Roy Levesta Jones Jr. (born January 16, 1969) is a former professional boxer, boxing commentator, actor, rapper, and boxing trainer.
One of America’s foremost boxers, Roy Jones Jr., engaged in professional boxing from 1989 until 2018. During the three decades he fought, Roy Jones Jr. competed in various weight divisions and emerged world champion in the light heavyweight, heavyweight, middleweight, and the super middleweight divisions.
The 1988 summer Olympics silver medalist lay claim to numerous boxing records. He is the only boxer in history to rise from the junior middleweight divisions to the heavyweight division’s to claim the championship.
Viewed by boxing pundits as a candidate for the Greatest Boxer of All-time title, Jones Jr. broke a century-long record in 2003, when he emerged the WBA heavyweight champion, making him the first former middleweight champion to win a heavyweight champion in 106 years.
Fans can attest to his swiftness, athleticism, reflexes, and movement.
In his career, which spanned almost 30 years, Roy Jones Jr. fought 75 times and emerged victorious on 66 occasions. Of his 66 wins, he won 47 times by knockout (KO) and was defeated nine times.
In this Roy Jones Jr. biography and facts, we’ll review the early life, childhood, career, personal life of the Boxing Writers Association of America 1990s Fighter of the Decade.
Roy Jones Jr. Biography Facts
- Full Name: Roy Levesta Jones Jr.
- Nicknames: RJ, Captain Hook, Superman, Junior
- Date of Birth: January 16, 1969
- Age: 51 years old
- Place of Birth: Pensacola, Florida,
- Nationality: American
- Zodiac Sign: Capricorn
- Height: 5 ft 11 in (1.8 m)
- Weight: 88 kg
- Education: Washington High School, Pensacola Junior College
- Mother: Roy Jones Sr.
- Father: Carol Jones
- Wife: Natlyn Jones
- Sons: Roy Jones III, DeShaun Jones, DeAndre Jones
- Daughter: Evette A. Holyfield
- Occupation: Boxer
- Divisions: Middleweight, Super middleweight, Light heavyweight, Cruiserweight, Heavyweight
- Boxing Career: 1989-2018
Roy Jones Jr. Childhood & Early Life
On January 16, 1969, Ray Jones Jr. was born to Roy Jones Sr. and Carol Jones in Pensacola, Florida.
From an early age, Roy Jones Jr. has already embraced boxing, his family tradition. His father, who was harsh to Roy Jones Jr. right from a tender age, fought in the Vietnam war and was awarded a Bronze Star for his courage.
His father also embraced boxing and fought against Marvin Hagler in July 1977, a fight that he lost.
Jones Jr., who was naturally talented, followed a tough training pattern imposed by his father, whom he feared.
As a result, Jones was prepared to fight right from his teenage years.
Roy Jones Jr. Boxing Career
Right from 1984, Roy Jones had begun engaging in amateur boxing. He claimed the 1984 United States National Junior Olympics and 1986 and 1987 editions of the United States National Golden Gloves. He fought 134 times as an amateur and lost just 13 times.
Roy Jones Jr. was the youngest member of the United States contingent at the 1988 Seoul Olympic Games. In the final of the boxing tournament at the 1988 Olympics, Roy Jones Jr. clearly dominated his Seoul opponent, but his opponent was declared the victor by a 3-2 decision.
The controversial decision was investigated, and while the decision was overturned, the boxing scoring system was changed.
In May 1989, Roy Jones Jr., who had decided never to engage in boxing following the 1988 summer Olympics’ partial decision, turned pro. Before he turned pro, he had fought against multiple professional boxers.
In his first 15 bouts, Roy Jones Jr defeated all opponents by KO.
In January 1992, he fought former World Welterweight Champion Jorge Vaca in his 16th professional bout. In May 1992, he claimed the IBF middleweight championship after defeating Bernard Hopkins.
After holding on to the title for years, Jones Jr. decided to enter the super middleweight class. In November 1994, he defeated James Toney, who was formerly undefeated, to claim the IBF super middleweight championship.
By 1996, Roy Jones Jr., who had already begun playing basketball professionally, still held on to his title. That year he defeated Eric Jones to become the first athlete to engage in two paid sports in one day.
In November 1996, Roy Jones Jr. went on to fight Mike McCallum for the Interim WBC Light Heavyweight title, which was vacant. He won the fight and thus received $2.8 million.
