JONES-TARVER PRESS CONFERENCE
Saturday, September 13, 2003
Mandalay Bay, Las Vegas, NV
ROY JONES, JR.: You see, I always, ALWAYS, keep my damn word. I’m telling you that you are going to get an ass whipping’. So you all see where I’m at, I’m right over there, in my seat next to my buddies. Ready to whoop some ass.
ANTONIO TARVER: You don’t have these though.
ROY JONES, JR.: I don’t need those. I’ve got a heavyweight title. You can keep that. I’ll kick his ass and they can keep that (belts). I don’t even want that. That’s not why I’m going to whip his ass. I’ll whip his ass for the back of this book cover right here. It has nothing to do with those belts. They can donate my money to charity. I don’t give a damn. His ass is toast. And I hope Buddy stays away from him, because Buddy used to fight too and I’ll tear up Buddy’s ass too, if I get close to him. Not Buddy my dog but.
BUDDY McGIRT: Can you leave me out of this?
ROY JONES, JR: My bad, but it’s jus how I get. It’s not like I need the motivation. I stay motivated. Do you know what I’m saying? You all just don’t understand. You really don’t understand. I want to climb on something. I don’t mean to open the conference this way and my apologies go out to everybody. I just can’t help myself. I’m not like Mike Tyson and I’m not going to bite anybody. But I am going to tear somebody’s ass up. I’m going to go sit down.
BUDDY McGIRT: Good afternoon. I don’t have much to say because I’m hungry. So I’ll be short and quick. I’m just glad that this fight is coming off. It’s very rare that hear that the heavyweight champion is coming down to fight the light heavyweight champion for the light heavyweight championship of the world. So that just goes to show that that we all know Roy Jones is Roy Jones. He’s a great guy. Great fighter. Great champion. He’s carried boxing a long time. I always respected him for that. He’s had me at his house. Treated me like family. Cheated me at pool. But it was all good. One of his dogs chased me. It was good though. I had a great time. He’s a great guy. I’m just glad to be a part of this.
Mr. Tarver, who I’ve been training for the last three years, is a great guy. He’s family. I know there are a lot of people out there who say that it can’t be done. I love Roy and respect him, but on November 8th, I’ve got a trick up my sleeve. Antonio’s going to put it up his sleeve, we’ve got more than one trick, and we are going to emerge victorious. It’s going to be a great fight and a great night for boxing and I’m just glad to be a part of it.
Thank you, God bless and have a great day. If you need me I’ll be at the buffet.
ANTONIO TARVER: Hello. First I would like to welcome everyone here today. It’s been a long journey. It really has been. I first would like to say that I welcome Roy Jones’ challenge for my championships. They didn’t come easy. From ’96 it’s been a struggle. I had to fight my way through every obstacle that I was faced with. I didn’t have the so-called super promoter, the so-called super manager to exhaust me to undeserving heights. I had to do it the hard way – the Marvin Hagler way. I had to beat everyone that stepped in from of me. When you look at the game today, it’s basically politricks and politics. That’s how most of these young guys get their breaks.
I stand here today a deserving champion to Roy Jones’ throne as pound-for-pound king. The old saying is “You can fool some people some of the time, but you can’t fool all of the people all of the time.” I’m here today, I guess as the last non-believer. I basically feel that I’m the caliber of a fighter that has never really got his just do. Coming out of the amateurs being heralded as one of the greatest America amateurs of all time. Making the transition to the pros is hard.
When promoters tell you that “you are not deserving, or you’re not worthy. You couldn’t do it. You don’t belong.” I pulled up my jock strap and said, “You know what? I’ll show them. I’ll show them what I’m made of.” The book is still being written. I had one night where I came up short. I took it on the chin. I said, “You know what? This guy’s not better than me. He hasn’t been where I’ve been. He’s not going where I’m going. Let’s do it again. I was in the same position – the mandatory challenger.
Most guys, the pretenders, they sit back and wait on their shot. They get the little money that Roy Jones pays them and they are happy with that. Not me. I’m not happy with that. I’m not satisfied with that. I want more. I want it all. I deserve it all.
An on November 8th, there will be no more debate. I want to first apologize to the media for the ex-champ’s tardiness. After November 8th, we’ll do it the Antonio Tarver way. We’ll be on time. We’ll respect you all. And at the same time, we’ll want that respect in return.
Roy Jones is a great champion. I never ever sided this guy. As being one of the most talented fighters, that arguably, has ever lived. But, you know, all good things must come to an end. I’m here telling you today that I’m the only person in the world who has an opportunity. A real opportunity, to defeat this guy. Not by disqualification, but by straight up victory. That’s what we’re looking for on November 8th.
