Fighting Words: How Would Roy Jones Jr. Do Against Today’s Heavyweight Fighters?

A multiple-weight champion, Roy Jones Jr. believes that if he were in his prime today, the heavyweight division would be put on notice.

Speaking with Sky Sports, Jones (66-9) talked about facing current champions Tyson Fury and Anthony Joshua. He is set to face off against Mike Tyson in an eight-round exhibition bout on September 12.

“Not right now,” Jones, 51, stated when talking about facing the likes of Joshua (23-1) and Fury (30-0-1). “It would be hard for us to last 12 rounds with any of those guys. They are skilled fighters, not bad boxers. They are not as skilled as we were but they are in their primes, and we are not.”

Making his professional debut in 1989, Jones won the IBF Middleweight Title in 1993 against Bernard Hopkins. He then moved up in weight to light-heavyweight. “Captain Hook” became the first middleweight champion to win heavyweight gold, beating John Ruiz for the WBA Heavyweight Title in 2003. Moving back to light-heavyweight, he ended his career on a four-fight win streak in the cruiserweight division in 2018.

Tyson (50-6, 2 NC) made his professional debut in 1985 and quickly rose up the ranks in the boxing world. He ended up knocking out Trevor Berbick in the second round of their fight in 1986 to win the WBC Heavyweight Title. He became the youngest world heavyweight champion of all time at 20. His last fight as a pro was a loss at the hands of Kevin McBride in 2005.

Both may be older now, but Jones believes their drive to compete is stronger than anyone else.

“In our primes? We would probably have beaten them. You can never say, but I think we would probably have beaten them,” Jones went on to say. “Our skill level was deeper, at that time, than it is now.

“In our prime we would have come out on top against most of those guys. But you never know because it never happened so you can’t discredit those guys. They are good fighters, well-respected fighters, and my hat is off to them because they are at the top.”

Fury is the WBC and lineal Heavyweight Champion. He just fought in February, beating Deontay Wilder via TKO to win the former title. Joshua is the WBA, IBF, WBO, and IBO Heavyweight Champion. He rebounded against Andy Ruiz Jr. this past December after losing to him last June. The two have agreed in principle to face off against one another in 2021.

As far as how a fight between Joshua and Fury would go, Jones gave his candid thoughts:

“Joshua is good but, as far as boxing IQ, I would go with Fury. He is smarter than all of them,” Jones stated. “But Joshua is the better athlete and you can never discredit the athlete. You never know until they fight.”

The fight between Tyson and Jones will take place inside the Dignity Health Sports Arena in California. The eight-round fight will be on PPV and Triller.

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