Roy Jones: please stop boxing and rapping
Yes, Roy Jones Jr. continues fighting. No, I don’t know why.
I can only assume traveling to Latvia to face fighters best described as “aspiring tomato cans” adds some credibility to his job as an HBO ringside analyst, and possibly pays better than his other side gig writing and performing crappy rap songs about Body By Vi shakes.
Either way, here Jones was last Saturday, in Riga, in a ring, set to face a guy named Courtney Fry.
Did a 39-year-old with an 18-5 record and tw0-fight losing streak figure to pose a threat to the fighter who once ruled the 175-pound division the way East Africans control distance running?
But Roy Jones Jr. turned pro during the Bush administration… the first Bush. His boxing career predates the internet. Guys that old are liable to lose to anyone at any time, for any reason or for no reason at all. Old is reason enough.
I missed the fight live, but my good friend Marcus Vanderburg from Yahoo Sports found the video and sent me the link, which I’ve embedded below. It’s dense with gems. I’ve time stamped my highlights and shared them below, but if there’s anything I’ve missed please use the comments section to point them out.
O:25 — Judging by the poster hanging at ringside, RJJ looks ripped and ready for this bout. The Body By Vi shakes must be treating him right because we can see six-pack abs, plus obliques, plus serratus. Glad to see RJJ trained hard for this one. I mean, it’s not like they would use an old publicity photo or anything. That poster is totally current.
1:43 — Our man Corey Erdman says Courtney Fry looks like Bubbles, the heroin addict/police informant from The Wire. Good call, excpet for one thing: Andre Royo, the guy who played Bubbles, is in much better shape than the man who is about to engage in a professional fistfight.
2:20 — Ring announcer shouts that Fry is an “Olympic Games participant.”
Uh… in boxing?
2:50 — RJJ’s intro begins here. Let’s see how long this takes.
3:43 — 53 seconds later the ring announcer still hasn’t come up for air, and I can’t help noticing the Roy Jones pacing shirtless in the ring corner and the Roy Jones on the poster behind him aren’t built the same. Poster Roy has muscles. In-ring Roy has the remnants of once-bulging biceps but a lot of loose skin where poster Roy has muscle. When RJJ looks in the mirror he might see the guy in the poster, especially if he’s had a drink or two. The rest of us see a guy who needs to stop using decade-old publicity shots.
4:14 — Longest intro ever. Ring announcer did everything but call RJJ “The King of Sting” and “The Count of Monte Fisto.” It took 1 min 24 sec, which is more time than these two appear to have spent training for this fight.
4:26 — Check the bowling shirt on RJJ’s chief second. It’s like they’re going out for 10 frames after the fight.
5:20 — Each guy’s arsenal of old-guy feints on full display. “C’man ya whippersnapper! I’ve forgotten more than you’ll ever know about this here boxin’. Joe Choynski taught me all the tricks!”
6:02 — I don’t speak this language but I know a heavy sigh when I hear one. I’m with the announcer here.
6:42 — Action in the ring is so boring producers decided it was more exciting to cut to shots of people watching the boring action in the ring. That, friends, is how you know you’re watching a boring fight. These will become themes.
11:10 — I’m not saying this fight is fixed, but I do have some questions about why Fry isn’t throwing any punches. Get hit but don’t hit back. Seems like a fool-proof way to lose a fight. We’re through two rounds and still haven’t seen a right hand. Not one.
11:20 — “Showtime!!”
12:15 — “Still Rock n Roll to me.” Billy Joel’s an appropriate choice for between-rounds music. RJJ hasn’t looked good for “The Longest Time.”
I’ll be here all week, folks.
12:26 — Ring card girl with the super-high-cut jorts designed to make her butt look sexier. I’m underwhelmed but she’s still more impressive than Iggy Azalea, whose bum is to glutes what Rick Ross’ chest is to pecs — less a sign of sex appeal than a body’s cry for help.
“Please!! Put the french fries down and take me to the gym!!! Fried is not a food group!!!! Stop mistreating meeee!!!!”
Lemme stop, because we’re 13:43 into this video and RJJ has ramped up the old-guy feints and head movement. He’s doing a great job of avoiding the punches Fry isn’t throwing.
