Roy Jones Jr.: Of Love & Boxing

To some, Roy Jones Jr. is the best pound-for-pound boxer of all time and the 90’s. He’s made history as the one-time Middleweight, Super Middleweight, Light Heavyweight and Heavyweight boxing champion. He struck silver at the 1998 Olympic games, even though most feel he was robbed of the gold. Ever the warrior, the Pensacola, Florida […]

To some, Roy Jones Jr. is the best pound-for-pound boxer of all time and the 90’s. He’s made history as the one-time Middleweight, Super Middleweight, Light Heavyweight and Heavyweight boxing champion. He struck silver at the 1998 Olympic games, even though most feel he was robbed of the gold.

Ever the warrior, the Pensacola, Florida native has sought to conquer other frontiers and a logical step was Hip-Hop, a culture that he feels parallels his profession of choice. Jones and his Body Head Entertainment have also teamed with 845 Entertainment and the two entities will release projects by Trick Daddy, Choppa [formerly of No Limit], Rush, Bone Crusher and 3D, a rap group that includes his own sons.

Still, as things change, others remain. Jones, a consummate fighter who has lost two of his last three bouts, is considering a return to the ring. Check out Roy’s connection to rap, his views on boxing, other fighters and how he plans to do a British boxer that keeps calling him out. You and Hip-Hop have been getting close for years.

Roy Jones: Yeah, we been real close. Yeah, I grew up on Hip-Hop and it’s been a part of my life for always. How did your last album do for you?

Roy Jones: It went well. It took a little while to put it together, but it went well. I enjoyed it. It was a wonderful album. Everybody took it as a compilation, but I thought it was a hell of an album. I had a bunch of features and I can’t wait to do it again. On the next album, do you intend to take more of a lead?

Roy Jones: Oh yeah, next album, I will. I’ll probably do another one at the end of this year. What’s the Trick Daddy DVD situation like?

Roy Jones: Everything Trick Daddy does is funny, entertaining – adult entertainment – but it’s entertaining. You know when Trick in the house, its gonna be fun. Do you have a personal relationship with these guys or is it just business?

Roy Jones: I have a personal relationship with Trick. Bone Crusher, we cool, but I don’t really have a personal relationship. I got a much more personal relationship with Trick, because we’re both from Florida. Bone Crusher, I had met him and we been cool since, but we never really talked a whole lot. It was more of a 845 situation. I ain’t have no problem with them so lets do it. How involved are you in working your label?

Roy Jones: I handle a lot of the day-to-day stuff. I make pretty much all of the decisions and that’s just how I am. That’s how I was with boxing and that’s how I’ma be with this. I make my own decisions and if I didn’t, I wouldn’t be in it. Now, your sons are in one of the groups, 3D. Was it you or other artists that got them inspired to rap?

Roy Jones: It was probably a little bit of both. Probably me, probably other artists. I know they love Luda [Ludacris], which is a good thing. They got their own people that they listen to. I didn’t try to persuade them towards anything as far as music goes. They never stop surprising me. They have a song that completely threw me for a loop. It was their idea, and they came up with the concept [with the producer]. Have they ever expressed interest in boxing?

Roy Jones: Yeah, they did for a minute. They have just to be able to know how to do it. Just in case they need it. I recently saw you a while back on ESPN Friday Night Fights. What keeps you driven to box?

Roy Jones: Its not just boxing…when you a warrior, it’s hard not to accept a challenge. I ain’t necessarily trying to keep boxing, keep boxing, keep boxing – I love to fight for real. I just been lacking motivation. [laughing] You do slow down a little when you get a little older. I’m looking at retirement, but [if I want] I can do what I want to do. If I want to whoop somebody, then that’s what I’m gonna do. I kinda like when people call me out, like this boy Joe Calzaghe calling me out after he beat [Jeff] “Left Hook” Lacy. That kinda stuff is, “Are you a man or a mouse?” That’s the kind of stuff you used to do for a living. It’s hard to say “No,” when that’s what you do. They know Roy Jones for what? Being a warrior, a dominating warrior. When somebody [like Calzaghe] says, “I want to call out Roy, I want to test my skills. I want to cross somebody legendary who I know is the truth. If I can deal with Roy, then I know I am ready for what I’m ready for.” He wants to fight be, because I’m a veteran in the game and he can make a statement. He can put another notch in his belt. Of course its not gonna happen that way, but I like to plan. As much as I want to say, “No, I’m not gonna do it, it ain’t gonna happen…” No, I’m going to show you [in the ring] it ain’t gonna happen. Now, when you fight, your defense is often your speed. I watched Lacy fight…he took a lot of headshots…You don’t worry…

