The CyberBoxingZone News

January 15, 2000

A Fun Night of Disappointments

By Mike DeLisa

I was standing behind the Rockettes waiting for the curtains to go up as I thought of New York showman George M. Cohan's observation that outside of New York "you are only camping out."  Cohan, of course, was dismissing the out-of-town rubes.  He did however have a fair appreciation for dancers.  Last night, Cohan I think would have been disappointed in the dancing, but overall pleased by the event itself.  (A full house has that effect.)

The undercard was disappointing, but not boring. First, a thoroughly washed-up Leslie Stewart wandered through 10 rounds with Roy's Pensacola buddy, Billy Wayne Lewis.   I missed the first 7 rounds, but for a good reason -- I had the opportunity to chat a bit with Budd Schulberg at a nearby restaurant. I did leave that party early to cover the undercard, stopping only briefly to get the word from Ed Brophy about the newly elected Hall of Famers, including Middleweight-Light Heavy Carl "Bobo" Olson.  With Bobo in the Hall of Fame, I wondered, why not put in Jones right now?  (Jones would answer that question later.)

The second fight was a major disappointment, at least for Eduardo Manzano.  Manzano, a 115-pounder from Mexico City was imported as fodder for 17-2 Vernie Torres. For all you gringos out there, Vernie is pronounced Bernie.  Manzano was clearly overwhelmed by the Big City, star-studded locale.  Midway through the first, as he sparred tamely with B/Vernie, he ducked to his right directly into an oncoming left uppercut.   Eduardo did not beat the count.  So, Torres, KO 1 in 1:12.  Eduardo got his money's worth though, showering quickly and staking out a seat at ringside in order to glimpse the Royal Roy.  He stood in the same spot for the next 4 hours, gym bag in hand.

Kelvin Davis made short work of Brooklynite Erol Sadikovski in a scheduled 4-round Heavyweight bout.  Erol went down hard in the first.  In the second, he turned away after what seemed to me to be a clear low blow.  Davis kept punching at him.   After the ref separated them, he stopped the fight for some unclear reason.   An enraged Sadikovski then rushed across the ring to attack the celebrating Davis.   The two slugged it out as the ref and others tried to pull them apart.  Davis won this one also, but it goes in the book as a TKO 2 in 1:02.

The fireworks continued in the next fight as Brian Barbosa retained his NABO Middleweight Title with a three-knockdown stoppage of Maurice Brantley.  Brantley, with a good record of 22-8, celebrated his title shot by dying his hair yellow to match his robe.     His combination skills ended with his matching hair and trunks.   Barbosa used a really ugly loping overhand right to club Maurice to the canvas 3 times and out in 2:44 of the first.  Barbosa also staked ut a site at ringside to watch the main event, but in addition to his gym bag he hauled around a gaudy plastic title belt from his unknown organization.

And then the curtains went up.  As most saw via HBO, nice-guy Derrick Jefferson simply ran out of gas in the eighth round. During the fight, I could not help but be disappointed with the general lack of technique showed by the two.  This was offset however by Izon's determination to see things through tot he end.  Jefferson was not helped by his corner.  Post scribe Wally Matthews later told me that prior to the ninth, Jefferson, rather than being given important technical advice (i.e. "Clinch!") he was told "You've got to cross the desert."  That amateur advice did not aid and 11 seconds into the ninth, it was over.  

Derrick chalked the loss up to inexperience, as he had tried too hard for the knockout.   Cohan would have been appalled at the concession -- to dance in the big house you had to know how to buck and wing with flair; admitting you could only half a buck and a wing would be beyond the pale.

Some skinny girl named Whitney something came out and screamed, but they took her off pretty quickly.  I guess she was some hick trying to make a quick break to the limelight. 

