If I had the opportunity to meet a professional athlete of my choice it would be Roy Jones Jr . A true pioneer in the sport of boxing, I have been a fan since I was a kid. I grew up watching him decimate fighters with a style and grace that few have been able to replicate. I used to think that there were two invincible people in the world, my father and Roy Jones Jr. I would like to sit down about 10 minutes from my hometown inside Biloxi Coliseum where he has held numerous bouts, and just vent my soul one good time.
Roy Jones was the best at being the best. Plenty of fighters have been good, several have been great, but during RJs prime no other fighter was greater than he was. Through my eyes I saw someone who could do and say whatever he wanted. As a young kid growing up in a military household, discipline ruled. Everywhere I looked there were lines that could or could not be crossed and I was accustomed to that. The rules that I lived by didn’t apply to Roy Jones. Sometimes watching him mouth off to Larry Merchant after a victory was more exciting than the fight itself. He was cocky and arrogant; the whole world knew it, and no one could do anything about it. I grew up wanting to have that same freedom and confidence. I wanted to be a great athlete, and I wanted to be able to tell the whole world just how great I was.
I want to ask Roy how it felt at the top, whether he ever got bored with boxing after dominating the sport for so long. I would like to know what his thoughts are in regards to the sport today, what he thinks about the Manny Pacquiao/ Floyd Mayweather controversy, and whether he thinks that fight will ever happen.
I would ask him what happened to his career after he fought John Ruiz. I want to know why he dropped so much weight to fight Antonio Tarver after attaining the heavyweight belt. Most importantly, I would ask him why he continues to fight at his age. It is clear his skills have diminished. He is not the electric force in the ring he once was, we all see it and I know he feels it in the ring. So on behalf of all of his fans I would ask what reasoning he has to continue jeopardizing his health and his legacy as one of the greatest fighters ever.
If we met and I didn’t get the chance to fire off any of the questions above I wouldn’t mind too much. I would be content just discussing the sport with an expert. I would enjoy comparing fighters from the present era with those in the past, talking about boxing personalities and gaining insight on why boxing is such a misunderstood sport. Despite his decline, I still consider Roy Jones to be a great fighter and a great role model for young people. Meeting him as an adult would be a great honor after a childhood of admiration.