A legendary U.S. prize-fighter, winner of the Seoul Olympic Games, 1988, Roy Jones Jr. has kindly agreed to answer my questions during the AIBA World Boxing Championships, 2019, in Yekaterinburg, Russia. Below are video and text of our conversation, which took place on September 20, 2019.
Dear Mr. Jones! I am a journalist from Kazakhstan. I have just two questions. Did you ever fight Kazakh boxers? And the second question. Why today U.S. amateur boxing is not so successful as during your brilliant career?
No, I not fought Kazakhstan fighters. At that time, Kazakhstan fighters were not really allowed to turn professional. And I am not as for one, because many are dead. United States’ boxing is not as good anymore, because to raise your level as amateurs you have unity. Because, always individual. That is why, so you gather them, lost them. Because individuals in different places: one here, one there, one there. Never whole community. So, it is soon to fall apart. It is a matter of time. Because, you do things in a whole. Teams going more powerful than individual. So, you’ve got one coach here, one coach there. No unity. I was blessed by God! I had free coach.
Well, the pugilist’s pronunciation is hard to grasp. There must be either high-end recording equipment or speech specialists at one’s disposal. Perhaps, better have them both. It seems that the champion has something in common with his archrival – James “Lights Out” Toney, who is also notorious for his pronouncing peculiarities.
Jokes apart! Although, Mr. Jones is not a skilled speaker, his message is clear and relevant. Nowadays, U.S. amateur boxing needs to be more consolidated in order to regain achievements of the past. American boxers definitely lack nationwide unity, which is a prerequisite of success on a global scale. So, the amazing prize-fighter has proved to be a thoughtful expert. His vision of amateur boxing’s development is noteworthy, indeed.