Roy Jones Jr, guaranteed to make the IBHOF 5 complete years after his retirement, sets his induction date back yet again when he climbs into the ring to face Bobby Gunn on Dec. 4th at Philadelphia's National Guard Armory. It will be a WBU cruiserweight championship bout scheduled for 12 rounds, supposedly available on some kind of PPV. Gunn has fallen off the radar of gloved boxing in recent years but has stayed busy with bareknuckle matches. He was last seen in a typical prize ring against James Toney in April, 2012. Gunn retired in his corner after 5 rounds with a broken hand.
A few months later (June) Roy Jones Jr. was last seen in the ring against Pawel Glazewski. Glazewski dropped Jones in round 6 but the artist formerly known as "Superman" got up and escaped with a split decision victory.
Clearly Jones and Gunn have seen better days, and they seem to acknowledge as much, but both still have their wits about them and already appear to be in good shape. Gunn has the age, size, and power advantage and believes he'll win by knockout. Yet, win or lose, Gunn announced this to be his final fight under the Marquess of Queensberry rules. Jones isn't far off from doing the same and has stated that he probably wouldn't even be taking this fight if it wasn't a lead in to a showdown with future MMA hall of famer Anderson Silva. Jones and Silva plan to meet in a boxing match should both win their upcoming bouts (Silva "must" avenge a loss to Chris Weidman). Prior to Silva calling Jones out, Jones had no plans to continue fighting.
Thus we have a fight. Jones is 44. Gunn will be pushing 40. Jones is the first middleweight, light heavyweight, and heavyweight world champion since Bob Fitzsimmons. Gunn is the first sanctioned bare knuckle champion since John L. Sullivan. And their fight will take place in the nation's boxing capital, Philadelphia, home of ~35 world champions.
When I asked Bobby what he's done since the James Toney fight to make him think he can do better against Roy, he said he's had 8 fights since then and continued, "I'm never out of the gym. I don't drink or smoke, don't do drugs. I'm a training hound. I'm married to my little wife Rose. I got my little girl, Charlie my boy. That's my life. I live a very clean life...I was never really laid off...bareknuckle fights in between."
Meanwhile Roy spent more time talking about the future. After Silva he says other possibilities include rematches with Tarver and Hopkins and even a "super fight" with Floyd Mayweather (although Jones says he won't go below 170 for that fight). Jones thinks a Mayweather-Jones PPV could be priced at $100. Apparently Mayweather proclaiming himself as the greatest of all time pisses Jones off...
Anyways, when I asked Roy about possibly rematching James Toney he said, "When he was at his prime and I was at my prime, I beat the hell out of him, so bad that he didn't want the rematch...if he wants it now, if it's worth it, maybe, but, really...he hasn't done anything." I then inquired if Toney winning Prizefighter next month would make it worthwhile, to which Jones responded that Toney winning would not surprise him if he stopped smoking and drinking. And then people laughed and everyone just moved on...
Sorry James, I tried.
Aside: James Toney probably has no idea who I am.
In any event once the presser wrapped up I did brief, up close and not-very-personal interviews with Jones and Gunn. The pertinent information from them I've already incorporated into this article, so you can watch them to verify that I didn't make anything up.
Gunn, an unbeaten bareknuckle champion, is hoping to make this fight emulate Rocky 2. Jones is clearly Apollo Creed. But can Gunn really pull off Rocky Balboa? I guess we'll find out December 4, 2013. I'll be there reporting for BLH, unless I die or something. **** happens.
Oh yea, I almost forgot: this presser took place at the Chris Jazz Café. I dropped $27 for parking and genuinely feel violated. With expenses taken into account, mostly vehicle related, this is the lowest paying job I've ever had. I made better money before I was 10 years old. Yet people on twitter tell me I'm "important" and "going places." Sure.
Jones-Gunn ticket prices range from $50 to $150. Call 610-933-7510 for details.
Update: The NEW venue is Sands Bethlehem.
Ryan Bivins is a staff writer for BadLeftHook. You can contact him on twitter (@sweetboxing) or through email (firstname.lastname@example.org).