About Jones, again, what can be said besides the D-word?  My notes for the 5th and 6th rounds read as follows -- "Jones Wiggles ass.  Bell.  Round card girl Wiggles ass. Whitney leaves.  Bell. Jones wiggles ass."  You get the idea.   Jones simply wasn't creative enough to find a way to hammer down tough guy Telesco. Telesco for his part, should at least have listened to Brian Barbosa, who spent the night screaming "overhand right." I am not sure if Barbosa was shouting advice, or simply reminding himself of what worked in his win.

Jones pulled out Generic Excuse Number #14 for his showing, claiming he had fractured his left hand 3 weeks before in a yard accident.  The fed-up NY press didn't even bother to follow up on that load of crap.  Jones did admit, however that he has no plans to move up to Heavyweight.  Jones, all else aside is no fool.

A birthday celebration was held for Roy uptown.  Bernard Hopkins was there scarfing down sushi while ubiquitous Iran Barkley bellied up to the bar.  I wound up between Queen Latifah and Starr Jones, feeling very very white.  At 3:30 a.m., as I was cutting out, Jones made his way to his own party.  I passed by him on the stairs, but didn't stop to talk with him.  I didn't want to be disappointed after a good evening of boxing in New York. Least of all by a rube.

Jones Makes It Look Easy (Again)

By Chris Bushnell

Roy Jones, simply put, is the most dominant fighter in the game today.  There may be other fighters who administer more savage beatings, box prettier, or even generate more exciting fights...but no one dominates an opponent like Roy Jones.  Faced with the well muscled, but limited, David Telesco, Jones wasted no time in rendering Telesco passive.  Whatever illusions Telesco held about exerting some will of his own evaporated shortly after Jones landed his first punch, a sizzling right hand lead that Telesco didn't even see coming.  Gone were the promises to fight back, to press the action and to test Jones.  Like so many before him, once faced with Jones' unique combination of speed and power, Telesco could do little more than sit back and watch.

Telesco certainly didn't look ill-prepared for the task.  Entering the first boxing ring ever erected on the stage at Radio City Music Hall, Telesco appeared fit and focused.   Despite being forced to sit through Jones' lengthy entrance, as well as Whitney Houston's lullaby performance of "America the
Beautiful", Telesco was bouncing and eager as the opening bell approached.   Maybe, just maybe, he would live up to his promise to attack Jones from the beginning. 

Or, maybe not.

After a few range finding attempts, Jones' right hand sailed over Telesco's guard and popped him hard in the forehead.  Pushing out a slow jab, Telesco again felt Jones' fist on his face.  In blurry flashes of pure speed, Jones again and again stung Telesco with lead right hands.  Just to keep him
honest, Jones occasionally mixed his assaults with lead rights to the body.  Both punches landed clean, often, and without any warning.  Telesco, unable to react, was virtually defenseless.

In the second round, Telesco overcame his own amazement long enough to paw with a telegraphed jab towards Jones' chest.  These half hearted attempts at offense only opened him up more, and Jones continued firing lead right hand after lead right hand into the exact same spot above Telesco's left eye.  It was an amazing display of precision.

To change things up in the third round, Jones switched to a southpaw stance, and again Telesco could do little more than watch.  Sneaking a stinging right hook over Telesco's glove, Jones continued to tattoo his opponent's head.  Although Telesco was not being wobbled by these punches, they could be heard throughout the large indoor arena.   More importantly, Jones' offense was so accurate and speedy that Telesco was unable to counter, and so he soon stopped trying.

By the fourth round, Telesco was reduced to attempting to frustrate Jones out of his rhythm.  Verbally taunting Jones with expletive laced boasts, and wrestling with Jones when he got close amounted to the sum of Telesco's competitive offering.  When Roy talked back, in between in blinding pot shots, referee Arthur Mercante Sr. threatened to take points away if the
chatter didn't cease.

Having been muzzled by Mercante, Telesco converted his taunting in the fifth round to sign language, gesturing at Jones to keep throwing after each clean blow.  Not content to be outdone in any category, even braggadocio, Jones humiliated Telesco at his own game.   Having briefly trapped Jones in a corner, but unable to land, Telesco backed off towards center ring.  At first Jones followed, but then he dropped his hands and retreated to the corner, inviting Telesco to not give up his advantage.  Telesco came in, Jones fired a combination off his head, and again Telesco stepped back towards center ring.  But Jones stayed in the corner, yelling at Telesco to come back and
show him what he had.  Three times Telesco took the challenge, and three times he was backed off.  The crowd was on it's feet.

