After Tarver, Jones focused on heavyweights

Updated: May 12, 2004, 10:50 AM ET
By David A. Avila | Maxboxing.com

Roy Jones Jr. doesn't need no stinking light heavyweights. Just the big guys.

Promising to bring the real Roy Jones Jr. against Antonio Tarver (21-2, 17 KOs) in Las Vegas, the most dominant fighter of the 1990s advised the world his appetite after Saturday only includes heavyweights, be they Vitali Klitschko a la mode or a Mike Tyson banana split. Or maybe even a rematch with sponge cake John Ruiz.

"If he becomes the undisputed heavyweight champion, I'll fight him," said Jones (49-1, 38 KOs) of Ruiz during a teleconference last week.

I always had a fetish for fighting big people. As big as (Vitali Klitschko) is, I know I can whip him.
Roy Jones Jr.

With the end of his career in sight, Jones said he plans to fight only for dessert because all of the other items on the menu have been consumed.

Though the public may clamor for other more delicious selections, Jones' menu is like one of those fancy, dark, atmospheric restaurants that only have three items and no prices.

For 16 years the lightning-quick Pensacola, Fla., fighter has dazzled the world with leaping left hooks, blinding lead rights that connect with rocket speed and a defensive boxing style that's definitely unique.

Now Jones has a sweet tooth for multi-million dollar gates against fighters who are twice as big, but also twice as slow.

"They can't beat me," said Jones with the same confidence that nemesis James Toney displayed a couple of weeks ago at the Staple Center post-fight press conference after the heavyweight showdown between Klitschko and Corrie Sanders.

Speaking of Toney, Jones wants him to fight IBF title-holder Chris Byrd and then maybe, just maybe, he'll take on the winner.

"James Toney and Bernard Hopkins were my two toughest fights," said Jones when asked if Tarver was his career toughest opponent. "They were definitely more skillful fighters."

Jones admits he's slowing down and further explains that his competitive heart is not in the game any more. He's gobbled up everything, and it's just not appetizing any more to devour light heavyweights.

"It was a lackluster performance because I didn't really want to fight Tarver," said Jones of his first fight against Tarver last year on Nov. 8. "I really wanted to fight Mike Tyson instead."

The only thing that whets his palate is those big fat heavyweights cooked slowly like a Thanksgiving turkey.

"It could be Tyson or Klitschko. I'll wait and see who shows up first," Jones said with a hint of excitement in his voice. "Tyson is a legend."

Jones is so hungry for one of those big drumsticks he's not even going to haggle. First come first serve, like a buffet -- all you can eat.

"Whoever shows up first," said Jones of whether he'll fight Klitschko or Tyson first.

A week from now, when fellow Floridian Tarver stands on the opposite side of the ring, Jones will be taking him on like an appetizer at Marie Callendars. But he's really looking forward to dessert when or if Klitschko or Tyson arrives at the Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino on fight night. One can imagine Jones fighting Tarver while having an eye on the lookout for the heavyweights in attendance.

"I always had a fetish for fighting big people," said Jones referring to Klitschko. "As big as he is, I know I can whip him."

In his first fight against Tarver, he had one hell of a toothache. Hopefully just the sight of the monster heavyweights doesn't cause another.

"They got a lot of power, but most of them don't got a chance with me," Jones said confidently.

One more thing, he'll beat Tarve, he says. "One way or the other he is going down."

Then it's on to the jelly donut division.

But before embarking on the dessert tray, Jones has one more thing to say: "He (Tarver) fought the best fight he could fight, and I was having a problem with my tooth and I still beat him. I ain't got no excuses for my performance except that ... somebody thinks they can beat me. I love that."




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