Roy Jones: Well, he is offensive-minded. He’s about power. You worry, but when you are a champion like I am, you have to decide, “Are you gonna do it or are you not?” That can happen to anybody. You drive a car everyday, right? Yeah.

Roy Jones: You can have an accident at any time and it can kill you. Like when I get on the motorcycle. I know every time [I ride] that I could die. I do what I do and keep going. We always enjoyed you on HBO as a commentator, but you aren’t on there any more. Why not?

Roy Jones: HBO told me I had to start coming in there three times a week, Thursday, Friday and Saturday. And, me, I love life, I love what I do and I really can’t give them three days a week. Two days, we’d be fine, but three days I can’t do. What was your greatest accomplishment?

Roy Jones: Winning the heavyweight title and going to the Olympics. James Toney [who recently had a draw decision against Hasim Rahman] is one of the best heavyweights out there.

Roy Jones: He is the best. I’m not surprised. I told him a long time ago, right after he fought me, that I would have sent him right to the heavyweight division right then. I knew he was a better heavyweight than he was a middleweight. I always said that, if was managing him. Any opinions on Bernard Hopkins? You both seem pretty cool.

Roy Jones: Let me tell you something, me and Hopkins are cool. Never had anything against him. He was misunderstood. He misunderstood me, and he was misunderstood by people. He didn’t want to give people the majority of his money. He felt if he couldn’t make all of his money, they why should he fight. I told him, “I can’t take the hit because somebody else is taking your money.” Once we sat down and talked about it, he understood where I was coming from and I understood where he was coming from. [We didn’t fight again] Not because nobody was afraid, nobody was coward. It was because, the business wasn’t right. Fans were definitely looking forward to y’all fighting again.

Roy Jones: Him and [Antonio] Tarver got together, [a friend told me]. I said, “That’s cool.” I ain’t got nothing against that man. If that’s what he wanna do, that’s what he wanna do. If he wanna fight what he considers the best before he retires, I guess he considers Tarver that. I don’t have no beef or no problem with that. That ain’t necessarily true, but I don’t have no problem with that. Like yourself, Floyd Mayweather and Zab Judah are often mentioned in the same breath as Hip-Hop. How closely related is the sport to the lyrics.

Roy Jones: They rap about what we do. Most of them come from the streets. They talk about what they do and what they been through. We understand what they do and what they are talking about and they understand what we do and what we are talking about. We gotta have respect for them. We right there parallel. Any truth to the rumor that you might sign a two-fight deal with Showtime?

Roy Jones: Yeah, there is truth to the rumor. I might do anything, you know me. [laughing] I’m my own boss. I can do anything. Joe Calzaghe keep talking, he gonna make me start running. I start running, its gonna spell trouble, I don’t care where he’s at. All respect due to Lacy, but fighting you would be a different experience.

Roy Jones: He’s knows it and that’s why he wants to do it. I can’t deny the man a shot, you know? Does it bother you that you were robbed in the ’98 Olympic games?

Roy Jones: Nah. Don’t nothing that happen to me bother me. I let bygones be bygones. Nothing at all. If it happens, its life. I do what I can. That’s that. If you could see any rappers square up in the ring, who would you like to see?

Roy Jones: Jay-Z and Nas. Everybody that’s got beef, they should settle it with a boxing match and we call it a day. But they are friends now.

Roy Jones: Well, that’s fine, but I’d still like to see it. [laughing]