Having exerted his dominance, Jones settled into coasting mode.  Telesco was now bewildered and frustrated, and so he stood still.  Perhaps he was waiting for an opening that would never come, perhaps he was content to get hit less by being inactive, or perhaps he was hoping that Jones would tire.  Whatever the reason, Telesco became exactly the type of walking heavybag that he had promised he would not become.  With no opposition in front of him, Jones began to entertain the crowd.  In the later rounds, he would turn to the crowd, dance for a minute, and then hit a mummified Telesco clean in the face.  He tried body shots, a few left hooks, and a steady stream of lead right hands.  Jones rarely threw combinations, but he didn't need to.  His opponent had already been subdued.

Firmly in neutral for the second half of the fight, Jones took several rests in the corner.  During these brief respites, Telesco would wing his sculpted arms upstairs and down.  One or two punches actually caught Jones, but most were slipped or caught on the arms.  In these moments, as he had versus Montell Griffin, Jones' one weakness surfaced: his willingness to give his opponent opportunities in the corner during brief episodes of boredom.  Regardless of Jones taking chances, Telesco simply could not capitalize.

And so round after round was completed.  As the twelfth round approached, Telesco's face grew distorted with swelling and contusions.  Telesco returned to verbal taunts in the final two rounds, capping off the eleventh with the empty boast of "You can't knock me down Roy".  Paraphrasing Jake LaMotta at least kept Jones active, as he spent the twelfth round swiveling Telesco's head one way and then the next. 

The scorecards were read as a formality, with Jones a shutout winner 120-108 (twice) and 120-106.  Afterwards, Jones was presented with a birthday cake (his 31st) and a myriad of championship belts, including the WBA, WBC and IBF belts that he earned as well as the NBA and IBO belts he was given at press conferences.  Pocketing another $4 million purse, and claiming that he had fractured his left wrist in a motorcycle accident 3 weeks before the fight, Jones (41-1/33) was elated to have demonstrated, once again, his rightful place atop the pound for pound rankings. 

Jones' victory came after a spectacular and surprising undercard feature.  Rising heavyweight Derrick Jefferson faced journeyman David Izon in a bout that startled the capacity crowd.

Fresh off his victory over Maurice Harris late last year, Jefferson began this fight where the last left off.  Opening up from the get-go, Jefferson attacked Izon with a powerful double jab, crunching right hands, and some of the most dedicated bodywork seen in the heavyweight division in some time.  Throwing over 70 punches in the opening round, the story of the fight to come could be seen in the corners between rounds.   After three minutes of punishment, Izon sat emotionless on his stool.  Across the ring, Jefferson gasped for air, heavily winded by the pace he had set for himself.

Despite previous stamina problems, Jefferson resumed his busy style in the second round, as he again hit Izon with everything but the kitchen sink.  A late comer to boxing, Jefferson's assortment of punches was most impressive.  His double jab set up very straight right hands, and when his left hand wasn't hooking, it was landing some vicious uppercuts.  As Jefferson pounded Izon's ribcage, the fight looked like it would not last long.  Credit Izon with holding up.

In the third, Jefferson's pacing began to betray him.  He was breathing heavily and began to miss wildly with gigantic home run swings.  Still, he managed to keep throwing, and landing, making many wonder how much Izon could take.  This trend continued through the fourth, fifth and sixth rounds, as Jefferson's breathing became more exaggerated while he continued to beat down his opponent.

