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ROY JONES JR.: "BERNARD DOES NOT WANT TO MAKE THE FIGHT"

By Ben Thompson | August 31, 2009
ROY JONES JR.:

"He doesn't want to make it. It's just that obvious. I mean, it's nothing big to see. It's simple; Bernard does not want to make the fight. There it is. It's just that simple, you know? I mean, the main reason why he didn't want to make it back then, I understood later, was because he had to give Don King part of his money...Now he's mad because he's gotta pay Oscar, so he don't want to do a 50/50. Well, if he keeps giving his money to all these people and making it to where he can't make the fight, that's not my fault. That's his fault...And now that he sees I'm close to being back to myself, he definitely don't want to see me now," stated former multi-division champion Roy Jones Jr. as he shared his thoughts about the recent confrontation he had with Bernard Hopkins on the Calvin Murphy Show. You don't want to miss what else he had to say in this explosive interview as Jones speaks his mind about Hopkins, Golden Boy Promotions, the current state of boxing, Joe Calzaghe, Manny Pacquiao, Floyd Mayweather Jr., the likelihood of a future clash with UFC middleweight champion Anderson Silva and much, much more.

BT: Captain Hook! What's going on man?

RJ: Ain't nothing. What's happenin' with you?

BT: Just chillin'. First and foremost, congratulations on the victory.

RJ: Thank you. I appreciate that.

BT: I think even more important than the victory was the performance itself. I saw the fight and I gotta admit you looked like the Roy Jones of old.

RJ: Yeah, I feel like I'm getting back to my old self, you know? That's what I've been training to do. People keep saying, "Why you keep fighting?" Well, that's one of the reasons; I want to go out and be myself, you know? If I go out and be myself, then I can't complain; I've got no excuses and no complaints. I just want to go out and be myself. I don't want to go out there and be somebody else or not feel like I wasn't being myself. I want to go out feeling like I was 100% myself.

BT: It looks like you're having fun in the ring again.

RJ: Most definitely!

BT: It seems like you're getting back to what you were doing prior to your losses to Tarver and Johnson. It seems like you have a totally different attitude now as opposed to back when you were first coming off of those fights.

RJ: Yeah, most definitely. I definitely feel I have a much better attitude in the ring. I've had more fun for sure and I'm definitely enjoying myself more.

BT: So what's next? I know there's a lot of talk about this Danny Green fight down in Australia.

RJ: Yeah, that's definitely what I want to do next. We're deep into negotiations.

BT: Assuming everything goes well with negotiations, is this going to be another pay-per-view event?

RJ: Yeah, it's definitely going to be a pay-per-view event. It'll be in Australia, well, more than likely, right now, it's looking like Australia. If somebody else comes up with the right price and acts like they want the fight, we can move it, but right now, we're looking at Australia.

BT: Do you guys already have a date penciled in?

RJ: We're looking at mid-November.

BT: I know you mentioned that's what you're looking at right now unless something else comes along, but what else is out there that you think might come along? I know you and Bernard had that showdown on the Calvin Murphy Show the other day.

RJ: Yeah, well that proves that Bernard don't want to fight me so, I mean, that's over with it. I didn't think he'd want to fight me no way, but some of these guys was like, "You need to call in and just speak your mind so people can understand what your position is on this." I said, "My position is simple." My position is if he's so worried about the percentages and he thinks he can beat me, let's go 60 to the winner and 40 to the loser. You can't lose that way. The reason he's worried about the percentages is because he always wants to claim he runs something, but he don't run nothing. I mean, he's a Golden Boy fighter, yeah, but he don't run Golden Boy. When he fights, Golden Boy will take they percentage off whatever he makes and when I fight, you know, I'm Square Ring and I run Square Ring so he feels like if he gave me a 50/50 split, he's gonna end up with less money because he knows he gotta give Golden Boy, or A.K.A. Oscar, whatever he gotta give and it's going to make his percentage less than mine. His ego is what's not allowing him to take the fight because he feel like in a 50/50 deal, he's taking the worst end of the stick because right now, he's gotta pay Golden Boy. He knows I ain't gotta pay nobody; I do my own thing so that's all that deal is about. Secondly, if he really thinks he can beat me, he'd take the 60/40 deal, 60 to the winner and 40 to the loser. And he keeps making a big, big, big deal about saying Golden Boy has to promote the fight. That's the same people who did that to Malignaggi this weekend. They can pick all the judges to make sure if it's close, Bernard can get the decision. Everybody knows that. This is not a dumb game. We've been doing this for years, you know? If you're with the big promoter and the fight's close, nine times out of ten, you're gonna get the decision because the promoter is paying the judges and everybody else, so they're going to lean toward their guy because they want to get the work. So it's quite natural for me to assume that they would want to pick all the judges and do all that other stuff and I still told them that if they're going to do all of that, I'll still be willing to go 60 to the winner and 40 to the loser. He was like, "No!" So the guy on the Calvin Murphy Show goes, "What about the winner take all?" I said that's even more in my favor; that's even better for me and Bernard hung up the phone. That shows people that he's not going to fight me and he's not interested in fighting me. He feels like I'm at a low point in my career and he don't want to do nothing to help me get up because he felt like when he was at a low point in his career, I didn't help him get up, but I did. I was the one who told him to go out and fight those lighter weight guys first. I said, "Then you'll make a big fight between us. Then you come back and we'll fight and it'll be worth our while." If he fought me right then, I was just going to beat him and then it would have been over with for his career. It would have been the end of it because when I beat him, nobody would want to fight him no more. So, he did what I said. Once he beat those little guys, he could make it a better fight for us and we could cash in. That was a smart thing that I told him back then. He don't want to admit it, but I was telling him the smart way to do business. If he don't want to admit it, that's cool, that's on him. Most people know I'm not the one that isn't willing to fight. I'm good with that.

