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Home » Boxing legend Roy Jones Jr opens up on pride after Hall of Fame honor

Boxing legend Roy Jones Jr opens up on pride after Hall of Fame honor

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Boxing legend Roy Jones, Jr. is universally regarded as one of the greatest pound-for-pound prizefighters in boxing history. In June, he’ll be heading to Canastota, New York, for his induction into the International Boxing Hall of Fame (IBHOF).

The IBHOF’s Class of 2022 inductees will be inducted during June 9-12 in Canastota, New York, along with the postponed Class of 2021 and 2020 formal inductions due to COVID-19 restrictions.

“It is one of the highest honors ever you can get to be placed in the International Boxing Hall of Fame,” Jones spoke about being selected for induction. “I have the upmost respect for the Hall of Fame. I would like to thank them for inducting me and everybody else in my career throughout my whole life, starting with the days with my father (Roy Jones, Sr.), to the days with Coach Merk (Alton Merkerson), along with ‘Whop’ (Valerice Cooper). The list goes on. I thank everybody who was involved and hope that I didn’t leave too many people out.

“It takes a group of people to build a community not just one person. It took a lot of people to build my career to what I became. I thank God mostly for it. We’re trying to build the future champions of tomorrow. I feel like now that I’m in the Hall of Fame as a boxer, my next goal is to become a Hall of Fame trainer. Peace be to you all.”

Jones, 52, has just about done it all in boxing and more as a fighter, trainer, promoter, actor, color commentator, and rapper. He is the undisputed all-around king of boxing!

One of the most prolific amateur boxers in the world, Jones compiled a reported 121-13 record, including gold medal performances at the 1984 National Junior Olympics and 1986 & 1987 National Golden Gloves Tournaments. At the 1988 Olympics in Seoul, South Korea, Jones reached the championship final of the light middleweight division against Park Si-Hun, of South Korea.

Jones suffered arguably the worst decision in boxing history, losing 3-2, despite out-punching his opponent, 86 to 32 landed punches, and he was forced to settle for a silver medal. Even his opponent admitted that Jones won their fight and the AIBA later suspended the three judges who selected the hometown fighter as the winner. Jones was selected as the Val Barker Trophy winner as the best boxer of the 1988 Olympics and, due to controversy, the scoring system for Olympic boxing was changed, replacing the 20-point must system with electronic scoring, and the five judges were suspended.

Born and raised in Pensacola, Florida, Jones went on to become a 10-time, 4-division (heavyweight, light heavyweight, super middleweight, and middleweight) World champion as a professional, finishing with an amazing 66-9 (47 KOs) pro record, especially considering the elite caliber opponents he fought during his career (1989-2018). He was 22-3 (14 KOs) in World title fights, defeating a Who’s Who of World champion opponents: Jorge Vaca, Jorge Fernando Castro, Bernard Hopkins, Thulani Malinga, James Toney, Vinny Pazienza (Paz), Eric Lucas, Mike McCallum, Montell Griffin, Virgil Hill, Lou DelValle, Otis Grant, Reggie Johnson, Julio Cesar Gonzalez, Clinton Woods, John Ruiz, Antonio Tarver, Felix Trinidad, and Jeff Lacy.

In 2013, Jones co-founded Roy Jones Jr. Boxing Promotions (RJJ Boxing), and the Las Vegas-based promotional company has handled and promoted some of the most talented boxers in the world such as 2-time World bantamweight champion Joseph “King Kong” Agbeko, 2-time World junior bantamweight title challenger “Mighty” Aston Palicte, Interim World super featherweight titlist Bryan “El Toquito” Vazquez (37-4, 20), Connor “The Kid” Coyle, John “The Phenom” Vera (18-1, 11 KOs), Kendo “Tremendo” Castaneda, Randy Moreno, Max “The Baby-Faced Assassin” Ornelas, Ray “Valentino” Ximenez, Juan “Just Business” Barajas, and former WBC” Youth Heavyweight Champion Alexander “The Great” Flores.

Pro boxers Jones currently trains include Chris Eubank, Jr. (31-2, 23 KOs), Michael Williams, Jr. (19-1, 12 KOs), Brian Perrella (17-3, 14 KOs), Andrew Murphy (4-0, 3 KOs), Kevin Newman (12-3-1, 7 KOs), Ikrau Kerwat (10-3, 5 KOs), Glenn Hagler (6-1-2, 4 KOs), and 4-time national amateur champion Tika Hemingway (1-0).

In 2012, RJJ Boxing president Lisa Veltre first met Roy, who expressed his interest in becoming involved as a boxing promoter, and RJJ Boxing was soon formed in Las Vegas.

“Roy is the biggest prankster,” Veltre revealed. “He loves playing jokes. He is the most down to earth person to partner with in business. We’ve become good friends. I’ve learned so much from him about boxers, the business of boxing, and what goes on in and out of the squared circle.

“I never really look at him from a business aspect because we are personal friends – Roy became mor of a mentor to me – so I never thought of what it meant for our company when he was selected for induction into the International Boxing Hall of Fame. I knew it was a huge honor, but it had been on the horizon for a few years (until he became eligible). I’m elated! It’s so amazing. If all goes right, schedule-wise because things change so quickly in boxing, we want to be in Canastota Jim to support him when he receives the highest honor in boxing.”

Well known boxing media personality James Smitty” Smith has known since the 1980’s, first as a guest on longtime Radio Show Smitty’s Sportstalk, as well as a guest on Smith’s television show, IN THIS CORNER. “Smitty,” who has served as host of the annual IBHOF Induction Weekend since 2016, in addition to working the last four years for RJJ Boxing as its color commentator on UFC FIGHT PASS.

“I knew when I first laid my pugilistic eyes on Roy Jones. Jr. at the 1988 Summer Olympics that he was destined for Superstardom as a professional prize fighter,” Smith remarked. “Physically, Roy is as gifted as anyone who ever laced up a pair of boxing gloves, but he also packaged so much showmanship into his In-ring and out of Ring endeavors. He is the embodiment of what a Boxing Hall of Famer is and should be. He was born to someday reside in Canastota. It will be one of my great honors to welcome him into the hallowed grounds of the International Boxing Hall of Fame, especially because of my relationship with Roy, who I’m proud to call my friend.”

Going into the IBHOF in his first year of eligibility was an unquestioned lock for Roy Jones, Jr.. The lone debate is how high near the top he rates on boxing’s mythical list of all-time greats.