In the seventh round, Izon was finally beginning to wear out himself.  Not from exhaustion, but from punishment.  As an endless series of Jefferson bombs found their target, Izon wearily stumbled across the ring and began leaning on the ropes.  As Jefferson pounded him, he occasionally looked to referee Arthur Mercante, Jr. to stop the fight.  Each time Mercante might have stepped in, and there were plenty of chances, Izon managed to swing an obligatory punch back, keeping the referee from ending the bout.   Jefferson battered the Nigerian until the bell to end the round sounded.   Tallying a 10-8 round without a knockdown, on top of a shutout of 10-9 rounds, Jefferson needed only to stay on his feet to win an easy 10 round decision.  Easier said than done.

Jefferson began the eighth round swinging again, trying to determine if Izon had regained his senses.  Then midway through the frame, Izon landed a crisp right hand counter, and Jefferson was wobbling on his feet.  As Izon followed up with another right that missed, Jefferson suddenly lost his footing and sprawled across the ring onto his stomach.   He was completely exhausted.  Despite not being sent down on a punch, Mercante began a count, which Jefferson barely beat.  The tables were turned, and now Izon attacked, trying desperately to capitalize on Jefferson's inability to defend himself.   Hanging on for dear life, Jefferson somehow made it out of the round.  The crowd was on it's feet.

Between rounds, Jefferson seemed unable to sit up straight on his stool, let alone catch his breath, and before he knew it the ninth had begun.  He stumbled out to meet Izon, who punched him back to the ropes.  Draping one arm over the top rope, Jefferson was barely able to stand on his own.  Izon came in and landed only one semi-clean punch before Mercante pulled him off and waved the fight over.  Given the chances Izon was granted in the seventh, it seemed like an insanely premature decision.  Nevertheless, there appeared to be absolutely no chance that Jefferson would again be able to survive the round.  The big man had completely punched himself out, and unable to even
lift his arms, he would have only survived another couple of seconds on the ropes. 

David Izon (25-3/20) was ecstatic.  Having suffered losses to David Tua and Michael Grant, he was on the verge of becoming an "also ran" in the division.  Now, with a dramatic victory over the exciting Jefferson, he has once again put himself into the mix as a viable contender.  For his part, Jefferson accepted his first defeat with grace.  Making no excuses, Jefferson (22-1-1/18) promised only to go back to the gym and work harder, promising to return again.  With his exciting style and willingness to mix it up, no doubt he will.

.....Chris Bushnell

Jones Out-Classes A Trash-Talking Telesco
By Francis Walker

On Saturday, January 15, in New York City, the world's greatest fighter today performed on the world's greatest stage. Making the fifth defense of the light-heavyweight title, Undisputed World Champion Roy Jones, Jr. (41-1, 33KOs), miserably out-classed WBA No. 2 contender, David Telesco (23-3, 19KOs), via 12-round unanimous decision, in the first professional sporting
event ever held at Radio City Music Hall.

Jones-Telesco, promoted by Murad Muhammad Sports, was televised on HBO's "World Championship Boxing."

Telesco, who entered the bout believing that his punching-power would carry him through to victory, was outclassed from the start of the fight. The devastating power-punching machine Telesco was said to have been was nowhere to be found. Punching-power, or no punching-power it was all Jones, who managed to give his opponent credit for his effort.

"Telesco, is a strong puncher - That's all he has," said Jones, who turned 31 the day after his dominant showing. "He's a power-puncher, but that's all he has. If you're a power-puncher and can't hit nobody with the power, what good is it going to do? And when he hit me it didn't bother me. I got a good beard, I just don't like to prove I got a good beard." 

To make things worse, Jones fought Telesco with a fractured left-hand he suffered in training camp two weeks ago.

"With the one hand, you never think about it," Jones added. "I felt good. I could see the punches coming, that is why I gave him my hand. It was better than when I fought Bernard Hopkins. This time, it was the worse hand- yeah!"

Nearly seven years ago, Jones suffered the same injury to his right-hand while training for Hopkins. On May 22, 1993, Jones, with one-hand, won a 12-round decision over Hopkins for the then vacant IBF middleweight title - one of three-division championships Jones would win in during his colorful career.

