T Nation

Greatest strikers: Roy Jones Jr

another excellent article by Jack Slack.

I like this because he touches on something I tried to bring up here a while back, the idea that Roy Jones’s dominance was purely because of his speed and reaction time is a popular notion, but it’s not entirely true.

Yes he had amazing hand speed and great reflexes, but he’s hardly alone in that respect at that level of the game. Rather, I do believe Roy knew his craft very well and had he not developed such an unorthodox approach to certain aspects of boxing, I don’t believe he would’ve been the stud fighter he was. That is to say, there’s always been people saying “imagine if RJJ was a textbook fighter” - IMO if he was textbook, he would not have been as effective.

Not to mention when you’re focusing on the blazing hand speed and combinations, it’s easy to forget how crazy good Roy was at changing angles on people.

Good post, thanks.

Agreed very good< I really miss Roy and his amazing skills.

Good article.

I think the argument isn’t that Roy’s unorthodox style made him less effective, but instead that without his incredible physical gifts he would not have been able to make that style effective/the style was only effective due to his incredible gifts. In other words, if you’re not RJJ, don’t try to fight like RJJ.

Obviously if you can do things so differently from everyone else and still be effective with them you are going to be a very difficult opponent to train for (as it’s going to be nearly impossible to bring in sparring partners to simulate what you do). You see this in MMA as well with people like Dominick Cruz who create totally unorthodox and individual fighting styles and because they have the physical gifts to pull them off, they become very difficult to beat.

Now, I think it’s also fair to say that a fighter like Jones (and possibly Cruz, but I guess time will tell) won’t have as long of a career as a super technical/fundamental fighter like B Hop due to the fact that fighters tend to slow down some as they age and once that happens a style like the one Jones used will no longer be effective against top level competition.

When people discount the likes of Roy Jones as being nothing more than speed and reflexes, then it tells me how little experience they have in the fighting arts.

They often also don’t know Roy’s history. Guy has been playing ‘fighter’ with his dad since he was a kid. Couple that with natural athleticism and it’s not hard to understand how easy you can fucken break free of orthodoxy.

To be able to throw like him is impossible without an impeccable base an insanely great foundation. That’s the sole reason he could then go on to develop his own style.

Sure he could do what everyone else does and please the commentators, promoters, boxing dogmatists and fighter orthodoxy but who the fuck wants to be normal?

I don’t think Jones slowed down because of age or anything. I cannot say Hopkins is better than him because he is more technical or fundamental because I don’t believe either of those two things. I honestly think he is like many people out there, bored of the status quo, uninspired to continue on. He proved all he needed to and it was no longer inspiring or a challenge to him.

If anything, he shows more technical ability than Hopkins because I believe he has better fundamentals and has mastered them so well he’s moved on. Hopkins is still chipping away and his longevity has more to do with his lifestyle habbits and spiritual-empotional well being than with skill or ability or better fundamentals.

No one is saying that Jones was only speed and reflexes (and I agree, if they do they don’t understand what he was doing). He was great at using broken rhythm and fakes to draw his opponents into trying to punch him when he wanted them to and then countering them, or to allow him to lunge in and land his own punches.

However, his style of defense (keeping his hands down and trying to rely on his reflexes) is something that only someone gifted with supreme speed at the level Jones did. Hopkins on the other hand tends to keep his hands up and use a style of defense that is less dependent on athleticism (and therefore is less effective by age).

That doesn’t make Hopkins better, in fact I’d actually agree with you that Jones was better and I’m sure he could have altered his style to a more orthodox one and continued to win had he wanted to. So don’t take what I said to mean that Roy didn’t possess fundamentals or technical skills; my comment was purely in regards to his chosen style not being one that is going to be sustainable as late into a fighter’s career as Hopkins’.

Oh no, I understand what you were saying, I was just also trying to illustrate that some people are just that far ahead, it then gets boring. I’m sure Aussie Dave would agree when he was out here and Danny Green supposedly beat him, we both quietly had a mad chuckle inside of us.

[quote]Sentoguy wrote:
Good article.

I think the argument isn’t that Roy’s unorthodox style made him less effective, but instead that without his incredible physical gifts he would not have been able to make that style effective/the style was only effective due to his incredible gifts. In other words, if you’re not RJJ, don’t try to fight like RJJ.

Obviously if you can do things so differently from everyone else and still be effective with them you are going to be a very difficult opponent to train for (as it’s going to be nearly impossible to bring in sparring partners to simulate what you do). You see this in MMA as well with people like Dominick Cruz who create totally unorthodox and individual fighting styles and because they have the physical gifts to pull them off, they become very difficult to beat.

Now, I think it’s also fair to say that a fighter like Jones (and possibly Cruz, but I guess time will tell) won’t have as long of a career as a super technical/fundamental fighter like B Hop due to the fact that fighters tend to slow down some as they age and once that happens a style like the one Jones used will no longer be effective against top level competition.
[/quote]

Definitely, but that’s what bothered me about people saying roy jones would’ve been even BETTER if he was an orthodox fighter. I wholeheartedly disagree with that notion, his unorthodox style and his physical gifts go hand in hand. Parts of a whole if you will, take away one (as we see with his drop off in speed and reflexes in his later career) and you diminish his greatness.

and like Humble pointed out, I think people easily forget that RJJ was put through emotional and physical hell by his father when he was a child. It’s not like he became top dog just via some neat genetics, a huge part of his childhood and emotional security was sacrificed so he could be a great fighter. It’s just another story in the long list of crazy good athletes who had overbearing parents.

