Jones giving weight, but not his popularity

Jan 14, 2003 6:58 AM

Some local talking head asked a curious question to Roy Jones, arguably the world’s best pound-for-pound fighter.

"How come it took you so long to return to Las Vegas?" Jones responded, "There was no reason to come back before now."

John Ruiz is the reason Jones made one of his infrequent visits to Vegas and, specifically, the Thomas & Mack. It was at the UNLV arena that two held a news conference to promote their WBA heavyweight title fight slated for March 1.

Jones is making the major move from the light-heavyweight division, where he ran out of people to knock out. Ruiz will probably enter the fight 30 to 40 pounds heavier, yet he is a +135 underdog. And, he should be.

In boxing, there’s an old adage that the more a fighter moves up in weight class, the less of a punch he has. In this case, the sacrifice in power won’t matter. Jones will use his enormous boxing skills to whip Ruiz.


There is boxing coming a bit sooner than that when Caesars Palace gets back in the business with a double main event Saturday, Feb. 15.

In one bout, Jose Victor Burgos (39-13-2, 20 KO) takes on Alex Sanchez (29-2-1, 20 KO) for the IBF junior flyweight title. The other fight pits unbeaten Tim Austin (25-0-1, 22 KO) against Rafael Marquez (28-3, 26 KO) for the IBF bantanweight crown.

It’s nice to see Caesars active in boxing again. Maybe it will ring in a better brand of fights.


Bally’s is promoting its Moolah Horse Handicapping Contest. The event takes place April 18-19 with $150,000 in prize money at stake. The entry fee is $5,000. For more info, contact Bally’s at 1-800-468-8946. for click