By Chris Robinson
During his prizefighting days, living legend and former four-division champion Roy Jones Jr. fought in the city of Las Vegas several times, as he is obviously no stranger to the brightest spotlights that boxing has to offer.
This weekend, from the MGM Grand Garden Arena, Jones will be sitting ringside as he takes in the sport’s next big event, the Manny Pacquiao-Timothy Bradley pay-per-view showdown. An extremely astute color commentator for HBO over the years, Jones loves to break down a good matchup and seems intrigued by Saturday night’s main event.
“Very good fight, a fight that either fighter could win,” said Jones of Pacquiao-Bradley as he spoke to me on Thursday inside of the MGM Grand’s makeshift media tent. “I think Pacquiao has the power to be able to put Bradley down and possibly out. Bradley’s been down, but never out. Bradley has an ugly, mean enough style to give Pacquiao all kind of problems as well.”
His curiosity obviously perked, Jones then slowed down and expressed his reservations about the match.
“The big problem we got is that with an orthodox fighter and a southpaw fighter, there’s usually problems with colliding of the heads,” continued Jones. “Bradley has problems colliding heads with orthodox fighters, so imagine what it’s going to look like against a southpaw.”
Pacquiao is no stranger to world-class competition, having beating a myriad of prizefighters with drastically different styles over the years. Yet in Bradley, a 28-year old undefeated upstart from Palm Springs, California, Jones seems to see a different kind of test for the Filipino hero.
“He’s durable, he’s strong, he’s a physical specimen,” Jones said respectfully of Bradley. “He’s not the biggest puncher, but he’s a very durable guy and he believes in his heart that he can win every night. That’s hard to beat.”
By nature, Bradley loves to mix it up on the inside and break down his opponents physically and mentally. Tim isn’t without his share of boxing ability, yet Jones is adamant as to which style will work best against Pacquiao.
“He better impose himself because if he stays smart and tries to box him, that’s a dumb thing to do,” said Jones. “His hands are not as quick as Pacquiao’s and he doesn’t punch as hard as Pacquiao. So if he doesn’t go in there and make it ugly, he’s going to get beat easy.”