Jones is Back
By Jerry Glick: Looking as relaxed as ever, Roy Jones Jr. sat on the little stage at the Club Bar and Grill in Madison Square Garden to announce that he is definitely not done with his career. He will face unbeaten Anthony “Tyger” Hanshaw on July 14 at The Mississippi Coast Coliseum and Convention Center in Biloxi, Mississippi.
Jones’ career, that stands at, 50-4 (3, is a documented part of boxing history and it needs no review here. Only his last six fights are what matters at this time. They included three losses to Antonio Tarver (2), and Glen Johnson (1). Jones blames those defeats on coming back down to Light-Heavyweight from Heavyweight after he beat John Ruiz for the WBA belt. When he went up in weight he added muscle, not fat (the way Archie Moore did it a half century ago). It is very difficult to lose muscle. Doing so weakened him, he believes, leading to the losses. His body is now back at Light-Heavyweight and he said he doesn’t even want to try to move up to Cruiserweight because of the problems the added weight caused.
Jones gave his career a rest until he got back on the winning track with a dominant performance over Prince Badi Ajamu taking a unanimous decision over 12 rounds. That was a year ago, and now he is back to make it all the way to the top as boxer once again. So he says. Thus the show has been named; “He’s Baack! Witness the Return of a King.” It will be promoted by Murad Muhammad who held court describing the promotion in a way that only he could. Mr. Muhammad brings drama to anything he is involved in, and this fight is no different.
Henshaw was not the first pick for this fight. Jones wanted to fight either Joe Calzaghe, Glen Johnson, or Jermain Taylor, but he was not interested in waiting until they were ready to fight so he settled on Henshaw; a hungry young fighter.
Hanshaw, has a 21-0-1 (14), record and is looking to make by facing Jones. According to Jones and Hanshaw, Hanshaw comes to fight, and he comes to win.
On hand was the legendary trainer Lou Duva. Duva had a few words to add to the event too. He had this to say about the former ’boy promoter,’ Muhammad. “Muhammad is a fight guy,” said Duva.
Duva also assessed Jones saying, “I knew Roy Jones when he was in my camp in Pasadena, TX. He was also a good guy. He does everything the right way.”
“Styles make fights,” continued Duva. “And Anthony has the style that will give Roy fits. He comes to fight,” added Duva.
Jones said, “I have to do what I do, and I’ll show you what I still do on the 14th.”
“I go around looking for a challenge,” said Jones. “That’s why I’m fighting a guy who’s 21-0.”
As an added attraction at the press conference comedian and fight fan, Pat Cooper was on hand and even took the mike to dish out a few combinations of jokes instead of punches.
Also on the show is exciting welterweight Oscar Diaz, 25-2 (12), who fought a war with Golden Johnson last time out, and undefeated Maureen “The Real Million Dollar Baby” Shea, 10-0 (5).