[quote]humble wrote:
Oh no, I understand what you were saying, I was just also trying to illustrate that some people are just that far ahead, it then gets boring. I’m sure Aussie Dave would agree when he was out here and Danny Green supposedly beat him, we both quietly had a mad chuckle inside of us.
[/quote]

Coach of mine flew down to see that fight.

Came back with a danny green shirt and a grimace on his face lmao.

[quote]humble wrote:

If anything, he shows more technical ability than Hopkins because I believe he has better fundamentals and has mastered them so well he’s moved on. Hopkins is still chipping away and his longevity has more to do with his lifestyle habbits and spiritual-empotional well being than with skill or ability or better fundamentals.[/quote]

Not to derail the thread, but I think one thing every fighter should strive to emulate from Hopkins is his self belief and dedication to a goal regardless of what outside influences may try to tell him. It’s something I hope I can emulate in my life.

I think he’s a dirty fighter, and he can sometimes be boring, but goddamn he’s still so fucking inspirational. 48 years old, still hanging with the young bucks.

Don’t care much for the accusations of TRT either, testosterone replacement won’t undo the aging of the body and brain. Hopkins is a bad bad man.

[quote]Aussie Davo wrote:

[quote]humble wrote:

If anything, he shows more technical ability than Hopkins because I believe he has better fundamentals and has mastered them so well he’s moved on. Hopkins is still chipping away and his longevity has more to do with his lifestyle habbits and spiritual-empotional well being than with skill or ability or better fundamentals.[/quote]

Not to derail the thread, but I think one thing every fighter should strive to emulate from Hopkins is his self belief and dedication to a goal regardless of what outside influences may try to tell him. It’s something I hope I can emulate in my life.

I think he’s a dirty fighter, and he can sometimes be boring, but goddamn he’s still so fucking inspirational. 48 years old, still hanging with the young bucks.

Don’t care much for the accusations of TRT either, testosterone replacement won’t undo the aging of the body and brain. Hopkins is a bad bad man.[/quote]

See, I was quietly watching this thread develop, thinking 'good points, well made - I have nothing useful to add. Then somebody comes out with this:

[quote]humble wrote:

If anything, he shows more technical ability than Hopkins because I believe he has better fundamentals and has mastered them so well he’s moved on. Hopkins is still chipping away and his longevity has more to do with his lifestyle habbits and spiritual-empotional well being than with skill or ability or better fundamentals.[/quote]

And that made me sad. I disagree so strongly with this statement that I developed a strange tingling sensation down the lefthand side of my body.

I agree with the idea that Roy Jones is a far more technically gifted fighter than he is given credit for. But better than Hopkins, from a point of technical mastery? That idea has me making a high pitched whining noise and slapping myself in the face. To me, Hopkins is THE DEFINITIVE example of a technical fighter, who through mastery of the technical aspects of boxing, has overcome the barrier of average athletic genetics. His game is so tight: the way he doesn’t make mistakes, always ends up back on his back foot after a combo, textbook shots, minimal wasted movement through flawless ‘back foot fighter’ footwork, the list goes on.

I agree about the self belief part. TRT doesn’t make you smarter or a better fighter. All these bs excuses are laughable. 10 motherfuckers on trt and still, the guys with more heart, skill, determination and self belief will come out on top no matter what.

At these athletic levels, cunts training twice, maybe 3 times a day, suck me off none of them are on something.

Don’t be sad LB, it’s true, If jones wanted to be mr orthodox, you’d all be crying at how ‘orthodox’ he could be. Glad he doesn’t swing that way though.

I don’t disagree that he could be more orthodox if he wanted to be. He is an incredibly gifted fighter. I just think that Hopkins is a better technician now than Jones has ever been, not through superior physical gifts, but through the exceptional intelligence with which he has approached and mastered boxing. I think that although Jones has the better physical abilities, his boxing intelligence is not in the same league as Hopkins. I also think that if you put a 2000 (prime) Hopkins in with a 1993-95 (prime) Jones Jr, Hopkins would come out on top.

Thread well and truly derailed.

Hopkins appreciation thread? Hopkins appreciation thread.

Hell ye. This guy is awesome.

Just thought I’d use this thread to heap more praise on the master after his convincing win against a young, unbeaten world champion, who is a very able fighter in his own right. No soft Ws for B-Hop, no ducking, no running.

Great vid London, thanks for sharing. I could watch/listen to BHop talk about strategy all day.

[quote]LondonBoxer123 wrote:
Just thought I’d use this thread to heap more praise on the master after his convincing win against a young, unbeaten world champion, who is a very able fighter in his own right. No soft Ws for B-Hop, no ducking, no running. [/quote]

That fight was remarkable man. He looked just like the Hopkins that whooped Pavlik. Seriously, does this guy get old? To fight at that level, to make a young fighter like Cloud miss wildly like that… man, he’s amazing.

Couldnt find the fucking fight ANYWHERE, not even highlights, HBO seems to have nipped it in the bud, but I did find this sweet promo by GP

This dude should be hired by HBO goddamn.