It's 7:28 a.m. last Saturday. Roy Jones Jr. wakes up in his
Jacksonville condo and checks his things to do list. All he has
planned is a U.S. Basketball League game in the afternoon and an
IBF world super middleweight championship fight at night. Hits
the snooze button.
7:44 a.m. Carpe diem. Jones screens a videotape of Eric Lucas,
his opponent in the title bout. Lucas is arguably one of the
better super middleweights in all of Quebec. He's 100 to 1 in
Vegas. "I woke up early, all restless like it was Christmas
morning," Jones says. "I talked to myself and I said, 'Self, can
you do all this in one day?' And self said, 'I ain't scared.'
Then me, myself and I got together and said, 'Let's go do
this.'" That settled, they all take a shower.
9:34 a.m. Jones ladles nine teaspoons of sugar into his cup of
coffee, eats a Gummy worm and dispenses some diet secrets. This
from a guy who has gained 12 pounds in the 16 hours since he
weighed in at 166, the increase due in part to an extensive
sampling of the Burger King menu during a drive-thru in a white
9:58 a.m. Jones sits for a haircut and discusses the possibility
that today's activities might sap his strength. Nobody mentions
Samson. "The whole idea behind playing the basketball game is to
wear myself down," Jones says. "Maybe that'll make the fight a
challenge for me." What's next? The Ironman Triathlon?
June 23, 1996
10:51 a.m. "This is not a publicity stunt," Jones says of his
oddball sports doubleheader. He empties his trash. Fifteen
reporters trail him to the curb.
12:23 p.m. Jones arrives at the University of North Florida gym,
where his Jacksonville Barracudas have a game with the Treasure
"I've seen it all in this game, playing from Israel to Brazil to
the Philippines," says journeyman center Mike Hackett of the
Barracudas. "But I never thought I'd play a game where my point
guard is warming up to defend the super middleweight
championship of the world."
1:43 p.m. Jones is introduced, and 1,965 fans give him a
standing ovation. Not bad for a guy shooting 24% from the floor
and 45% from the free throw line.
1:49 p.m. In the opening minute of play, Jones, who averages 20
minutes, four points and two assists per game, launches a shot
from the top of the key. Air ball.
1:53 p.m. Jones commits a charging foul, sending a Tropics big
man crashing to the floor. The three-knockdown rule is not in
1:57 p.m. Jones hits a layup.
1:59 p.m. Jones makes another layup and is fouled. Completes
three-point play. Considers retiring from boxing.
2:05 p.m. Jones comes to the bench. Hot dog sales soar.
2:48 p.m. Halftime. Barracudas president Artis Gilmore is asked
for a scouting report on Jones.
SI: "What is your reaction to Roy saying he would like to
someday play in the NBA?"
Gilmore: "Roy Jones said that?"
3:17 p.m. Jones dribbles the ball off his knee, leading to an
easy Treasure Coast layup. Funny, none of the Tropics taunt him.
3:50 p.m. With a Jacksonville victory assured, Jones leaves the
bench and heads for the locker room midway through the fourth
quarter. Turns thoughts to pugilism. Predicts sixth-round
4:08 p.m. Barracudas win by 13, with Jones having contributed
five points and three turnovers in 14 minutes. Tropics demand a
4:17 p.m. Jacksonville coach Rex Morgan is asked to evaluate
Jones's season so far. "When you spar 12 rounds a day, it's
tough to find your legs on the jump shot," says Morgan, who
played with the Boston Celtics from 1970 to '72. "Sure, Roy has
a lot to learn, but I coached Charlie Ward a few years ago in
the USBL, and everybody said he could never make the NBA. Roy's
a world champion fighter. I'm not going to be the guy to tell
him he can't make it."
4:35 p.m.-6:15 p.m. Zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz.
7:01 p.m. To motivate himself, Jones watches tapes of former
featherweight champ Salvador Sanchez, whose style he admires.
Switches to cable and frantically summons his housemates when
Barracudas highlights show up on ESPN. You'd think the guy had
never been on TV before.
9:33 p.m. Jones turns up at ringside during undercard bouts at
the Jacksonville Veterans Memorial Coliseum and is asked about
his prefight meal. First he says he's eaten pancakes. Later he
says he's eaten scrambled eggs. Media launch investigation.
10:39 p.m. Less than seven hours after leaving the basketball
court, Jones steps into the ring. Pummeling commences.
11:02 p.m. During the sixth round, Jones's mother, Carol, turns
to her daughter Tiffany and asks, "Has this man hit your brother
11:23 p.m. After 11 rounds the fight is mercifully halted.
Lucas's nose is broken. His eyelid is cut. He has landed only 90
punches. Jones has hired more dangerous sparring partners. Poor
Quebec. First the Avalanche, and now this.
12:32 a.m. Jones disappears into his limo, having swept the
doubleheader. In the process he has proved he is more Sugar Ray
Robinson than Michael Ray Richardson. However, if he keeps
working on it, Jones might someday be known as the best
basketball player in the WBA. "In basketball, anyone can see I'm
just a contender, but in boxing I'm the champ," Jones says. "I
don't want to box forever, but champ is where the money is."
Indeed, Jones has earned $1.5 million for the fight. He collects
$300 a week playing basketball. Roy, don't give up your night