Roy Jones Jr negotiating with Clinton Woods, also interested in Chad Dawson!

By G. Leon


Roy Jones Jr negotiating with Clinton Woods, also interested in Chad Dawson!

"If Dawson makes me the right offer, I'll knock him on out!"

GL: The last time we spoke you made the 60-40 counter offer to Bernard Hopkins. I spoke to Hopkins since then and he's basically ignored that proposition and moved on to a Winky Wright fight. Before we move on to discussing your future possibilities, can you give us some thoughts on how that whole situation unfolded? "It's simple as this, all I wanted to do was make sure he was playing like he said he was. When he called you I was excited at first because I thought he was serious, but when he sent the contract I realized he wasn't serious. I'm telling you because he called you first. I didn't start this, he did. He said that he wanted to fight me and he was going to give me a 50-50 deal, but when he sent it I realized it wasn't a 50-50 deal and shortly thereafter I realized what he was trying to do again, which is calling my name to fight someone else. That's what he did last time before he fought Antonio Tarver and that's what he's doing this time with Winky Wright. He's saying my name and everyone gets excited and then he does something else. I came out with my offer because if he's so sure he can beat me 60% to the winner and 40% to the loser. But as you see he ignored that, so that let me know that he doesn't want to fight me for real. That's cool. I understand the game he's playing now but I just didn't want people tell me things or act like I'm the one playing the game. The fans should know that I'm not one who was playing games here, but now they're not going to have to worry about hearing about that fight again because I'm done with it."

GL: Not sure if you tuned in or not, but Chad Dawson captured the WBC light heavyweight on Showtime the other night with an impressive showing against Tomasz Adamek. Dawson's promoter Gary Shaw told me he would love to make a fight with you and Dawson. Gary also said that if you want to fight for the title you don't have to go all the way to England to fight IBF light heavyweight champion Clinton Woods, you can fight Chad Dawson here in the United States. How do you feel about that fight?

Roy Jones Jr: "So I should go ahead and fight this big tall southpaw guy huh? That's not a bad idea, but the deal with Clinton Woods sounds pretty reasonable right now and it looks like we got a deal, but he can make me an offer that would make me fight Chad Dawson right away. They know how to make me the right deal, they have to come with the right kind of money. I'm not going to do it for nothing because it's a gamble for me. Chad is left handed, he's 24 years-old and he's a wonderful fighter. He's a good polished southpaw and he's difficult to deal with so there would be a lot of risk I would be taking, but if they make the right offer I'll go on and knock him out for them. If they want to make the right offer and make it worth my while, then sure. But the money they're going to be talking, I don't think it's going to be worth my while. I'm not going to sit back and call people's names or act like I'm some guy who's going to take any risk.

"I'm a legend in the game, I'm an old school guy. I'm not a young guy no more, I'm the older guy. If they want me to take that chance, I'll do it but it has to be right you know where I'm coming from? I've been watching him, I've been seeing him, I've been checking him out. I watched when he beat Eric Harding, he's not no bad fighter at all. He's not one I can't whoop, but I won't take that risk when I can fight someone like Clinton Woods who is closer to my age. If they want to make the fight tell them to make me an offer than I can't resist and it's to make me not resist one. Make the right offer and I won't turn it down and we can find out what Chad Dawson is made of."

GL: Tell us about the Clinton Woods rematch I hear you've been in touch with them since the Hopkins fight fell apart.

RJJ: "Yeah, he said he wanted to fight me already and I planned on fighting him early this year anyway. I was going to fight him before Hopkins said what he said, so I was already in negotiations with him and now we've resumed that discussion and we still may put the fight together, I don't know. But if they come with a good deal for Chad Dawson why not?"

GL: Would you have to go to England for the Woods rematch?

RJJ: "Oh yeah, oh yeah. Without a doubt."

GL: So there could be back to back titles fights on your agenda for this year.

RJJ: "There very much could be."

GL: Gary Shaw says he has a June Showtime date open and he would love to fill that slot with Dawson-Jones for the WBC title.

RJJ: "Maybe he could move that to July because I might fight Clinton in April. But if all goes well in April I could fight in June. It might work, I'm going to see how I feel and it just might work."

GL: Nobody will forget your ring entrance for Clinton Woods. You rapped all the way into the ring accompanied by a group of lovely ladies. You put on a virtuoso Roy Jones Jr performance and made Clinton Woods look like he doesn't box for a living. With that being said, would you look at this fight with Clinton Woods as a way to gauge yourself like this is where Roy is in 2007 as opposed to where he was in...

RJJ: (cutting in) "Most definitely."

GL: Can you elaborate on that a bit more?

RJJ: "Clinton Woods I know he's still coming up because of his style of fighting. My style, I'm a lot quicker, I'm a lot faster. This would give me the opportunity to see where I really am. I would expect a better fight from Clinton this time because I'm older and I'm not as quick as I used to be. I probably hit a bit harder, but I'm not as quick as I used to be. Clinton is smarter now and he has a lot more experience now then he had then. He's experienced the big time now and he knows how it feels to be in the ring with a Roy Jones. He would look at the first fight and try to fix what went wrong, whereas with me I ain't got nothing to look at when it comes to what I did wrong. I just have to figure out how to motivate myself to do something different and do it right too. I've got nothing to learn from the first fight, he's got everything to learn. He's going to change what he did and I need to be ready to adapt to those changes."

GL: Guys like Woods and Dawson are much more realistic possiblities at 175, but since you mentioned it in the past I'm going to bring it up again. You mentioned the possibility of going up to heavyweight and fighting the Giant, WBA heavyweight champion Nicolai Valuev, and taking the kind of challenge that really motivates you. Did you and King ever talk after you made those remarks? And do you expect that to go any further than the remarks that you made?

RJJ: "I don't expect it to get no further, because it's like if King wants it he has to get at me. If he doesn't get at me, I'm not going to get at him. If Clinton Woods or Chad Dawson are ready to do something that's where I'm going to be at. I'm not going to be where they're talking about doing something, I'm going to be where they're doing it."

GL: Is there anything you'd like to say in closing?

RJJ: "I love my fans, I miss my fans. I miss y'all and I know y'all miss me. I'm on my way back. It's just a matter of time and I will be back. There is nobody that puts fear in my heart when it comes to a boxing ring, I'm ready."


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