14:40 — These Latvian fans are easily pleased, applauding every time RJJ looks like he might do some damage. Really doesn’t take much to impress them. Wonder how Paula sold there. Pretty well on a per-capita basis, I’m guessing.
15:24 — “Showtime, Baby!’
17:14 — Both guys giving us their best Philly Shell. When employed by a defensive master like Floyd Mayweather or George Benton the Shell gives your opponent precious little to hit. But when used by just about anybody else it’s a really good way to get smacked in the forehead.
17:48 — See?
18:54 — Fry throws a right hand! That’s the full extent of his offensive fury. That right there. That’s it.
20:26 — Roy. Jones. Jr. Is. Exhausted. I can only imagine how much more gassed he would be if Fry was… idunno… punching back. But looking at these two between rounds it’s clear which of them is hoping a fire drill interrupts this thing. Hint: it ain’t the guy who looks like Bubbles the Dope Fiend. The look on RJJ’s face at 20:26 says “8 more rounds? Sheeeeeeeeeeeit.”
21:47 — In 1980 the Washington Post‘s Thomas Boswell interviewed one of Sugar Ray Leonard’s sparring partners for a story called “Pain,” which detailed the 15-round war with Roberto Duran which gave Leonard his first loss.
Quoth the sparring partner: “Sugar Ray’s like the rain. Once he starts, you can’t make him stop.”
If Sugar Ray is like the rain, Fry is like that overcast day when you walk outside and turn your palms toward the sky because you think you felt a drop or two, but after a few seconds you realize rain isn’t coming, so you just keep moving. Sugar Ray is relentless as rain. Fry’s as bland as a cloudy day.
22:45 — You had one job, man.
Keep the cameras on the ring, lest anything interesting happen. That’s it. That is it.
But that wasn’t good enough for whoever produced this telecast. While we’re looking at RJJ’s cornerman, Russ Anber, Jones hits Fry with the first clean punch he’s landed since 2008. By the time we cut back to the ring we see Fry tumble to the canvas without seeing what sent him here.
Somebody had one effin’ job.
24:20 — And we STILL haven’t seen the punch.
24:30 — Ah… left hook on the chin. The kind of punch Roy Jones Jr. used to throw and land at will when he was Roy Jones Jr.
24:40 — Whatever they paid Fry for, they didn’t pay him to take too many more of those shots. He knows when he’s in a fight he can’t win. Unlike RJJ, he knows when to quit. So he does.
26:40 — Dude over Fry’s right shoulder… why bother with the bottom three buttons? Just open them all. Your gold chains will cover your shame.
26:51 — And still? And still what? Not champion. Surely not champion. No way in hell this bout was for a champ…
26:55 — A WBU title. Incredible. When they intro Roy as an 8-time world champion, are they including this title?
28:19 — Fry taking the mic to explain why he lost, as if Courtney Fry losing a fight is something that demands an explanation.
28:47 — “Whatchall want? Y’all want a song now?”
No. We never wanted a song. Not from a boxer. No.
28:54 — “Gimme the music.”
Please, don’t give him the music. Not if you care about our ears.
29:00 — Too late… “Can’t be Touched…”
No. No you can’t. Not when your opponent refuses to punch you. None of us can be touched under those circumstances.
29:29 — Highlight montage saves us from having to watch this performance.
30:45 — “King I’m like Roy in the ring. I can’t lose.”
Did Roy Jones just compare Roy Jones to Roy Jones?
Yes, Roy Jones just compared Roy Jones to Roy Jones.
This is the worst.
31:36 — That child is clearly on punishment. I can’t think of another word to describe being forced by your parents to listen to RJJ rap.
32:19 — “And I will be back!”
Sadly, he’s not lying.
That’s the shittiest thing about boxing. A baseball player creeping up on 50 eventually runs out leagues bad enough to disguise the decline in his skills. At some point he gets cut and never picked up again. Career ends whether or not he’s ready, though at 45 he should be ready.
But boxing doesn’t have teams. Just a bunch of shady promoters who will keep you in the ring as long as they can find a guy bad enough to make you look good. And there’s always somebody like that.
So as long as those guys exist, and as long as Latvians don’t mind hearing rap music that’s bad even by athlete-turned-rapper standards Roy Jones will, indeed, be back.
FOLLOW MORGAN CAMPBELL ON TWITTER