| 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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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.
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
event ever held at Radio City Music Hall.
Jones-Telesco, promoted by Murad Muhammad Sports, was televised on HBO's "World
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,"
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
Champ With No Challenges:
Jones Shuts Out Telesco
Im running out of
adjectives for Roy Jones Jr. After the undisputed light-heavyweight kings latest
shutout, a 12 round unanimous nod over David Telesco at New Yorks Radio City Music
Hall, there isnt much to say which hasnt been said before. Nothing makes a
writers job more difficult than trying to describe the same fight over and over
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 didnt even hit a heavy
bag in training," said Jones in a post fight chat with HBOs 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
cant 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, Id 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?
David Izon TKO9 Derrick Jefferson
- After pitching a punishing shutout over Izon for seven and a half rounds,
Jeffersons 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
Billy Lewis W10(U) Leslie Stewart
Vernie Torres KO1 Eduardo Manvano
Kelvin Davis TKO2 Erol Sadikovski