By Ian S Palmer
Former multi-weight-division world champion Roy Jones Jr of America will be returning to the ring on Friday, February 17th when he takes on Bobby Gunn of Canada in a 12-round cruiserweight bout at the Chase Center in Wilmington, Delaware. Jones, who is one of the greatest boxers of any era but is now 48 years old, has hung on for too long according to most fans, but won his last outing by a 10-round unanimous decision over Rodney Moore last August. Gunn’s last pro boxing outing was an eight-round unanimous decision loss to former world champion Glen Johnson. The bout, which is for the vacant World Boxing Foundation Cruiserweight Title, can be seen in the U.S. on pay-per-view.
Jones is a former world champion in the middleweight, super-middleweight, light-heavyweight and heavyweight division after kicking off his career as a junior middleweight. In fact, he’s the only boxer in history to capture a heavyweight title after starting out in the 154 lb. division. He climbs into the ring with a record of 64-9 along with 46 Kos. Jones lost his first fight as a cruiserweight back in May of 2011 against Denis Lebedev via a 10th-round round stoppage with just two seconds to go. He won eight fights in a row after that until running into former World Cruiserweight Champion Enzo Maccarinelli of Wales in December of 2015 and was brutally knocked out in the fourth round.
He’s now won two in a row since then. Jones stands 5-feet-11-inches tall, has a 74-inch reach and has boxed 477 rounds since turning pro back in 1989. His current knockout ratio stands at 63 per cent, but he’s not really known as a one-punch knockout artist. Most of Jones stoppages come from an accumulation of fast, accurate blows. The former silver medal winner at the 1988 Olympics in Seoul, South Korea, has beaten some of the best boxers of his era such as Jeff Lacy, Omar Sheika, Felix Trinidad, Antonio Tarver, John Ruiz, Clinton Woods, Otis Grant, Virgil Hill, Mike McCallum, Montell Griffin, Vinny Pazienza, James Toney and Bernard Hopkins.
His losses have come at the hands of Maccarinelli, Lebedev, Glen Johnson, Bernard Hopkins, Danny Green, Joe Calzaghe, Antonio Tarver (twice) and Montell Griffin by disqualification. Tarver stopped him once as did Johnson, Green, Lebedev and Maccarinelli. Jones still has some fine boxing skills and decent power, but his chin is very questionable and he’s been stopped in five of his last eight defeats. He’s definitely in a different class to Gunn when it comes to boxing, but may be second best when it comes to slugging.
Gunn was born in Niagara Falls, Canada, but now fights out of New Jersey. He’s been participating in bare-knuckle fights recently and enters the contest with a pro boxing record of 21-6-1 with 18 Kos and just turned 44 years old. He turned pro back in 1989 and has 91 rounds of experience since then. He’s also got decent power with a current knockout ratio of 62 per cent. Gunn has lost three fights in a row, but all to former world champions in Glen Johnson, James Toney in 2012 and Tomasz Adamek in 2009 with the latter two stopping him. His other loss was a first-round stoppage at the hands of Maccarinelli in 2007.
Gunn’s lone draw was a six-round affair against Cory Phelps in 2008. Gunn has faced some good opposition, but was beaten every time he stepped up in class. His most notable wins have been against Shelby Gross and Shannon Landberg. Gunn has been fighting on and off since 2009 with just two pro boxing performances since then. He’s definitely going to have some ring rust to get through and even though he also has a susceptible chin still has a puncher’s chance against Jones. Gunn stands 5-feet-11-inches tall with an unlisted reach. He’s reportedly 72-0 as a bare-knuckle boxer with 72Kos.
Jones is a future Hall of Famer while Gunn is basically a professional opponent. But with Jones’ chin being so questionable there’s always a chance Gunn could do some damage. If Jones’ chin holds out though he’ll take a comfortable decision or score a stoppage and take his first world title in the cruiserweight division.