Is Roy Jones Jr. Faster Than Floyd Mayweather Jr?
In an interview at fightnews.com, Roy Jones Jrs. (51-4, 38 KOs) had this to say about Floyd Mayweather Jr. (39-0, 25 KOs) in reference to their handspeed, “Only Floyd Mayweather comes close to me and he’s still 10 miles an hour slower.” At first I thought Jones was just being himself, bragging in his typical fashion, but I found myself agreeing with him about him being faster, as I don’t see Mayweather as having nearly the kind of blazing speed that Jones has, even now. Earlier in Jones’ career, there could be no such comparison, for he had almost blinding handspeed, the type of speed which allowed him to get away with not holding his hands up to protect him.
It also made him much more unpredictable, because it was often hard to tell where his punches would be coming from due the speed with which he’d throw them. Jones never had to worry about things like fundamentals, because his speed would enable him to take short cuts, forgoing the typical worries of having to cover up to guard against incoming shots. Of course, his foot speed has unfortunately slowed down much more than his handspeed, as has ability to get out of the way of punches. However, his handspeed, even now, appears to be faster than Mayweather.
I do feel that Mayweather is very fast puncher, one of the fastest in boxing, but not in the class of Jones, perhaps not even as fast as Judah. Mayweather doesn’t throw combinations like Jones, at least not now that Mayweather has moved up to the welterweight division. I know that he used to when he fought at super featherweight, lightweight and light welterweight, but not since he’s moved up in weight. Jones, however, has remained blazing fast, even after moving up from middleweight to the light heavyweight division. What’s more, he’s somehow been able to maintain his speed even now that he’s approaching forty years-old.
That’s pretty significant, as Jones seems to be blessed with freakish reflexes, ones that have stayed with him even as he’s aged. I can’t think of one fighter that has held their handspeed as well as Jones as they’ve aged, not one. I’d rate Jones as a lot faster than Mayweather, not just a little. He’s able to throw blazing fast punches in combinations, whereas Mayweather can throw a fast punch one at a time in a pot shotting manner.
Because of his speed and his ability to throw combinations, I see Jones as the much more exciting fighter than Mayweather. However, Jones hasn’t had as many quality opponents to test his speed against in the past 10 years of his career, mostly fighting the lower quality opposition in the light heavyweight division.