Former WBC cruiserweight champion, Tony Bellew has named his boxing ‘GOAT’, in a post that looked back on the debut of one of boxing’s most respected legends.
Saturday marked the thirty-four-year anniversary of the debut of Roy Jones Jr, who knocked out Ricky Randall in the second round of his first professional outing.
Jones would go on to stop all but one of his next twenty opponents, before defeating Bernard Hopkins for the IBF middleweight title by unanimous decision in 1993.
The American would move up to the 168lb scene just one year later, adding the IBF super-middleweight title to his collection by defeating the then undefeated James Toney, again by unanimous decision.
After a series of title defences, ‘RJ’ stepped up to light-heavyweight, losing the first fight of his career after being disqualified in his challenge for Montell Griffin’s WBC crown for striking a downed opponent. However, Jones was quick to seek revenge, stopping Griffin in the first round of their rematch just five months later and becoming a three-division champion.
It was at this weight where Jones cemented his legacy, becoming the undisputed king, making seven defences of his throne after defeating Reggie Johnson in 1999.
At 34-years-old, Jones once again broke records, becoming the first former middleweight champion to become the heavyweight champion in over a century, claiming John Ruiz’s WBA title before dropping back down to light-heavyweight. This is one of many reasons why Jones is credited as an all-time-great of the sport, and on social media, Tony Bellew made it clear he regards him as the “greatest of all time”.
— Tony Bellew (@TonyBellew) May 6, 2023
Now 54, the fighting spirit is still with Jones, who made a comeback against former UFC lightweight champion, Anthony Pettis last month – losing the eight round contest by majority decision