Friday, May 12
Roy Jones Jr. to defend light heavyweight crown against Hall

By David Gonzalez SportsTicker Staff Writer

INDIANAPOLIS (Ticker) -- Undisputed light heavyweight champion Roy Jones Jr. looks to defend his undisputed crown against another nondescript challenger when he meets Richard Hall Saturday night in the first ever championship fight held at the Conseco Fieldhouse.

Jones (41-1, 33 KOs) is widely considered to be the best pound-for-pound fighter in the world, but has faced weak opposition in the light heavyweight division.

In his last fight, Jones put forth another boxing clinic as he schooled and danced his way to an easy victory over David Telesco at Radio City Music Hall in New York four months ago. It was revealed shortly after the fight that Jones had fought the entire match with a broken left wrist, an injury he had sustained in a motorcycle accident three weeks prior to the match.

In the prime of his career, the 31-year old Jones continues to search for a formidable challenge. The lone loss came in March 1997 when he lost his WBC light heavyweight title via ninth-round disqualification against Montell Griffin. Jones avenged the loss just five months later with a first round knockout of Griffin to regain the WBC title.

Jones met Reggie Johnson last June to unify the three major titles in a fight that was supposed to be his toughest test at 175 pounds. The match turned out to be nothing more than a coronation as Jones pummeled Johnson for 12 rounds, scoring knockdowns in the first and third rounds en route to a unanimous decision. The undisputed light heavyweight champ now looks to solidify his position as the best pound-for-pound fighter in the world. A poor performance by Jones on the heels of undisputed heavyweight champ Lennox Lewis' sensational performance last month could dampen his standing among the boxing elite. This time around Jones may need two healthy hands against knockout artist Hall. Hall (24-1, 23 KOs) is the WBA's mandatory challenger, but a relative unknown in the boxing mainstream. A native of Jamaica, he turned pro in 1992, at the age of 21 and now resides in Miami, Florida. His lone defeat came at the hands of virtual unknown Rocky Gannon in 1996, by 10th-round TKO. With the exclusion of his third-round TKO of challenger Anthony Bigeni in December 1998, his fight resume is a list of boxing nondescripts.

The victory over Bigeni earned Hall the "interim" WBA title, but now he faces the true champion.

Including Hall, this marks the fifth time in his last six fights that Jones has faced a southpaw opponent. Hall's slugging style could make for a classic match against Jones, the classic boxer-puncher.

The Jones-Hall bout is the second half of the HBO doubleheader. IBF middleweight champion Bernard Hopkins defends his title against unheralded Syd Vanderpool.

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