Still, Jones was not moved to don gloves and return to the gym. Instead, he went in search of a horse to ride at the Circle G Ranch, which is owned by a friend, Wilfred Grant. Peacocks strutted by, and a red fox darted away as Jones swung a leg over a taffy-colored mare called Mandy. For a while, he was happy again, clowning and cantering in the paddock. Grant called Jones to come into the barn to inspect a three-month-old colt. The fighter crooned over it with unaffected delight.
"You know," said Grant, "after I watched that fight I was hollerin' at him through the TV all the way to Korea, 'Don't take that [silver] medal! Don't take it, son.' But he did the right thing."
As he left the ranch, Jones said he would be back the next morning to ride again. "You know," he said longingly, "they've got a kind of family-sized pond back there with some huge black catfish in it." All the way home he sang along with the rap music from the car radio. If—when—he goes pro, there may not be time for trips to the Circle G.
That evening, after some prodding by his father, Jones finally headed downtown to the boxing gym at the Escambia County Boys' Club, where Sugar Ray Leonard paid a call last year to help raise funds for the facility. A visitor couldn't help but notice the SRL Inc. posters displayed on the walls or the SRL Inc. badge on the breast pocket of Jones's shirt.
Two summers ago Jones sparred with Leonard at Leonard's camp in Maryland and had the temerity on one occasion to nail the great man with a hard left. "Don't you know who I am?" Leonard asked, feigning indignation. "Sure I do," said Jones. "But you're an old man now."
The wise money is saying that, for all his misgivings, Roy Jones Jr. may have his first pro fight sometime early next year, under the auspices of Leonard and Trainer.
On his return home from the gym, Jones learns that WALA wants to send a limo to collect his silver medal. But where is it? "It was sitting over there somewhere," the boxer says vaguely, pointing at a cabinet in the living room, "unless somebody moved it. No? Try the bottom shelf." Finally, the medal is found, without its case. It is not an object, the visitor gathers, to which its owner attaches much importance.