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December 15, 2009

By G. Leon

RJ believes Hopkins fight is still viable! "I'd rather lose fair than win cheating!"

GL: Can you give us some thoughts on the Danny Green fight and tell us what went wrong?

Roy Jones, Jr.: Nothing really went wrong. I peaked a little early on training camp number 1. But along with that, they allowed him to wrap his hands two hours earlier and they allowed him to use stuff that they not supposed to use. The gauze that you use isn't supposed to have no adhesive nothing on it, you know what I mean? They first try to give me a pair of used gloves, I said, 'how am I going to fight in used gloves?' Then they gave me new gloves and by then we saw how they was wrapping his hands and we were complaining because from what we're used to this is illegal. They said no, you're not fighting in used gloves now so we're going to let his hands stay wrapped just the way they are. Then he hits you with a shot behind the head with a cast on, I'm a fighter, pound for pound one of the best, but you can't hit me in the back of the head with a baseball bat and think it won't do something to me. You know what I'm saying? Once again I tried to go out there and be nice about it, but once again, now I know that I don't go out of the country.

GL: So you're saying his hand wraps were illegal and the boxing authorities out there let it ride?

Roy Jones Jr: Yeah, and they told me if I didn't come out they were going to disqualify me. How am I not going to come out with 20,000 people there to watch me fight?  Cause he got a cast on? Nah, that's not my style.

GL: Did you wrap your hands with extra gauze once you learned about that?

RJJ: "Nope. I couldn't. It was too late, I didn't know and they were really trying to keep him away from me and if I would have known I would have done the same thing I did with the Jeff Lacy fight, let me wrap my hands the same way and I'm cool with it."

GL: How long before the fight were you in Austrailia for?

RJJ: "10 days."

GL: I was hearing that it was very hard for you to get sparring partners out there. Is that true?

RJJ: "Yeah, it was difficult to get them there, they just tried to jam us up in the airport and make it hard for em, but it was okay. From there onwards, I knew what was going on, but what was I going to do? I wasn't going to pull out of it because that's not my thing. I didn't want to let all those people down. I wanted to give them a good performance. I'd rather lose fair than win cheating, that's just not my style. I'm not going to complain, he won and he did what he had to do and I understand that, now next time when I go back, I'm going to be putting a cast on too, because I know they'll let me fight with it. It's part of the game it happens, next time we'll just go cast for cast. And there is a rematch clause in there and next time I'll wear a cast too."

GL: Is it an immediate rematch clause?

RJJ: "No, he can take an interim fight first."

GL: Did you view the fight on tape, if so what are your thoughts on the stoppage?

RJJ: "Well, they stopped it too quick. When the referee stopped it I said, 'whatcha doing? If you was gonna stop it, stop it when I went down, don't stop it now?' I know he was getting tired and I knew from the fight in Biloxi, MS that he wasn't a great finisher because he hurt a dude down there and couldn't put him away. I said I got him now, he's wasting all of this energy and he can't finish me. He only landed two shots after I got up, uppercuts and they didn't bother me at all, I figured he was getting ready to wear himself out and this fight wasn't going to last as long as I thought it was. Then the ref stopped the fight, I know it was a premature stoppage, but you're in the country where they're going to do what they want to do and there's not much you can do about it. Now I know what they can do, I know the tactics they use, I know you can use a cast, so next time I'll just have me a cast on and we'll be ready to go.

GL: Did you catch Hopkins fight with Ornelas?

RJJ: "I caught some of it yeah."

GL: After that fight Bernard Hopkins made it clear that he felt the stoppage was premature as well, and he kind of left the door open for the rematch that was already done to still take place. Do you feel that the rematch with Hopkins is saveable since you both feel the stoppage was questionable?

RJJ: "It's only natural, because the rematch with Bernard Hopkins is always sellable because it's us. He rises for me and I rise for him. It's like Tommy Hearns and Sugar Ray Leonard. No matter, who they fought, who they beat, who they lost to, when they fought each other they rose to the ocassion. There's no rival I have more significant than Bernard Hopkins and there's no rival that Bernard Hopkins has that is more significant than Roy Jones Jr. Of course that rivalry is always going to be that rivalry. Naturally for him he thinks okay, Roy is at a bad time so he would want to jump on that which is cool, but like I said for him it's different. Everything is different for him, everything changes for him, training is much more exciting for him because it's a rival and people will still question him. He'll want to know if he can overcome that and turn that decision around himself, he wants to get that L off his record and turn it into a W.

Naturally for me and him, everything still rises for us because we're rivals. It's like Alabama and Auburn. Alabama got a championship team this year and Auburn had a losing team, but Auburn gives Alabama hell because they're rivals you understand where I'm coming from. It's not the same as fighting Danny Green in his country where they're going to cheat you and we ain't trying to do all that no way, we're trying to fight to show everyone who the better man is. When you go overseas you know what they're going to do to you.

If there's a decent deal that can be made I would still want it, everybody else I'm saying no to because I'm going to back and do this (rematch), but for him I would do it because I know the people want to see it and that's the only reason I would do it because the people want to see it.

GL: Are you aware that Hopkins and Green are currently negotiating a fight? How do you feel about that fight?

RJJ: "Most definitely. If that's what they want to do that's fine. But the bad part about that is, A) Nobody knows Danny Green. B) Over there you're not going to do more than 100,000 PPV that's the best, but because of who they are they're probably not going to do that. And at the same time if he goes over there they're going to do the same thing. Danny Green is going to get any kind of edge. At least he knows about the wraps now, but anything they can do, if there's any way they can stop it, they going to do that. You have to know what you're dealing with when you go over there. If he's going to do it that's on him, I'm not tripping on it. I got the W over him, so I'm cool with that fight. If he wants to change it, that's on him."

GL: Obviously you and Bernard had the terms worked out as long as you handled Green. How would you describe the concessions you'd be willing to make in order to make a Hopkins fight happen next? Minor, major, moderate?

RJJ: "I think it would be minor still,, but at the same time, I got a W not an L. It's cool, I understand, but they understand too. I'm not fitting to just take anything because they stopped it early, because that's not fair to me and my legacy. My legacy isn't built on premature stoppages, it's built up because of what I did. I have a legacy and a legendary name. To me it's cut and dry. I thought you could get a fair shake there, but I was obviously wrong. I didn' think they would be able to use adhesive gauze. Now I know next time I could use it and that's good enough for me.

"I'm not chasing no one fight and I got a rematch coming anyway so I'm not tripping at all."

GL: Other than your silence to this point, do you think your previous losses are the reason there hasn't been an uproar in the States?

RJJ: "I don't know and I'm not tripping about it. That's why I got a rematch clause so if something I knew I'd be able to go back over there and get it right.

GL: What's the earliest we could expect you back in the ring?

RJJ: "Probably by March or April."

GL: Closing thoughts?

RJJ: "I still love my fans and thank you for supporting me. Roy Jones still got it and he ain't go nowhere yet."

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