Friday, April 6, 2007

Jones avoids Hanshaw with text message

By Mark Vester

It appears that Roy Jones Jr. is still missing in action and many in the business are scratching their heads as to the latest fumble by Jones.

Last week, it appeared a fight between Jones and Anthony Hanshaw was verbally agreed upon for a June 9 headliner on Showtime. Promoter Lou DiBella, who was handling the fight for Jones, was skepitcal and told boxing scribe Dan Rafael he did not consider the fight a done deal until Jones signed the actual contract.

Once Jones gave DiBella the verbal go ahead as to terms, he vanished for several days by ceasing all communications with DiBella, who tried in vain to contact him on the telephone in order to close the fight.

Rafael reports after DiBella repeatedly left messages for Jones on Tuesday, the former light heavyweight king reneged on his verbal agreement to accept $500,000 for the fight. He never returned DiBella's phone calls to pass along the news. Instead he directed his personal assistant, Linda Padget, to send a text message to DiBella, stating he was refusing to fight unless he was guaranteed $1.5 million, which is triple the amount of the original agreement.

It doesn't stop there. Jones also demanded half the purse up front ($750,000).

A fighter who is 1-3 in his last four ring appearances, two of the losses by knockout, has to be living in another universe by making such outrageous demands. Several weeks ago, both HBO and Showtime rejected a proposed meeting between Jones and Omar Sheika. After several hurdles, DiBella was finally able to secure Jones a televised date.

Over the years, Jones has burned plenty of bridges with people in the sport, including HBO, and now it appears he burned a nice bridge with Showtime as well.


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