Roy Jones Jr. is far down on my list of favourite fighters, but I've always appreciated his sense of panache, in and out of the ring.
An eight-time world champion in four divisions -- middleweight, super middleweight, light heavyweight and heavyweight -- Jones long ago stamped his future ticket to the Hall of Fame. And today, at age 40, he's still ranked among the world's top seven light heavyweights by all four major sanctioning organizations and The Ring magazine.
So when Jones (53-5, 39 KOs) dressed up as Capt. Hook for last week's media teleconference to hype his Aug. 15 "Hook City" showdown with Jeff Lacy (25-2, 17 KOs) in Biloxi, Miss., (airing live on Super Channel in Canada), nobody batted an eye. His best days as a fighter are long behind him, but Jones hasn't lost the flair and flamboyance that made him one of the biggest non-heavyweight draws in ring history.
"As you know, when I come in the ring, I bring it like I bring it," he said.
"My left is like a hook. What can I say?
"I was chosen for this challenge. When you're challenged, it's simple. A lot of guys in boxing do a lot of talking, but when it's time, they don't step up to the plate. Jeff Lacy said he wants to fight Roy Jones, so we'll get it on.
"I have the best left hook in the game. Jeff has a very good hook, too. So when you get a challenge like that, how can you say no? You can't, not where I come from. I don't know any decent person who could, straight up. I've watched Jeff a long time. I love watching him fight because he's exciting. He has power in both hands, so this is going to be a great test for both of us."
The 32-year-old Lacy, rated No. 6 by the IBF and No. 9 by the WBO at super middleweight, is moving up to light heavyweight for the first time. And to hear him tell it, he's just happy to be in the same ring with a living legend.
"I'd like to thank Roy for taking this challenge. I've always watched him, and he's a great fighter. I'm glad to be one of the names on his roster. Too bad I'm going to be beating him -- but it still will be good to be on his roster.
"Roy's bringing his hook -- calls himself 'Captain Hook,' as you can see he's dressed up in a captain's uniform. But I'm the original, and I'm going to show that."
In the 12-round co-feature for the vacant IBO cruiserweight crown, former world champ Danny Green of Australia (26-3, 23 KOs) will square off with South American light heavyweight king Julio Cesar Dominguez (20-4-1, 14 KOs).
Pardon for Johnson?
Kudos to Arizona Senator John McCain for petitioning the man who beat him in the U.S. presidential race to issue a posthumous pardon for former heavyweight champion Jack Johnson.
The Associated Press reported this week that McCain and New York Rep. Peter King have written to Barack Obama, urging a pardon for Johnson, who, five years after he lost the title to Jess Willard in 1915, was imprisoned on trumped up charges for his romantic involvement with white women.
Johnson won the crown on Dec. 26, 1908, from Canada's Tommy Burns, who was the first heavyweight champ to break the title's colour barrier by fighting a black challenger.