Former multi-weight world boxing champion Roy Jones Jr says it would take $10 million for him to considering getting back in the ring, while revealing that Mike Tyson’s punches still pack the power of a “horse kick.”
Jones Jr, 52, laced up his gloves again in November of last year when he faced fellow ring icon Tyson in a well-received exhibition bout in California which was declared a draw.
Tyson has since suggested that he could step between the ropes again for similar exhibition shows, although Jones Jr insists that the price would have to be in the eight-figure region for him to consider doing so.
“Listen. If they ain’t go $10 million to talk to me off top, I don’t want to talk about it. Because I am a performer. I am an entertainer,” Jones Jr told RT Sport at a recent AIBA conference in Switzerland.
“Just two days ago I put out a rap song with about 50 or more artists on it. Old school artists: Chuck D [of Public Enemy]. I mean, Twista. Artists who are legendary in the business of rap music.”
“Myself, [former basketballers] Shaquille O’ Neal, Ron Artest. We made that song. We are on that song. With those hip hop legends. That now makes me a bona fide hip hop legend. You understand me?” Jones continued.
“So why would I take chances at letting y’all take shots at my head which might knock something off up here so that I can’t rap no more, when I can rap forever, and I am now a bona fide double-platinum hip hop legend. I’m gonna let y’all mess it up for a few million dollars?
“No. If you ain’t got 10, I don’t wanna talk,” he confirmed.
Jones Jr did, however, shed light on the controversial split draw and how willing he was to face Iron Mike.
“I didn’t want to get back in the ring, but back in my prime I did want to fight Mike Tyson,” Jones said.
“So when Mike said he wanted to have an exhibition and they called me, I was like ‘Of course! I’ll do that for free. I just wanted to get in there with him anyway.’
“I wasn’t so mad about the situation, I was just so happy because I always wanted to see what it was like to be punched by Mike.”
“And when Mike hits you, you feel like a horse is kicking you. You know, a horse kick to the head can kill you. And that’s how Mike’s punches feel,” he revealed.
“When Mike hits you, it’s like nothing you’ve ever felt before, especially being a smaller guy, of a smaller stature than he is. He’s a much bigger guy. He was 220 [pounds] but he was carrying 300 at one time. The biggest I’ve been is 225 but that was as a fat boy like I am now.
“He was a muscular 220. He was a pretty thick 300. He wasn’t no flabby 300. He had a little bit of a gut. But he was pretty broad, you know what I mean?
“To be in there with Mike it surprised me, because the power was exactly what I thought it would be, but the defense was far better than I thought it would be, even at 54 years old.
“The defense was the biggest thing. I was shocked that he could still be so defensive at 54 years old.”
— ESPN Ringside (@ESPNRingside) May 4, 2020
Probed on whether he had to remember how Tyson in his heyday was dubbed ‘The Baddest Man on The Planet,’ Jones Jr was affirmative.
“Of course. Of course, You have to think about it. Look at him. He still looks like a killer. And he still is Mike Tyson.
“The last thing to leave a boxer is his punching power. As a matter of fact sometimes as guys get older, they get stronger and better at punching they just get a little bit slower with it.
“So him, he’s a heavyweight who never was slow. He’s awfully explosive. That’s just who Mike Tyson is. So of course you have to pay attention to everything about Mike.”
Like the great one said “don’t count the days, make the days count.” pic.twitter.com/ax4UQydN60
— Roy Jones Jr. (@RealRoyJonesJr) February 1, 2021
As for his legacy, Jones Jr confirmed that he regards himself as the best fighter of all time on achievements alone, as nobody has ever turned pro as a light-middleweight and gone on to become a heavyweight champion.
“I rank myself above all boxers in my mind. In my opinion. Just because of what I accomplished. Others may differ. Others may have their own opinion.
“Nobody has ever been born to do that. And you’re telling me that’s not pound-for-pound the best fighter ever? We’re talking about pounds here. We’re talking about 154 to heavyweight. That’s pounds. And they call it pound-for-pound. So how is that man not clearly, the pound-for-pound baddest to ever do it?”
“It’s almost unquestionable,” Jones Jr continued.
“Because when you look at those lower weights, sometimes three, four, five pounds separates those lower weight classes. But as the weight goes bigger, more pounds separate them. So when you’re talking about 154 pounds to heavyweight, it covers way more than 102 or 115 pounds to 150.
“When you go from a 100 to 154, that’s just 54 pounds. But if you go from 154 pounds to some heavyweight champions now that are 265. Some can be upwards or close to 300.
Asking how heavy Andy Ruiz was last time he fought Joshua, Jones said: “So that’s a lot of weight. That’s more weight than anybody can ever say they covered. Is there really an argument about pound-for-pound if you think about it? No!”