BT: At this point, it does seem like it's Bernard who doesn't want the fight. I know in the past, you were pretty adamant about taking 60% and giving him an ass whoopin', but now, this new Roy Jones seems a lot easier to make fights with and is finally willing to do an even split or winner take 60, loser take 40 type of deal. It seems like a fight between you two can finally be made, but Bernard Hopkins doesn't want to make it.

RJ: He doesn't want to make it. It's just that obvious. I mean, it's nothing big to see. It's simple; Bernard does not want to make the fight. There it is. It's just that simple, you know? I mean, the main reason why he didn't want to make it back then, I understood later, was because he had to give Don King part of his money. When I offered him 60/40, I said, "Well, your 40 is probably going to be more like 20." He was feeling mad then because he had to pay Don. Now he's mad because he's gotta pay Oscar, so he don't want to do a 50/50. Well, if he keeps giving his money to all these people and making it to where he can't make the fight, that's not my fault. That's his fault...and he wants to blame me for it.

BT: Honestly, with both of you guys still fighting right now, I think Roy Jones vs. Bernard Hopkins is a bigger pay-per-view fight than any other pay-per-view fight you guys do with any other fighter.

RJ: And it helps boxing right now because boxing is in a terrible state and it needs a fight like that and this idiot is too dumb to do it. But it would definitely help boxing right now because boxing is in a terrible state and it needs a shot in the arm if we can get it and he won't even do it.

BT: When I heard him hang up on the phone on the show, I kind of figured that the chances of you two finally coming to terms were still pretty slim.

RJ: And now that he sees I'm close to being back to myself, he definitely don't want to see me now.

BT: So what is it that has you close to being back to yourself? Is it your attitude? Have you been working on a different things in the gym? Is it...

RJ: (Cutting in) It's all that. It's the attitude and my skill level. You know, my dad came in and kind of got me tuned up with some of my skill, which I was getting back to, but by him coming in, it kind of helped speed that process up. And because I did that, I realize now that you gotta go back and kind of look at yourself and figure out what it is you're doing, make goals for yourself or figure out where you are in your life. I thought about that and I said, "You know what? I proved everything I need to prove in boxing. I have nothing else that I need to prove in boxing, so if I'm going to box, the state of boxing is not good right now." Boxing needs, like I said, a shot in the arm. We need some entertainment because the UFC is completely taking over. Nobody wants to watch boxing because it's boring. All the fighters in MMA, they can watch because there truly isn't a boring fighter...they're more like a Roy Jones Jr. I just said what I'm going to do is I'm going to go back and make this game fun, enjoy myself again and start doing it for the people, not for me. So I went back and started doing it for the people, not me. When I did that, it made it fun because I have nothing to prove. I shouldn't be so concerned about an opponent as I should be worried about the people having a great time watching me beat the opponent and that's what I had to make myself do.

BT: I think you're right. I think that's what's made the difference between boxing and MMA lately. It seems like those MMA fighters have the kind of mentality where they want to go out there and perform for the fans whereas...

RJ: (Cutting in) Let me say one thing about that too. Do you know why that's the case? Because for us, if you lose, they write your behind off. In MMA, if you lose, it don't mean nothing. If you went out there and performed good and put on a great performance, they want to see you again. In boxing, if you lose, all the networks try to tell you, "Okay, you lost, we shouldn't have to pay you no more money no more. You should be able to fight for us for nothing now almost." It's not fair, so that's where the problem comes. It's just like I told Bernard. Okay, had he fought me four or five years ago, when I beat him, his career would have been over and that would have been dumb. Don't go do what they want to do and take yourself out the game. That would have been totally dumb.

