Of Me I Sing
The hits keep coming from Roy Jones Jr., who hopes to bolster his rep with rap
Remember Roy Jones Jr., the light heavyweight champion, the only undisputed titleholder in boxing? Jones, concerned that you don't, has a soon-to-be-released single called Y'all Must've Forgot. The drumbeating, hip-hop tune begins: "Everybody get on your feet/Right now for Roy Jones Jr./The best pound-for-pound fighter in the world/Whoever don't agree, you know what?/I guess, y'all must've forgot."
The reason Jones seems such a distant memory is that despite his technical brilliance, he hardly ever works up a sweat. Un-questionably superior to any of his challengers, Jones has never been seriously tested in his 46 pro fights. Critics carp about his reluctance to mix it up or go for knockdowns. Fight fans have even organized a "Roycott" on the Internet, claiming he has padded his record by pounding cream puffs. Jones tries to beat the rap with rap: "They got the nerve to say I ain't fight nobody/ I just make them look like nobody/Y'all must've forgot."
On this last point at least, the record book backs up Jones: Five of his opponents (Jorge Castro, Bernard Hopkins, Thulane Malinga, Virgil Hill and Eric Lucas) have gone on to win world titles. Alas, Julio Gonzalez, who faced Jones last Saturday at the Staples Center in Los Angeles, was not in their league. Although undefeated (27-0,17 KOs), Gonzalez, whom no one will ever call Speedy, was a pigeon ripe for plucking. Jones predicted his foe would see neither the 12th round nor his hands, which he boasted were "so fast in training camp, I couldn't even eat with them."
At 24 Gonzalez is eight years younger than Jones and, at 6' 2", three inches taller. Still, Jones treated this bout as little more than a light workout for what looks to be the richest of his career, against the winner of the Sept. 15 middleweight tide unification showdown between Hopkins and Felix Trinidad. Jones dominated Gonzalez, dropping him in Rounds 1 (on a short left to the chin), 5 (another left hook) and 12 (a right).
Hands held high, Jones sidestepped Gonzalez's lumbering advances and deflected his increasingly predictable shots. Jones attempted 375 punches—a miserly 31 per round—but landed more than half (192) to win a lopsided decision. "You knock him down, he gets up like you gave him a burst of energy," Jones said. "So I [wasn't] going to punch myself out trying to get him down."
Unimpressed by Jones's economy and control of the ring, and resentful that he wouldn't finish off an overmatched opponent, the near-sellout crowd of 20,409 began booing him in the seventh round and never let up. "I was surprised Jones didn't go for a knockout," Gonzalez said.
He'all must've forgot.
Before Jones played stick-and-move with Gonzalez at the Staples Center, WBC featherweight king Erik (El Terrible) Morales played stick-and-stand with No. 1 contender Injin Chi. From bell to bell both boxers withstood intense combinations of punches. In Round 6 Morales weathered a head butt that opened a deep cut over his left eye. By the end of the fight, his eye, the lid puffy and purple, had swollen shut. "It was a difficult fight because he did not back down," said Morales, 24, after being awarded a unanimous decision. "It was also difficult fighting with only one eye."