Tempers flair in Biloxi


Tempers flair in Biloxi

Alton Merkerson calls Floyd Mayweather, Sr. "a bum"

Press Release:  Bad blood between the Roy Jones Jr. and Anthony Hanshaw camps continued to boil Tuesday as the two prepare to fight in a scheduled 12-round bout Saturday night at the Mississippi Coast Coliseum. Now it seems that members of the Jones team are hotter than the mid-July Mississippi temperatures. For the second straight day, the Hanshaw team was physically barred from using the boxing ring and various bags, owned by Jones, at the host IP Casino-Resort-Spa. Hanshaw, manager Bryan Justus and trainer Floyd Mayweather Sr. were turned away by an armed security guard who informed them that the training setup was strictly for the use of boxing legend Jones.

"I am getting sick of all this King Roy crap," the undefeated Hanshaw said. "My people are calling the hotel and the operators answer by saying, 'This is the home of Roy Jones.' And look at the posters and billboards and TV ads. They have my name so small you need a magnifying glass to see it. I will make Jones pay in that ring."

"It is just so childish," Justus said. "Roy is like a kid grabbing his pail and shovel so nobody else can play.  He will see that 'Tyger' Hanshaw is not going play with him."

For the first time, Jones' longtime trainer "Coach" Alton Merkerson, reacted to public comments made Monday by the mercurial Mayweather. Normally low-key and easy-going, Merkerson has a temper also as was proven when he slugged John Ruiz manager-trainer Norman "Stoney" Stone in a dispute over gloves for the Ruiz-Jones heavyweight title bout, which was won by Jones.

Merkerson was more than irritated to read quotes in which Mayweather referred to the 50-4 Jones "a glass-chinned bum" who will get stopped in six rounds or less by the 29-year-old. Jones is now age 38.

"I got a message for Mayweather," Merkerson said. "You tell him any comments between these two athletes is one thing. That is okay. But the only for sure bum around here is Mayweather. Make sure you tell him I said that. Let's keep the comments between the two athletes."

As a precaution for rising tempers, promoter Murad Muhammad (once a Muhammad Ali bodyguard), has hired an expert security detail to keep things cool at Wednesday's press conference in Mobile, AL (at the Mobile Civic Center at 11 am) , at Thursday's final pre-fight presser at the IP Casino-Resort-Spa (Chill Ultra Lounge, 10:30 am) and at the Official Weigh In at the IP (Chill Ultra Lounge, Friday at 4 pm).

"I know people are getting hot on both sides," Muhammad said. "Some nasty remarks have been passed back and forth. But the troops need to cool it now. They need to let these two great athletes settle this in the boxing ring come Saturday night. We can't have anyone getting cut, hurt or knocked out until that first bell goes ding, ding, ding."

"He's Baack: Witness The Return Of A King, Jones-Hanshaw" will be televised nationally and around the world. Murad Productions and Square Ring Inc. are co-promoting in association with the IP Casino-Resort-Spa. Suggested retail price for cable operators and dish providers is only $29.95. The show will be televised in High Definition. The TV portion of the card begins at 8 pm CDT.

Tickets are available at the Coliseum box office and at all Ticketmaster locations and through Ticketmaster.com. Doors to the arena open up at 5 pm CDT with the first undercard bout starting a half hour later.