NY Post - March 26, 2004
On a mission. Roy Jones, Jr. swore his subpar performance last November against Antonio Tarver was a fluke. Jones won, but not nearly as convincingly
as he's accustomed to.
Tarver swears he won the fight and there was no fluke. So, yet again, it's another case of boxers disagreeing.
They'll get to settle their differences in a May 15 Las Vegas rematch in what HBO hopes will draw a million pay-per-view purchases.
Jones and Tarver - both grew up in Florida and have known each other since the 1983 Sunshine Games - fought to a 12-round decision last Nov. 8 where
Jones retained his IBO championship and won the WBC light heavyweight title.
After the fight, Jones owed his lethargic performance to the rapid weight loss leading up to the bout. Jones dropped 18 pounds - from 193 to 175 -
after gaining that much to fight, and defeat, John Ruiz March 1 of last year for the WBA heavyweight title.
"I lost 25 pounds of muscle," Jones said. "Of course, that's tough. But I'm back . . . [Before the last match] I told him I was going to give him a
good one. I didn't do that. I gotta finish the job."
Tarver, the former WBC and IBF light heavyweight champion, feels cheated from the last bout. So cheated that he feels the judges that called the match
- Glen Hamada, Dave Harris and Jerry Roth (Roth scored it a draw) - should be tossed from boxing.
"I feel I won that fight clearly," Tarver said. "I think I proved a lot of nay-sayers wrong and made believers out of the non-believers. I don't wanna
cry over spilled milk, but I believe I beat him. This time I'm not gonna leave it up to the judges. I'm gonna kick his [butt] all night long."
Tarver, when asked about Jones' weight loss, said, "He needed those excuses to fall back on."
Jones countered, saying, "He's just a parakeet. Even a parakeet can talk."
Don King presided over yesterday's press conference at Tavern on the Green and lauded Jones - or better yet, Jones' money-making ability.
"He's the black Superman," King said. "He can do anything."