By Rick Scharmberg
Photos: Rick Scharmberg
Roy Jones Jr. (64-9, 46 KOs) has won titles in every division from middleweight to heavyweight in his illustrious pro career, which dates back to 1989. This Friday night, at the Chase Center on the Riverfront in Wilmington, Delaware, Jones will attempt to add the vacant WBF cruiserweight title to his collection. “Skill vs. Will” will feature Jones taking on Bobby “The Celtic Warrior” Gunn (21-6-1, 18 KOs) in the twelve round main event. The co-main event will feature world-rated Kanat Islam (22-0, 18 KOs), who will take on Robson Assis (16-3, 9 KOs) in a ten round junior middleweight bout. The final press conference took place today at the Chase Center.
Roy Jones Jr.:
Thanks to everyone who came together to make this event happen. Delaware is a small jewel, and to bring a big jewel together with it, you get a hell of a jewel.
Bobby Gunn is a mean dude. To be 72-0 with 72 knockouts in bare knuckles, says you beating somebody up for the heck of it. People ask why I am fighting him. It’s because I respect that. This guy is a killer, and I try to do things different.
Dave Tiberi inspired me. He beat James Toney, and that told me that I needed to fight James Toney next. That man beat James Toney just like I did for that gold medal in Korea.
This guy will bring it, but that’s what we do. I know what I’m I for. This is what I breathe and live for. See you on Friday night.
Nothing was handed to me. I fought hard for everything my whole life. I’m born and bred a fighting man from birth.
I am fighting one of the greats. I respect him more today that I did 20 years ago. He is cagey and powerful.
I will fight my guts out. I spend all day thinking of Roy, and I spend my nights dreaming of him. I can’t wait to meet him in the ring on Friday.
Me and Roy are going to battle and prove all the critics and doubters wrong. Roy is a true fighting man, with the heart of a lion. After Friday, he will never forget my name.
McGee Wright (Roy’s manager):
Bobby Gunn has been asking for Roy for 5 years now. People say Roy’s washed up. People say that Bobby Gunn is a street fighter. Bobby Gunn has fought 4 world champions – long time world champions. He’s been at the top of the mountain. I’m glad Roy’s fighting him and not me. He will fight everybody, ant time and any place. It is unbelievable how he got himself in position to fight one world champion, much less four oft them.
Roy is more motivated for this fight than I’ve seen in four or five years. This is brawler vs. boxer – a dream match. It’s going to be entertaining, and will be a battle.
Promoter David Feldman:
Roy Jones still has a lot left to prove. It brings me great pleasure to be able to bring this event to my area. Roy Jones is one of the greatest ever. Bobby Gunn is an undefeated bare knuckles champion. He’s a mean guy, and you don’t want to meet him in an alley.
This is a stacked card from top to bottom. In addition to the fights, living legends and former heavyweight world champions Larry Holmes, Michael Spinks, and Tim Witherspoon, along with another former heavyweight champion, Tyson Fury, will be in attendance.