Born In: Pensacola, Florida, United States
Roy Jones Jr. is an American professional boxer, rapper, actor and commentator best known for winning the boxing world championships in four weight categories. Born and raised in Pensacola, Florida, Roy was toughened up by his father in his childhood through physical and verbal violence. Roy trained for boxing since his early teen years and won many gold medals in junior championships, such as the 1984 Junior Olympics and United States National Golden Gloves. Since becoming a professional boxer, Roy Jones has won multiple titles such as the middleweight. super middleweight, light heavyweight and heavyweight championships. Recognized by the experts as one of the greatest boxers of all time, Roy has played in 75 professional boxing matches, winning 66 and losing 9. He has defeated 47 of his opponents via knockouts. He has also set many records, such as becoming the first former middleweight champion in 106 years to win a heavyweight championship as well. In 2003, he was named Boxer of the Year by the World Boxing Hall of Fame. Additionally, he has also named the Fighter of the Decade for the 1990s by the Boxing Writers Association of America.
Also Known As: Roy Levesta Jones Jr.
Spouse/Ex-: Natlyn Jones
father: Roy Jones Sr.
mother: Carol Jones
children: DeAndre Jones, DeShaun Jones, Roy Jones III
Born Country: United States
Grouping of People: Black Men
U.S. State: Florida
City: Pensacola, Florida
Roy Jones Jr. was born Roy Levesta Jones Jr., on January 16, 1969, in Pensacola, Florida, to Carol Jones and Roy Jones Sr. His father was a Vietnam War veteran while his mother was a housewife. He was raised with a sister named Corey Jones.
Roy comes from a family with a history in boxing. His father, along with being a decorated army officer in the American Army, was also a club-fighter. He also worked as an aircraft engineer. However, later, he had taken up hog farming.
Roy’s childhood was in stark contrast in regards to his parents when he was growing up. While his mother was warm and nice to him, his father was the extreme opposite. Roy was beaten up by his father, over petty things. He was also verbally abused. Roy, however, believes that it was his father’s way to raise him to be a tough man.
However, Roy took it hard and said that he was always in pain after receiving 20 minutes of relentless beating. He also contemplated suicide many times. However, Roy agrees that it did make him grow up to be a tough man.
His father ran a boxing club where he trained boxers and Roy joined the club in his teen years and trained as a boxer for many years.
Roy graduated from Washington High School in 1987, but much before that, he had begun participating in the junior boxing tournaments.
Roy entered the National Junior Olympics in 1984 and won the tournament in the 54 kg weight category. A few years later, he entered other tournaments such as United States National Golden Gloves in 1986 and 1987. He won both the tournaments in the 63 kg and 71 kg categories respectively. By the time he ended his amateur career, he had a record of 121-13, which was beyond excellent.
At the age of 19, he further entered the 1988 Seoul Olympics, representing the United States of America. He was the youngest boxer in the team at that time. He played excellently and never lost a single match in the 156-pound class and reached the finals, which he lost to a controversial call made by the judges.
Roy had landed 86 punches to his South Korean opponent Park Si-Hun and was leading in the first two rounds. The referee also admitted that he was shocked at the decision made by the judges. The case was later investigated for a decade, but no traces of corruption were found. However, the issue was publicized so much that Roy was considered the technical winner of the game. The incident compelled the Olympics authorities to revise their boxing scoring system.
As a professional, Roy won the first 15 boxing matches that he participated in, all of them knockout wins. In one of the key matches of his early career, in 1992, he faced Jorge Vaca and won the match through a knockout. With this victory and others, Roy was already being considered the ‘next big thing’ in American boxing.
In May 1992, Jones competed in the title match for the first time in his professional career when he faced the middleweight champion, Bernard Hopkins. He thus won his career’s first title. Roy later claimed that he was fighting with a broken hand and yet, he won in one of the most difficult fights of his career. Further in May 1994, he successfully defended his IBF middleweight championship against Thomas Tate, knocking his opponent out in the second round.
In November 1994 came the big opportunity when he faced the undefeated IBF super-middleweight champion James Toney, who was on a long undefeated streak. For the first time in his career, Roy was being deemed as an underdog. Roy ended up knocking James out in the third round, winning the championship. It was after this match that the world turned its eye towards Roy, whose performance was considered to be the most dominant in a big fight in 20 years, by any boxer.
In the following few months, he successfully defended his super middleweight championship against many opponents.
In November 1996, he faced Mike McCallum for the vacant WBC light heavyweight title. He won the title through a knockdown towards the end of round 10. However, in 1997, he faced the first professional loss of his career when he lost the match and the light heavyweight title to Montell Griffin, via disqualification.
A few months later, Roy had a rematch in Connecticut and knocked Griffin out in the first few minutes of the match, thus gaining back the title.
In the next few months, Roy defended his title against many opponents, maintaining his usual style of winning through knockout punches. In early 2000, he had to face a strong opponent David Telesco in a title defence match. Roy had his wrist fractured before the match and he fought practically one-handed. Despite that, he successfully defended his title.
By 2003, despite the fact that he was holding onto his winning streak, he was visibly looking weaker than before. In the next three years, it was touted that Roy’s days of grace were over as he was perpetually losing against weaker opponents. However, he shut his critics by coming back to the winning form in 2006.
In July 2006, he won the WBO NABO light heavyweight title when he defeated Prince Badi Ajamu.
In 2009, he again lost his form and embarked on a defeat-streak, which lasted until 2011. In December 2011, he won the UBO intercontinental cruiserweight championship. In the mid-2010s, he faced multiple injuries, which sparked the rumour of his retirement, but he discarded the rumour.
In late 2017, he won the vacant World Boxing Union cruiserweight title after defeating Scott Sigmon. He later said in an interview that he had struggled through his bicep injury for a long time and announced his retirement in the same year.
In a career spanning 29 years, Roy had participated in 75 professional games and has won 66 and lost 9. 47 of those wins were via knockouts. Many experts hailed him as one of the greatest boxers in the world.
In July 2020, he participated in an exhibition match against a former great Mike Tyson. The match ended in a draw.
Roy Jones Jr. has also provided commentary in many boxing matches throughout his career.
In addition to his boxing career, Roy has also been a rapper. In 2001, he released his debut album, titled Round One: The Album. He played many songs from his albums during his matches and also rapped about some boxing matches that he had played.
He has also acted in small/supporting roles in many films. He has appeared in films such as The Matrix Reloaded, The Devil’s Advocate, Southpaw and Little Fockers.
Roy Jones Jr. has been married to Natlyn Jones since the early 2000s and has three children with her. She quit her law studies and accompanied her husband to many of his matches.
Roy requested Russian President Vladimir Putin for Russian citizenship in 2015 as he was a frequent visitor to the country due to business activities. He was granted official Russian citizenship. As a consequence, he was banned from ever entering Ukraine.
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