We’ve worked real, real hard. We’ll continue to work very, very hard. I know that it won’t be easy, but I’m telling you Roy Jones is in the fight of his life. I think he knows that. He knows what I’m made of. He knows it’s not about money. It’s not about all of that. It’s about my rightful spot in the game of boxing history. And that’s what we’re here to make on November 8th. History. Thank you.
ROY JONES, JR: I thought when you get to be 34 years old that you don’t need anyone to apologize for you. Hell, you are supposed to take off your own clothes and put them back on. You don’t apologize for me. We’ll be late sometimes and we’ll be on time sometimes. If I did everything the same way as everybody else I wouldn’t be Roy Jones. You all could come watch a robot, right?
But we aren’t watching a robot. This is the Roy Jones show. And it ain’t over. So don’t let anybody fool you and tell you no bull like that. Now back to the facts at hand.
First of all what I want to say while I’m out here in Las Vegas at this big fight that’s happening today, I’ve got a man that’s sitting over here by the name of Ronald “Winky” Wright. Now they always talk about people stepping up to the challenge. This man just sits here with the IBF title just beating contender after contender after contender. You have all of these other big fighters like Sugar Shane Mosley, Oscar De La Hoya, and Bernard Hopkins. All claim to be the best in the division, yet nobody wants to step up and fight Winky.
So I know what this boy is saying what he went through to get to the top. As you all know I’ve been my own promoter and manager and every damn thing since I started. I wrote the book on that. I came from the smallest city you probably ever heard of, Pensacola, FL. But right now if you say you’re from Pensacola, Florida, do you know what people say? “You know that bad mother named Roy Jones, Jr.? That’s what they are going to ask you.
Me knowing what it takes, I always welcome any challenge that comes my way. And I wish these other fighters would do this because when I see a man that constantly dominates the division, like Winky is doing, to me you must fight that man. Honestly, the only reason I’m taking my time out to fight this boy, is because when he did lose he had the opportunity to fight me then. I was fighting the winner of that fight. I just wanted to fight a top ten person. He lost. It was not my fault. I’m not to be held for that. That’s not what I do for a living.
I kick ass for a living. So I go and to shoe how bad I didn’t want to fight the other boy (Montell Griffin), I had to beat this boy so he couldn’t punch no more and he had to quit. Because he was not going to give me a chance to knock him out. Hw was not out there to beat Roy Jones, Jr. Do you think I want to spend that time with him? Hell no. So this boy goes and says, “Well, I did to him what Roy Jones couldn’t do.” But he didn’t come to you and do what he did to Roy Jones, Jr. He didn’t come to whip my ass; he came to whip his ass (Tarver).
To get ass, you’ve got to bring ass. I bring ass every time I come. Every time I come, I know what the situation is. Because this is a fight, this is what we do for a living. You can’t get it if you’re not willing to give your up. You’ve got to bring it to get it. The boy didn’t bring it so it was kind of hard to get to him. I was very disappointed because I wanted to beat him in the ring. Not that bum.
I didn’t want him (Griffin). I want him (Tarver). And it didn’t happen. So that wasn’t my fault. But he did show me one thing. He had the heart and the nerve to go back and try to avenge that. That’s the only reason I’m here waiting my time today. Because if he didn’t show me that, I would even be here today. Don’t waste time with your talk. I’ve got birds, dogs – all of them will talk. It doesn’t mean anything. So don’t you all think that because he ran his mouth after the Ruiz fight, that doesn’t have a damn thing to do with me. I don’t live over talk.
I live over facts. What I see. When they claim pound-for-pound, De La Hoya, Mosley and all of them. This man right here has a title. Don’t you think that all of those men in that weight class, if I was in that weight class, I sure would want it. In order for me to claim pound-for-pound, I would want it. When I was light heavyweight champ I wanted every title I would see. Darren Michalshevski wouldn’t even bring his title over here to let his fans see it. Because he knew that if I caught him at the airport, I would take it. If I caught him at the airport in the United States, he knew that I was taking that. And he was going to have to come back here to find me to take it back. That’s how we were going to do it. Because when I want it, I want it. I ain’t like him. I’m a little bit different. I’m nice.
I’m probably never going to be on time. That’s something I never knew anything about. I’m not trying to be on time. Because when I get there I’m going to be there for a while. When I get here you are all going to enjoy me for a while. When I come, I come to give it my all. When I get here, I’m hell. That’s the damn problem. Come November 8th, I know when it’s time to be on time.
