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Roy Jones Jr.

Roy Jones Jr. (born January 16, 1969) is a boxer and basketball player from Pensacola, Florida. Although he used to play semi-professional basketball for a team in Birmingham, Alabama, Jones Jr. is more widely known for his achievements in the boxing ring.

Jones Jr. had a very successful career as an amateur boxer, culminating in his representing the United States at the 1988 Seoul Olympic Games. His participation there proved to be controversial since, just as in Michael Carbajal's case, he lost a highly disputed decision in the final fight. Jones Jr. lost to a South Korean fighter, and a subsequent investigation led some of the judges to admit that they had accepted bribes from Korean officials to vote against Jones Jr. Jones Jr. never accepted the silver medal, and his case, along with Carbajal's case, led Olympic organizers to establish a new scoring system for Olympic boxing, a system that later began to be used on all amateur fights.

Jones Jr. began as a professional on May 6, 1989, knocking out Ricky Randall[?] in two rounds at Pensacola. For his next fight, he faced the far more experienced Vonzell "Vampire" Johnson[?] in Atlantic City, and beat him by a knockout in round eight.

Jones Jr. built an impressive record of 15-0 with 15 knockouts before stepping up in class, when he met former world Welterweight champion Jorge Vaca[?] in a Pay Per View fight on January 10, 1992. He knocked Vaca out in round one, to reach 16 knockout wins in a row. After one more knockout win, Jones Jr. went the distance for the first time, against former world champion Jorge Castro, who lost a 10-round decision to Jones Jr. in front of a USA Network national audience.

Three more knockouts in a row followed, after which Jones Jr. was given his first opportunity to fight for a world title: on May 22 of 1993, he beat future world champion Bernard Hopkins[?] by a narrow but unanimous decision in Washington D.C., to capture the IBF's vacant world Middleweight title. For his next fight, he chose to fight another future world champion, Thulane "Sugar Boy" Malinga[?], in a non-title affair. Jones Jr. beat Malinga by a knockout in six.

1994 was a very diverse year for Jones Jr. He beat fringe contender Danny "Popeye" Garcia[?] by a knockout in six in another non-title bout, then retained the world title against Thomas Tate[?] in two rounds at Las Vegas on May 27. On November 18, he and the IBF's world Super Middleweight champion, James Toney[?], met in an anticipated bout at Las Vegas, and Jones Jr. added another world championship by dropping Toney in round three and winning a unanimous decision. But, shortly after his fight with Tate, he was caught by police in the Bahamas, carrying a gun at Nassau's airport while trying to vacation there.

In 1995, Jones Jr. defended his new title successfully three times, knocking out Antoine Byrd[?] (brother of IBF world Heavyweight champion Chris Byrd[?]) in round one, former multiple time world champion Vinny Paz in round six, and Tony Thornton[?] in round two.

In 1996, Jones Jr. kept his winning ways, defeating Merqui Sosa[?] by a knockout in two, future world champion Eric Lucas[?] in round 11, Bryant Brannon[?] in round three, and former multiple world champion and now hall of famer Mike McCallum[?], by a decision in 12, to become a member of boxing's exclusive group of world champions in three weight divisions by winning the vacant WBC world Light Heavyweight crown. When he boxed Lucas, he became the first athlete to participate in paid basketball and boxing events on the same day, because he had played a game in Alabama in the morning and crossed back over the state line after his game, to defend his title in his hometown that evening.

1997 began with more controversy for Jones Jr. He suffered his first professional defeat, at the hands of Montell Griffith[?], losing his world Light Heavyweight belt in the process. But the defeat was also filled with controversy, because Jones Jr. had dropped Griffith with what appeared to be a legal punch in round nine, and then hit him again on the head as Griffith was on the canvas, leading to Jones Jr.'s disqualification. They had an immediate rematch, and on August 21, Jones Jr. regained the world Light Heavyweight title by knocking out Griffith in the first round. By then, Jones Jr. had signed a lucrative contract with HBO, to have all his fights telecast on the HBO Boxing TV show.

In 1998, Jones Jr. began by knocking out former and future world Cruiserweight champion Virgil Hill[?] in four rounds in a non-title bout at Biloxi, Mississippi. He followed that with a win against the WBA's world Light Heavyweight champion, Puerto Rico's Lou Del Valle[?], by a decision in 12 on July 18, to unify the WBC and WBA belts. In the fight with Del Valle, he had to rise off the canvas for the first time in his career, as he was dropped in round four. Then followed a presentation against Otis Grant[?]. He retained the crown in that fight by a knockout in ten.

Jones Jr. began 1999 by beating New York City cop Rick Frazier[?] in two rounds to defend his title. After this, many boxing critics started to criticize Jones Jr., often suggesting that he seemed to be hand-picking his opponents himself. In his only other fight that year, on June 5, he beat the IBF's world champion, Reggie Johnson[?], by a decision in twelve to add that belt to the WBC and WBA belts he already owned in that division.

2000 began with a bang for Jones Jr., as he beat David Telesco[?] by a decision in twelve to retain the world championship, on January 15, on what was the Radio City Music Hall's first boxing show ever. Jones entered the ring that night surrounded by the famous group of dancers, The Rockettes[?]. His next fight was also a first-time boxing event for a venue, as he travelled to Indianapolis and retained his title with an 11-round knockout over Richard Hall[?] at the Conseco Fieldhouse[?]. He ended that year by beating Eric Harding[?] by a knockout in nine, once again retaining the title.

In 2001, Jones Jr. released a rap CD, his most noticeable song on it being You All Must've Forgotten, probably referring to the fact that some critics who used to point him out as the world's best fighter pound-for-pound were now criticizing his quality of opposition. That year, he retained the title against Derrick Harmon[?] by a knockout in ten, and against Julio Gonzalez[?] of Mexico by a 12-round unanimous decision. There was strong talk of facing him and Felix "Tito" Trinidad in a super-fight, but that possibility was soon forgotten about after Trinidad was defeated by Hopkins.

In 2002, Jones Jr. kept on retaining his title, beating Glenn Kelly[?] by a knockout in seven, and British Commonwealth champion Clinton Woods[?] of England by a knockout in six. The Woods fight was held at the Rose Garden[?] in Portland, and it was, once again, the first time boxing had been held at that venue, and also the first time in 45 years Portland had a world title boxing fight. Woods in particular impressed HBO commentators and many of the fans that saw the fight, proving to be a very lively challenger before being defeated.

Jones Jr. then announced he would challenge John Ruiz for the WBA's world Heavyweight championship. On March 1 of 2003, he defeated Ruiz by a decision in twelve rounds, to become the first world Middleweight champion in 106 years (after Bob Fitzsimmons) to win the world's Heavyweight title, and the third world Light Heavyweight champion in history (after Michael Spinks and Michael Moorer) to win the world's Heavyweight title. The day before the fight, he, Ruiz and people in their entourages became involved in a press conference brawl, with Ruiz's manager requiring hospitalization.

Jones Jr. is also considered by autograph collecting experts to be a generally good autograph signer.

His record stands at 48 wins, and 1 loss, with 38 wins by knockout.

It should be mentioned that, after the 2002 Winter Olympics scandal where the Olympic committee decided to award gold medals to both Russia's and Canada's figure skating teams after finding that the French judge had been bribed, Jones Jr. had hoped that the committee would re-open his case and award him a gold medal too. However, no such action was taken by the Olympic committee.



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