THE RIVALS: HOPKINS VS JONES II
LAS VEGAS, NV (February 9) . . . After 17 years the wait is over as sure-fire future Hall of Famers Bernard “The Executioner” Hopkins and Roy “The Terminator” Jones Jr. collide in a long awaited rematch that will finally add the final chapter to their 17-year rivalry. The Rivals: Hopkins vs. Jones II is set for Saturday, April 3 at the Mandalay Bay Events Center in Las Vegas. The bout will be broadcast live on pay-per-view beginning at 9 p.m. ET/6 p.m. PT.
Hopkins (50-5-1, 32 KOs) and Jones (54-6, 40 KOs), two of boxing’s most decorated and recognizable fighters, will put it all on the line and leave no doubts as to who gets the bragging rights. Both men have given fans more than two decades worth of brilliant ring memories.
“A rematch with Roy has been in the back of my mind for a long time and it’s finally going to happen,” said Hopkins. “I have accomplished a lot in my career since that night in Washington, DC in 1993, and I am going to end this thing between me and Roy once and for all.”
“We’re giving the fans what they want to see. They deserve this fight and why not supply the fans with their demands?” said Jones. “Now I can finally terminate the Executioner once and for all. My new nickname for this fight will be – The Terminator.”
“As a fan, I am excited that the fight is finally happening and that we don’t have to wait any longer to see this great rivalry continue,” said Oscar de la Hoya, President of Golden Boy Promotions. “This fight is so exciting and intriguing because of how much is at stake for both Hopkins and Jones. They would not let anything get in the way of this fight finally getting made. They both deserve this after everything they have achieved in their respective careers.”
“We’re ecstatic that the fight was made and we’re looking forward to a great event,” said John Wirt, CEO of Square Ring. “There’s been a long-standing rivalry between two of the preeminent boxers of our generation. This fight will establish once and for all who the better fighter is. This is the fight Roy always wanted.”
“The Bernard Hopkins-Roy Jones fight at Mandalay Bay in April will be a tremendous event,” said Richard Sturm, president of Sports and Entertainment for MGM MIRAGE. “These two great legends of the sport remain fan favorites and are sure to bring another exciting battle to the ring.”
On May 22, 1993, Hopkins and Jones fought for the vacant IBF middleweight belt, the first shot at a world title for both fighters, in the HBO-televised co-feature to the Riddick Bowe vs. Jesse Ferguson heavyweight title fight at RFK Stadium in Washington, DC. At the time of the bout, Jones was undefeated (21-0, 20 KOs) and a highly-touted Olympian (teammate of Bowe on the 1988 U.S. team), who received the Val Barker Trophy (for most stylistic boxer) at the Seoul games despite being robbed of a deserved Gold Medal.
On the other side of the ring stood the menacing Hopkins (22-1, 16 KOs), a Philadelphia fighter known more for his criminal history and a stay at a maximum security prison than his steadily rising ring reputation. Unveiling his “Executioner” ring name and full face mask to the fans in attendance and national television audience did nothing to help Hopkins’ popularity against the effervescent Jones.
The fight, which Jones won by unanimous decision, was a hard fought contest that set the stage for both fighters’ respective paths to boxing stardom. Jones went on to win titles in four weight classes, including middleweight, super middleweight, light heavyweight and his historic heavyweight championship. Hopkins, who claimed Jones’ vacated IBF middleweight title in 1995, didn’t lose another fight for 12 years following his battle with Jones. While Jones ruled as pound-for-pound best for the better part of a decade, Hopkins took advantage of his middleweight crown by setting a record of 20 defenses and solidifying his place as one of the greatest middleweight fighters in the history of the sport.
