Roy Levesta Jones Jr. (born January 16, 1969) competed in boxing from 1989 to 2018, and held multiple world championships in four weight classes, including titles at middleweight, super middleweight, light heavyweight, and heavyweight, and is the only boxer in history to start his professional career at light middleweight and go on to win a heavyweight title. Enough of the boring and pro style intro. Roy Jones Jr. was synonymous with Superman. Like his song says, “ In his prime, he couldn’t be touched”. What if his prime was in a different era? What if Captain Hook was around in the 70’s? Could he toy with the opposition as he had done so many times in his near three decades of fighting. Let’s use the only official method to find out: My analysis.
Vs. Joe Frazier: Joe Frazier was a pressure fighting swarmer, who would bend over at the ways in order to avoid incoming punches. Fraser style and vault in meeting challenges head on, often engaging in battles of attrition which he won by being tougher. Roy Jones was an elusive pressure counter fighter with overwhelm opponents with speed and bizarre angles. Roy Jones was very unorthodox in his timing, showboating, and power for his frame. Joe Frazier is considered a prototype for fighters like Mike Tyson and James Tony. Roy Jones defeated James Tony in a fight where James Toney emulated the dodging style of Joe Frazier and tried to apply pressure. Pressure does not work on Roy Jones because he wants opponents to throw punches. He isn’t trying to tire an opponent out by letting throw. Roy Jones has an analytical mind where he would scope out weaknesses based on the punches you throw. The uppercut long known to be a weakness of Joe Frazier is one of the two best punches in Roy Jones arsenal. The other punch is the left hook. In the early part of this fight Joe Frazier would be winning by being able to pressure Roy Jones at will. However overtime, Roy Jones will begin to land his counter shots with enough effectiveness to score points but not enough to get the knockout. People remember Joe Frazier for his losses to George Foreman and Muhammad Ali, but they also forget that Joe Frazier was only 5’11 and 205 lb beating 220lb 6 ft 3 plus monsters into submission. He took heavy punches.
Roy Jones wins a comfortable decision.
Vs. George Foreman: we’ve all acknowledge Roy Jones Jr’s propensity to be knocked out and spectacular fashion in his later years. Antonio Tarver, Glen Johnson, and Dennis Lebedev all turned him into a statue. And none of them had anything close to the cannon that Foreman possessed. George Foreman fought with full aggression ahead. Young George however had stamina issues. This fight would be very tense with Jones forced to use movement and defense to dodge Foreman wild and wide blows. He could not block. He would have to outright run. Once Foreman tires, the fight still isn’t easy. As evidenced I’m the Ring Lyle war, a hurt and tired Foreman is still deadly. At no point could Foreman match Roy’s pace and ring iq. Take Roy’s Glen Kelly extermination into account or the same of Richard Hill. Roy was able to outlast his opponent, literally dance circles around the larger man, and even scored a knockout with his hands behind his back. This fight would end up being a boxing lesson with Roy pot shotting a large target and Foreman clubbing at air.
Roy Jones wins via unanimous decision.
Vs. Muhammad Ali: This the man from whom Roy Jones adopted showboating and dancing. The Ali of the 70’s was still fast, but not like in the previous decade. He was smart enough to use the loose top rope to provide extra range to avoid George Foreman’s power. His chin was proven. Roy Jones would not have a faced a complete fighter like this in his career. Enjoying a speed advantage, Roy would be able to dip and dodge out of danger. Ali would be able to time Jones’ entries and dodge. I seem to remember Ali dodging 23 punches in a corner. Both men would taunt and be prompted to attack. With such similarities I’m the approach to fighting, this fight comes down to intangibles. Muhammad Ali could take severe punishment and never ended up on the canvas for a 19 count. Roy Jones has been left comatose several times.
Muhammad Ali wins via late knockout.
Vs. Leon Spinks: Leon Spinks had the stamina and courage for two men. Though not a technically resolute boxer, he was a brawler who would win fights with pressure and a never ending desire to score. Spinks didn’t throw with a lot of power but he could make contact enough to score. He was the aggressor. Roy Jones would welcome this aggression as Spinks would not have a great size ( 6’1 to 5’11) advantage. Spinks would also be less powerful and slower. Roy would intercept the pressure punching and land brutal counters. Eventually the fight would become a showcase for mockery as Roy would land at will. Spinks wouldn’t be in danger of getting knocked out by one shot, but he would be thoroughly outclassed due to his lack of technique and attack options. He would go forward into punches, and the accumulation of damage would get to Spinks.
Roy Jones wins via knockout in the final three rounds
Vs. Kenny Norton: At 6'3 and 211 lbs on average, the defensive minded slick Norton would be a problem. His crab shell defense would block most attacks from a shorter fighter. He also moved very well and.counteref superbly. Roy Jones ' only chance would be a knockout as his usual array would not bleed through the defense. Much worse is that Norton attacks from angles most people don't train from. Norton would be landing at ever turn with Roy struggling to maintain distance.and wary of the power coming at him.
Kenny Norton wins via unanimous decision
Roy Jones wins via unanimous decision.
Vs. Larry Holmes: Larry Holmes was the late 70’s heir apparent to the hard nose style of boxing. He was more a pugilist than a boxer. Larry Holmes would jab you as quick as he would perform a diving leg drop off a car. Larry Holmes brings one of the best jabs into boxing. He brings a chin that took on Earnie Shavers, intelligence to overcome Kenny Norton, and a right hand that sent Marvis Frazier across state lines. He also isn’t afraid to punch with his opponents. That is the killer. Antonio Tarver took out Roy Jones by not being afraid. What’s going to enjoy the significant power advantage when he was fighting at light middleweight and middleweight, but at light heavyweight he was routinely the smaller guy. Earlier in his career, fighter would shell up after feeling his power. Antonio Tarver had the courage to look at Roy while Roy was punching and answer back. The result was Superman staggering on the canvas. Larry Holmes was a meaner man with same boxing ideals.
Larry Holmes wins by knockout in the first half of the fight.
Roy Jones Jr didn't he become heavyweight champion of the world, but the heavyweight that he faced John Ruiz, was not an upper echelon heavyweight. There are styles and weaknesses that Roy Jones could exploit in the Golden Era, but the flaws he would offer in return make it very unlikely that Roy Jones would be considered one of the best of the error if he was a heavyweight. His victories would come against the second class of heavyweight champion as it did in actuality. That’s not to say that he will not be a great heavyweight. He just didn’t have the toughness and size to fight evenly with them. And I would never say that to his face!