Things got so bad at the final press conference to promote his fight with Antonio Tarver that even Roy Jones Jr. had to leave.
It's hard to blame Jones, who has long since tired of hearing Tarver claim that he beat him the first time they met.
It didn't help that promoter Don King kept trying to get him to wear a Superman costume on Wednesday.
"He's the black Superman," King chortled.
Jones went out to the casino at the Mandalay Bay to shoot some craps while King droned on, only to eventually come back and pose with King holding the
Superman costume, complete with red boots.
He even seemed to have a bit of a smile on his face, but maybe that was in anticipation of what he plans to do Saturday night in his light heavyweight
title fight with Tarver.
Though Jones has struggled much of his career to motivate himself for fighters who don't have nearly the talents he has, that doesn't figure to be the
case against Tarver.
This is one fight he's looking forward to.
"Why I'm doing this is because my fans want me to shut this boy's mouth," Jones said. "I don't really want to kill him or nothing like that. I just
want to show him that when I'm on my day you can't beat me at all. He couldn't beat me when I wasn't on my day and he definitely can't beat me when I
am on my day."
Jones and Tarver meet for the 175-pound title Jones took from Tarver in November, when Jones looked old and tired despite winning a majority decision
that drew loud boos from the crowd at Mandalay Bay hotel-casino.
The fight is a classic rematch that seems to need little in the way of hype. That didn't stop King from staging a marathon press conference complete
with costumes and other props to try and sell an extra ticket or two.
Jones wasn't there for much of it, but Tarver came early and stayed late. Unlike Jones, he's just happy to have an audience.
"My dreams don't stop with Roy Jones," Tarver said. "My dreams go way past Roy Jones."
Tarver believes he hasn't been given credit for taking the fight to Jones the first time before fading in the final rounds to lose a decision.
Jones said afterward he had to lose 25 pounds to get down to light heavyweight after winning the WBA heavyweight title from John Ruiz earlier in the
year, and was not motivated to fight Tarver.
"I've never bought into those excuses," Tarver said. "I came down far more than Roy Jones ever came down and I made no excuses. Champions don't make
excuses, they just don't."
Oddsmakers seem to think the excuse was genuine, making Jones a 4-1 favorite to win the scheduled 12-round rematch that will be televised on
Jones (49-1, 38 knockouts) is getting $6 million for what he says will be one of the final fights of a career in which he has always displayed great
talents but was seldom in against great fighters.
"I would probably fight one more time in (his hometown) Pensacola, Fla., but this would be my last serious fight," the 35-year-old Jones said. "If I
can't find somebody that could fight as good and would have a good fight, then I'm out of there."
Tarver (21-2, 17 knockouts) believes Jones has already fought once too often already.
"His whole legacy is on the line whether he realizes it or not," Tarver said "We are stuck together like Siamese twins in history."
Copyright 2004 Associated Press. All rights reserved.