On November 8th, I will happen, I will just so happen, to be on time. And guess what that is going to mean? I’m going to be madder than you know what. Because I don’t like very much to be on time. So my attitude is going to be nasty – all time. Yeah, he wants to be a nice champ. That’s fine. That’s good for him. YEA (Roy claps). I like that. That ain’t me. That’s for Oscar and Shane and all of those guys who duck (Winky). They don’t see people like this.
I see them all. So when I don’t get a chance to do what I want to do. I do what I need to do. And I told the boy –“Do what you’ve got to do.” And you’ve got me. I’m coming. You don’t have to fish for me. All you have to do is call my name. That’s good enough. You’ve got a title. I don’t care about that. I’ve got a pile of them at home. I’ve got so many of them I match them with my outfits. That ain’t my thing. My thing is I whip ass for a living. That’s what I do.
Everything I got fights. My little boy, I have to escort him through school every now and then because all they want to do is fight all day. That’s just what I do. I can’t help it. My little boy in kindergarten, 4 years old, is whipping all of the 5 year olds. He said, “Dad, they don’t want to talk to me any more.” I said, what did you do? He said, “I jumped on them.” He’s supposed to. His momma said, “Don’t tell him that.” I said I’m sorry but I just can’t help myself right now. When I retire I might be able to give him some better advice. Right now my advice is to kick their ass.
So I ain’t any Mr. Nice Guy no damn more. They say he doesn’t talk. He’s not nice. I ain’t nice no more. I used to be. That didn’t help. Now I’m back to being the same Roy Jones I used to be. Do you understand where I’m coming from? When the rest of them start stepping up like I do, and accept every challenge that comes, like a man sitting right here with a title, and willing to come fight, then they can get a accolades of being the best pound-for-pound. Until they do that, I expect them to shut their mouth unless they want to see me in the ring.
So without any more to say. I think I’ve said enough for everybody. I’m not playing. I’m not playing at all. Same old me that will always be. The one coming, willing, ready to do what I have to do. And anybody that goes to any fighter under 160 pounds – from 160 to 147 – that wants to fight Winky Wright, trust me he will be just like I am. He doesn’t want to talk. Just tell them when they are ready to sign his name – so if anybody knows a fighter that thinks he’s tough – bring them on.
We’ve got some people here that don’t care how tough they think they are. It just so happens I have to give him that credit too. And I hate giving people credit. It just so happens that this boy, being from Florida, we don’t duck too much. As a matter of fact, he may have too much Florida in him because he’s chasing suicide around. He can’t help it. That’s just how we are in Florida. If you’re that, we want to see you be that. So I’ve got to respect that. He knows I’m that. He just wants to see it again.
And by the way, I didn’t want anybody to think I didn’t tell the truth. When we were 13-years-old, we did fight. It was a good fight. I was not into running the, because my daddy was not into running. What I did was, the same thing I do now. I used my head and I tear your ass. And that’s what happened! And he’ll tell you, “Well, he ran.” Thirteen years old, I don’t ever recall being a runner my entire career. When I was in track they gave me a bicycle to ride around because I wasn’t going to run. What the hell am I running for? My daddy told me to never run. So I had to walk – I ain’t running anywhere. So don’t believe any of that.
I’m here to tell you the truth. When I come – you all know that I come to be me. On November 8th, I’m coming to be me. I am a happy dude. God blessed me with something I never expected me to get – a shot at the heavyweight title. Then he blessed me more – I won it. I expected to do because if he’d seen me out there that’s what I was supposed to go do.
Now here’s a guy who really does believe he has a chance. And trust me. I do really believe that he thinks he has a chance. I have seen some people like that before. Hell, Stevie Wonder thinks that one day he is going to be able to see. I don’t know if that’s going to happen, but you’re supposed to believe. If you don’t believe, you are not going to get anywhere. If I didn’t believe I could whip the heavyweight champion of the world, how would I be where I’m at right now? So I’m glad he believes that. I’m not taking credit away from him for believing. Evil Knievel thought he could jump over all of those cars until he broke all of his bones.
Some people just never do learn. I’m here to do what I do for a living and anyone around me – if you look like you want to fight – welterweight, jr. welterweight, middleweight – and of course if you are above middleweight – anybody above 168 – come see me. Anything from about 165 to 147 – he’ll (Winky) go. It ain’t hard to see.
Here we are, ready. And anything under that – Floyd’s around here somewhere.