on the canvas motionless with his eyes blinking. Jones was a fighter so adamant about being safe and even refused to fight in other countries out of fear of a bad decision who would of believed he would still be risking it all at age 46 not me.

  31. Glen 05:58am, 08/18/2015

    I don’t read Dan Rafael so can’t say what his preferences and tendencies are- but, that quote is correct.  Jones is a fraction of what he used to be.

  32. Jim Crue 05:54am, 08/18/2015

    Ray Robinson kept fighting because he was broke. Harry Wiley did not want him to keep fighting. Robinson had an entourage but no one told him what to do.

  33. Old Yank 03:31am, 08/18/2015

    Some writers truck with fighters and others don’t. Some writers truck with managers and/or promoters and others don’t. How one writes and how “independent” their pen is often influenced by who they truck with. I don’t see much difference between protecting one’s trucking license with fighters and protecting one with promoters.

    Be it insulting fighters or insulting writers, I don’t see much difference there either.

    Some fighters are bums and some writers are too. And that helps keep boxing in the gutters of sport and potential fans out of boxing arenas.

  34. strongman 03:12am, 08/18/2015

    I have no clue what it takes for certain boxers to retire or realize it is over.SRR fought till he was 45 yes and had an entourage that made him believe he could win one more title but getting decked on national tv by a # 2 ranked JoeyArcher who was no slouch woke SRR up it is over and beating all the handpicked guys that he was doing before was only helping his ego .

  35. Bob 02:02am, 08/18/2015

    RJ is treading in dangerous waters, even against limited opposition.  Very sad but predictable story, exacerbated by the fact that Jones, as good as he was,  always refreshingly stated the dangers of boxing, often citing Jerry Quarry’s cautionary tale. Ironically, Quarry also had a good broadcasting career until too many comeback fights destroyed his abilities behind the mic. RJ is playing Russian Roulette, and risking a Quarry-like ending.

  36. es Milano 12:54am, 08/18/2015

    I like this story. If RJJ still enjoys the fight, the smell, the adrenalin then let it roll.

    Another Sares under the radar story. Sue-weet.

  37. Big Wally 12:42am, 08/18/2015

    Keep them coming Brother

  38. KB 08:46pm, 08/17/2015

    Rousey needs to stfu or risk overexposure

  39. Irish Frankie Crawford Beat Saijo aka Gimpel 08:37pm, 08/17/2015

    I say he should go after Wilder….both he and Hopkins in the past and now Tarver have talked stupid shit about beating Wlad so why not Wilder? If I’m not mistaken I may have even read experts positing that Ward could bulk up and whip Klitschko’s ass. More than insulting ....ugly ass slurs…. against the heavyweight champion of the world…even more so than when Rousey says she could beat up on Floyd.

  40. KB 08:02pm, 08/17/2015

    Could not agree more in particular has gone out of his way to insult boxers.

  41. Paul Magno 07:27pm, 08/17/2015

    Rafael is just one of several writers who make their living from the sport and accept the benefits of being known as boxing writers, but don’t particularly respect fighters as athletes or as human beings. There are lots of so-called scribes calling boxers “bums” and intentionally trying to destroy their hard-earned legacies. But they sure as hell don’t like it when someone points the finger back at them and points out how they routinely “phone in” their efforts or how they are compromised by relationships with certain promoters or managers…As for Jones, as long as he can pass a physical and generate a payday, there’s nothing anyone can do to force him to quit. At least he seems conscious of the fact that he has to fight low-level opposition at this stage of his career….

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