At 45 years young, Bernard Hopkins is still rated among the top pound for pound best in boxing. After his victory over Segundo Mercado in 1995 for the IBF middleweight title, Hopkins’ momentum began to build as he scored victories over quality contenders such as John David Jackson, Glencoffe Johnson, Simon Brown, Robert Allen and Antwun Echols to name a few. The 2000s defined Hopkins’ career starting with his win over Keith Holmes in April of 2001 in the opening round of the Middleweight Unification Tournament followed by a stunning 12th round stoppage of Felix “Tito” Trinidad on September 29, 2001 at Madison Square Garden. Following four more defenses of his middleweight crown, Hopkins was brought into the mainstream spotlight when faced Oscar de la Hoya in 2004. His ninth round knockout of “The Golden Boy” allowed Hopkins to attain his 19th title defense – setting a record and making him the first fighter to hold the belt of all four major sanctioning organizations at the same time (not to mention also owning the Ring Magazine title).
In 2006, Hopkins moved up to light heavyweight for the first time in his career to defeat Antonio Tarver for The Ring Magazine Light Heavyweight World Championship. He next dominated Winky Wright at 170 pounds in continuing to prove his ring supremacy. His signature destruction of the younger and then undefeated Kelly Pavlik in October of 2008 defined the true meaning of Hopkins’ career, as he took Pavlik to task as a cagey veteran who knows how to dismantle many a young fighters’ championship dreams. With his most recent win, a dominant performance over Enrique Ornelas in front of a hometown Philly crowd of nearly 7,000 people, Hopkins showed the world that age is nothing but a number. Now his career will come full circle with the Jones fight with Hopkins hoping for a sweet victory and long awaited revenge.
Roy Jones Jr.‘s storied career has had countless defining moments which have catapulted him to being a household name. Jones was unstoppable in the 90’s as he stunned his opponents with incredible speed and relentless power. He made history on March 1, 2003 when he thwarted then-heavyweight champion John Ruiz to become the first former middleweight champion to win the heavyweight title in more than 100 years.
Jones has always taken pride in defying the critics, which is in large part why he set his sights on John Ruiz’ heavyweight crown. Following the Ruiz conquest, Jones dropped down to light heavyweight in order to take on Florida rival Antonio Tarver on November 8, 2003. It was Jones’ hardest fight until that point in his career. He captured a split decision victory, but it foreshadowed things to come for the proud, but suddenly vulnerable Jones, who suffered consecutive defeats to Tarver and a surprising loss to Glen Johnson.
Down, but not out, Jones came back to score wins in his next two fights, setting up a highly-anticipated dual with Felix “Tito” Trinidad at Madison Square Garden on January 19, 2008. A renewed Jones looked sharp and focused, flooring an overmatched Trinidad twice, in breezing to a unanimous decision win. Jones returned to Madison Square Garden in November of that same year and after 12 hard fought rounds came up short against future Hall of Famer Joe Calzaghe. Jones defeated his next two opponents in Omar Sheika and Jeff Lacy respectively. Most recently, Jones suffered a devastating first-round knock out loss on December 2 against Australia’s Danny Green. As Jones is disputing the loss, he remains confident he can overcome this recent defeat, and take on Hopkins with that same unbelievable boxing prowess that he has been known for throughout his record-setting career.
Tickets priced at $750, $500, $300, $200 and $100 are on sale now at all Las Vegas Ticketmaster locations (select Smith’s Food and Drug Centers and Ritmo Latino). Ticket sales are limited to eight (8) per person. To charge by phone with a major credit card, call Ticketmaster at (800) 745-3000. Tickets also will be available for purchase at www.mandalaybay.com or www.ticketmaster.com.
The Hopkins vs. Jones II pay-per-view telecast begins at 9 p.m. ET/6 p.m. PT and has a suggested retail price of $49.95. The telecast will be available in HD-TV for those viewers who can receive HD. The main event will begin live immediately following the college basketball semi-finals. For Hopkins vs. Jones II fight week updates, log on to www.goldenboypromotions.com.
An exciting undercard will be announced shortly. For more information regarding the April 3 event, please visit www.goldenboypromotions.com.