Boxing legend Roy Jones Jr. spoke about his involvement with Isaac “Golden Boy” Chilemba (24-4-2, 10 KOs) at a recnet open workout for members of the media in advance of the former world title challenger’s upcoming fight on November 19 against Oleksandr “The Nail” Gvozdyk (11-0, 9 KOs) for the NABF Light Heavyweight Title on the Kovalev-Ward “Pound For Pound” HBO Pay-Per-View televised undercard live from T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas.
Below is a Q and A with Jones as the fight fast approaches:
Question: What can you tell me about Isaac and how did you two get connected?
Jones: “Isaac is very good. He is one of the top-ranked light heavyweights in the world today. He is a very good fighter. I first saw him fight about six or seven years ago and I thought he could be something special. I called him and told him I would like to work with him. The only thing was he was fighting Sergey Kovalev. So I told him that we would wait until after that fight and then he should come to train with me. This guy can fight. I know he can fight. We decided that after the Kovalev fight we would get together. He came here to see me after the Kovalev fight. We both thoroughly enjoyed it. I saw where he had been lacking. Now we are working to correct those things.”
Q: Why do you train fighters?
RJ: “Because I love it. I love giving back to the sport. I feel it would unfair if I didn’t give back to others what I have gained. I love the competition. I love the underdog. I love taking fighters to the next level. The reward for me is that I was able to effect somebody’s life. I was able to take what God gave me and pass it on to somebody else and make their life better as a result. The fact that I can use what God gave me and help make somebody else better that is what I get out of this.”
Q: Talk about working with Isaac.
RJ: “I love training Isaac. His whole career he wanted to be like me. So many people have told him that he can’t be like Roy Jones Jr. They told him to quit trying to fight like Roy Jones Jr. But what they really meant is that they don’t know to teach him to fight like me but instead they told him he just couldn’t do it. I understand how to teach him. He can do some of the things I do. He can’t be Roy Jones Jr. There is only one Roy Jones Jr. I can’t be him and he can’t be me. I wanted to be like Muhammad Ali, that is why I started boxing. I can’t be Muhammad Ali. We always draw a picture of what we want to be in our minds. Now he can learn a lot of reasons why I do the things I do and he can be a better student of the game.”
Q: How far has he come along since you started working together?
RJ: “Isaac has come a long way in a short period of time. I am not so surprised because he had a lot of my movements down already but he just didn’t know why he was doing them. The more we work together the better he is going to get. It is just a matter of time. I am really impressed with him. From what I can tell he wasn’t having a good time in camp in the past. That is what Roy Jones is all about, having a good time while training. You must enjoy your job. If you don’t enjoy your job, then why are you doing it? I enjoy training. I enjoy teaching him.”
Q: What is your prediction for the fight?
RJ: “I think it will be a good fight. I understand Gvozdyk is a very good fighter. Isaac has never been knocked out. Isaac is relentless. He loves what he does. He was in the ring with the toughest puncher in the world, Sergey Kovalev, and even Kovalev couldn’t knock him out.”
Q: What are Gvozdyk’s best attributes?
RJ: “He is a straight puncher. He has power in both hands. He is not a bad fighter at all. I like him. He is quick.”
Kovalev vs. Ward “Pound For Pound”, a 12-round mega-fight for the WBO/IBF/WBA light heavyweight title at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, is presented by Main Events, Roc Nation Sports, Krusher Promotions and Andre Ward Promotions and is sponsored by the MGM Grand Hotel & Casino, Corona Extra, Zappos, JetLux and Monster Products. The championship event will be produced and distributed live by HBO Pay-Per-View® beginning at 9:00 p.m. ET/6:00 p.m. PT. Tickets are available on axs.com and the T-Mobile Arena box office.