The next year, he suffered the first defeat in his professional career. He fought Montell Griffin and was disqualified. He immediately sought a rematch, and in the rematch, he proved he was still on top of his game by defeating Griffin in 2 minutes 31 seconds to regain his WBC Light heavyweight championship. He received $1.5 million for the fight.
In 1998, after defeating Lou Del Valle, he received the WBA Light Heavyweight title and thus unified the WBA and WBA Light Heavyweight titles. In 1999, he defeated Reggie Johnson to add the IBF title and thus unified the WBA, WBC, and IBF titles.
As his winning streak continued, Roy Jones Jr. released his rap CD entitled Round One: The Album in 2001.
After successfully reigning in the light heavyweight division for years, he moved to the heavyweight division, where he defeated John Ruiz to claim the WBA heavyweight title. His win made him the first former middleweight champion to claim a heavyweight champion in 106 years.
His win also made him the first fighter in history to start from the light-middleweight class to claim a heavyweight title.
In November 2003, he returned to the light heavyweight division and re-gained his WBA (Super), IBO, and The Ring Light Heavyweight Championships. He added the WBC title after defeating Antonio Tarver.
In May 2004, in his rematch with Antonio Tarver, he suffered defeat in successive fights, he suffered losses. After suffering defeat to Tarver in their third bout, he was fired from his ringside analyst job by HBO in 2005.
In 2007, he claimed the vacant International Boxing Council light heavyweight title after defeating Anthony Hanshaw. From 2007 to 2009, he fought in various fights, and in one of the bouts, he claimed the vacant WBO NABO light heavyweight title.
From December 2009 to February 2012, he fought against Danny Green, Bernard Hopkins, and Denis Lebedev, all of whom defeated him. In December 2011, he moved to the light heavyweight class and fought in various bouts until December 2017, where he defeated Scott Sigmon.
His fight against Scott Sigmon was the last bout engaged in before he retired.
In November 2020, Roy Jones Jr. would return to the rings to face, Mike Tyson the former undisputed heavyweight champion.
Roy Jones Jr. Professional Boxing Record
|75 fights||66 wins||9 losses|
Roy Jones Jr. Relationship with his Father
Roy Jones Jr.’s relationship with his father was marked by fear of being physically and verbally abused. Jones Jr. was scared of his father, who was merciless and often sparred with him, yelled at him, and abused him for considerably long periods.
His father owned a boxing gym, where he came across multiple youths he gave directions and guided. But to his son, he was ruthless.
In an interview with Sports Illustrated, Jones Jr. said, “I spent all my life in my dad’s cage.”
Roy Jones Jr. Wife & Personal Life
Roy Jones Jr. is married to aspiring boxer Natlyn Jones. The couple has three children – Roy Jones III, De Andre Jones, and DeShaun Jones.
Roy Jones Jr. tends to keep his personal life private, away from the media.
Jones Jr has been involved in various careers aside from boxing.
He played basketball professionally for the Jacksonville Barracudas.
He also ventured into music in 2001 with his album titled Round One: The Album. In the debut single of the album, titled Y’All Must’ve Forgot, he reminded the world of how he defeated Benard Hopkins with a broken right hand to claim the IBF middleweight championship in 1993.
Roy Jones Jr. owns Body Head Entertainment, a record label.
He has acted in numerous movies and television series such as 2003 The Matrix Reloaded, where he played Ballard.
He also featured as himself on the one episode of the HBO sports series titled Arli$$, Fox’s sitcom Married… with Children, and WB Network’s The Wayans Bros.
After he met with Russian President Vladimir Putin in August 2015 in the disputed Sevastopol, Crimea territory to request for dual Russian-American citizenship, he was banned from entering Ukraine.
Filmography & Movies
- The Devil’s Advocate (1997) – Featured as Himself
- The Sentinel (1998) – Featured as Sweet Roy Williams (Ep. “Sweet Science”)
- The Wayans Brothers (1999) – Featured as Himself (Ep. “Rope-a-Dope”)
- The Matrix Reloaded (2003) – Featured as Captain Ballard
- Enter the Matrix (2003) – Featured as Captain Ballard
- Cordially Invited (2007) – Featured as Lenny Banks
- Universal Soldier: A New Dimension (2012) – Featured as Mess Hall Unisol
- Grudge Match (2013) – Featured as Himself
- Southpaw (2015) – Featured as Himself
- Creed II (2018) – Featured as Himself
SEE MORE: Biography facts, childhood and personal life of famous boxers
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