Nearly seven years later, Hopkins, who went on to win the IBF middleweight crown after Jones had vacated it after only one defense, has defended the 160-pound crown successfully 10 times. Amazingly, Hopkins is in line to fight Jones again in a rematch.

"I'm sure Bernard and I would fight again, because I'm running out of opponents," Jones said calmly. I got to do the mandatories first because I do not want to get stripped. The I would look at either Hopkins or Michalczewski"

Aside from Hopkins, Jones also has mandatory challengers from each of the major sanctioning bodies he holds championships for: the WBA, WBC, and IBF. Also, there is the possibility of Jones fighting Dariusz Michalczewski, an undefeated Pole, fighting out of Germany. However, he has an important date on April 15, in Germany with Graciano Rocchigiani, the WBC mandatory for Jones' throne.

"Yeah he's worthy - he's undefeated, but he needs to fight a few more guys," said Jones.

In the opening round, Jones picked Telesco apart with sharp left-jabs and straight-rights to his face and mid-section. Jones' reflexes were so quick, so strong, and so accurate, Telesco was immediately reduced from the hard-hitting slugger he was in the past to a one-punch stiff.

Frustrated with Jones' two-handed power, hand speed, and elusive upper-body movement and fancy footwork, Telesco would either attempt to charge Jones into the ropes and get caught with solid straight-rights to his body, or stand motionless and let Jones pick him apart with straight-punches.

In the fourth round, both fighters would engage in a taunting duel, in which Jones would wiggle and giggle his shoulders. Jones was so fast, when Telesco became angry enough and attempted to nail him with either a left-jab, or an overhand right, Jones would slip and counter with a flurry of straight shots to the challenger's body.

In the fifth, it was clear that Telesco presented no competition for Jones. So Jones, the good Samaritan that he is, would back himself inside a neutral corner and beg Telesco to rush him with everything he had in his arsenal.

Telesco, hiding behind his guard, just stood and looked at Jones. It was clear Jones' speed had the challenger in defensive mode.

Throughout the remainder of the contest, Jones continuously stalked Telesco around the ring behind a relentless body attack, highlighted by straight-rights and left-jabs. Telesco, in the last four rounds, did step-up his attack by bullying Jones against the ropes loading with two-handed bombs to Jones' body. However, make no mistakes, Jones was still in control of the contest behind his speedy right-hook flurries that created swelling and lacerations across both of Telesco's eyes.

As expected, Jones walked away with this one. It lasted a lot longer most ring observers expected, but it was still a dominant performance by the world's best fighter on the world's greatest stage.

"I felt that David worked hard not to get knocked out," said Lou DiBella, Senior Vice-President of Time Warner Sports. "But he worked really hard not to get knocked out and succeeded."

DiBella added. "The best fight right now would be Bernard Hopkins."

Whatever Jones does in the future, do not try the heavyweight division. It was clear during his campaign as light-heavyweight champion that he lacks the power to keep these larger men away for too long.

"I always thought that was a mistake, I don't think Roy needs to go up to heavy, said Max Kellerman, an boxing analyst for "ESPN 2's Friday Night Fights." If he thinks these guys Telesco and (James) Toney are strong, wait until he gets to a guy like Evander Holyfield."

Yeah, let's wait and see!

In The Co-Feature: 1992 Olympic Silver Medalist, David Izon (25-3, 21KOs) came from behind, having lost each round on the judges scorecards, forcing an 11-second, ninth-round stoppage of Derrick Jefferson (22-1-1, 18KOs).

Having had this fight clearly "in the bag," Jefferson, breathing heavily from his mouth in the first round, simply ran out of gas. Quietly noticing Jefferson's stamina problems. Izon capitalized by dishing-out a tremendous onslaught dating back to the eighth round.

Once Jefferson's tank was completely finished, Izon put on relentless pressure that had Jefferson grasping for air.

Among some of the other young heavyweights he has fought are Lou Savarese (KO 5), Michael Grant (TKO by 5), Maurice Harris (L 8), and current IBF No. 1 contender, David Tua (TKO by 12).