BT: I never understood that. I don't understand why boxers are written off just because they have one or two losses and people are calling for them to retire.

RJ: Exactly! Exactly! Right away, they get one or two losses, it's over with and time for you to retire now all of a sudden. And that's not fair. That's why the UFC, they don't have to worry about that. They can lose three in a row, so what, they still get another chance. You understand me? Whereas in boxing, you go and lose two or three in a row, oh, you dead. You might as well go on and put a lid on yourself becauase as far as they concerned, you a dead man.

BT: Well speaking of the UFC, everybody wants to know what's going on with the possible fight with Anderson Silva. I know you went out to UFC 101 and checked him out personally, so what did you think?

RJ: Well, he inspired me to go back out and entertain my people more when I checked him out because now I realize more about what it is and why he wants to fight me. He's very intrigued with my style. He goes and does kind of the same thing that I do, but he doing it in the UFC and I'm doing it in a boxing ring, but he's out there entertaining the people. He's not out there giving them boring fights, he's giving them entertainment, you know? He's doing hands down, hands by his sides; he doing the Roy Jones, but he just doing it in the UFC instead of a boxing ring. It's fun and it's exciting and the fans love it. I even loved it when I went. He made me realize why people used to love me so much.

BT: We spoke to Ed Soares the other day and from the way it sounds, as far as they're concerned, once Anderson Silva is done with the UFC, ya'll two are going to box, like that's practically a done deal...

RJ: (Cutting in) And I'm looking forward to it.

BT: So have you guys had serious talks about this or is this all just hypothetical?

RJ: Well, we just talking hypothetically because we don't want to cause no contractual issues or do anything to disrupt his contractual obligations, so we can't really go talk about that like that right now. We just gotta wait until he get himself cleared up and once he get himself cleared up, then we'll talk. Meanwhile, I'll just keep doing what I'm doing to keep myself active until he can come do some boxing matches and when he get away free to do it, then we'll do it.

BT: I don't know how much you've seen of Anderson Silva's boxing skills, but just from what you have seen of him, what kind of fight would you expect out of him inside the ring? Is it no comparison? Is Roy Jones Jr. just going to blow him out the water and send him back to the Octagon?

RJ: Definitely not going to blow him out the water. He's a very good fighter. He's very smart, he's very active and his skills are better than people give him credit for. I'm definitely not going to be able to blow him out the water. That's without a doubt.

BT: Well, I definitely hope that fight happens. I think that PPV could possibly break all records.

RJ: I do too. That's why I can't understand why Dana White don't do it now because people want to see it now, it's at an all-time high right now, I'm back at my best right now and that's when you should want to fight me, when I'm at my best. I mean, to me, even Joe Calzaghe should be able to look at that and say, "You know what? Now Roy is back to being himself. Now I want to fight him again and let me see if I can whoop him like that." I mean, that's what I would want to do. If I was Joe Calzaghe, I would say, "Now, it looks like he's back to being himself. Now that's the Roy Jones I want to fight."

BT: Is that a little frustrating that Calzaghe retired and you can't get an opportunity to get that one back?

RJ: No, it's not frustrating because he didn't hide that and say he wouldn't do that. He said he's going to do what he had to do. He said after that fight, he'd retire and then he told me, if he did come back, he'd be glad to fight me again. That's why I said in the meanwhile, I'm just going to get myself back to being myself while he's retired and once I get back to being myself, maybe he'll look at it and say, "Okay, that's the Roy Jones I used to see. That's the Roy Jones I want to fight right there." Because the one he saw the other night is the one he probably really wanted to fight and that's not the one he got a chance to fight and that's the one he should really want to fight right there. That's the one that Bernard Hopkins don't want to fight (laughing).

BT: (Laughing) That's messed up. Well, like you said, it's looking like you're probably going to fight Danny Green since Bernard doesn't want to step up to the plate. Other than Danny Green though, what else are you trying to accomplish in this phase of your career? Are you thinking about maybe looking at the winner of Chad Dawson vs. Glen Johnson? I know you've mentioned going back to heavyweight in the past, but are you seriously considering that or is it just the best fight that comes along, that's the one you're going to take?

RJ: The best fight that comes along is what I'm going to take. Always make no mistake about it, I'm always gunning at Glen Johnson. I owe him one and I'm always looking for that opportunity to pay him back. Let's just keep that in our memories. I'm always looking for that opportunity to pay Glen Johnson back because I owe him. So whatever fight comes along, if a better fight comes along than the one I'm taking right nowÂ…if don't nothing come along, I will definitely, gladly, always take Glencoffe Johnson any day.

BE SURE TO CHECK BACK LATER FOR PART 2...

SEPTEMBER 30, 2014
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