In Other Bouts: Billy Lewis (35-3, 22KOs) a light-heavyweight fighter promoted by Murad Muhammad, went 10-full rounds against an opponent whose last fight was 19 months ago; loser of 5 of his last 7 bouts, dating back to August 1991. Leslie Stewart (31-12, 20KOs) was allowed to last the distance in a performance with what appeared to be a light hitting short-aired Lewis.

Philipino, Vernie Torres (18-2, 12KOs) knocked out Mexican journeyman, Eduardo Manzano (13-11, 4KOs). At 1:12 seconds of the first round.

Young 21-year-old heavyweight, Kelvin Davis (6-0, 5KOs) was declared a second-round, TKO victor over Erol Sadikovski (2-1, 2KOs) when a head injury and an abrupt temper-tantrum overwhelmed the loser.

Lastly, IBF No. 1 middleweight contender, Brain Barbosa (27-4, 19KOs) floored "Kansas City's Bad Boy," Maurice Brantley (22-3, 8KOs) three times with hard right-hands to his jaw on each occasion; stopping his adversary at the 2:43 second-mark of the first round.

Champ With No Challenges: Jones Shuts Out Telesco

By Thomas Gerbasi

I’m running out of adjectives for Roy Jones Jr. After the undisputed light-heavyweight king’s latest shutout, a 12 round unanimous nod over David Telesco at New York’s Radio City Music Hall, there isn’t much to say which hasn’t been said before. Nothing makes a writer’s job more difficult than trying to describe the same fight over and over again.

Like Jones’ previous fight (against Reggie Johnson) and many other previous fights, the Pensacola native dominated matters from the opening bell, leaving a quality fighter looking like a rank amateur. Telesco, who had impressed with his power in his pre-Jones fights, looked bewildered by the speed of his opponent, and did little more than absorb right hands from Jones in the early going. And when he tried to pick up the pace, every swing from the hometown fighter was met with dead air and a smack to the jaw.

Telesco tried to take things to the gutter in the fourth round by bulling Jones into, and almost over the ropes, and soon David had his best opportunity to fight Jones on a level field…with his mouth. Referee Arthur Mercante issued several warnings to both fighters to stop talking, but the incessant yapping continued throughout the bout.

But if you can look past the trash talking and macho posturing, Roy Jones once again displayed the skills that make him far and away, the best fighter on the planet, pound for pound…and he did it with a fractured left wrist, which was suffered in training. "I didn’t even hit a heavy bag in training," said Jones in a post fight chat with HBO’s Larry Merchant. He made up for it by pounding a 175 pound heavy bag named Telesco for 12 rounds.

There was never any doubt about the outcome in this one (the judges scored it 120-108, 120-108, 120-106), and the only drama was whether Telesco would go the route; especially after shouting at Jones "You can’t take me out Roy," after the 11th round. Jones drilled the iron chinned (and willed) Telesco relentlessly in the final stanza but the challenger remained standing until the bell.

Another easy night for King Roy, and a still bleak future. Michalczewski? Rocchigiani? Nunn? Hopkins? Good fighters, but no hopers against the talents of Jones. Our best bet to see Roy Jones in a fight, a real fight, would be seeing him enter the heavyweight ranks. Hell, I’d even want to see a cruiserweight rematch against James Toney. Am I dreaming? Or will 2000 see a heavy reality for the champ with no challenges?

Undercard Results

David Izon TKO9 Derrick Jefferson - After pitching a punishing shutout over Izon for seven and a half rounds, Jefferson’s gas tank showed empty, and after an exhausted flop to the canvas late in the eighth, the heavyweight hopeful was done. He staggered out of his corner for the ninth round, but a quick combination to the head prompted referee Arthur Mercante to halt matters 11 seconds into the round.

Brian Barbosa KO1 Maurice Brantley

Billy Lewis W10(U) Leslie Stewart

Vernie Torres KO1 Eduardo Manvano

Kelvin Davis TKO2 Erol Sadikovski

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