Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Lampley Thinks Jones' Dual Roles Eventually Will Cost Him

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Lampley Thinks Jones' Dual Roles Eventually Will Cost Him

Article excerpt

Roy Jones Jr. may well be the best fighter in the world, but a

lack of serious boxing ambition could prevent him from proving

it.

That's the opinion of sportscaster Jim Lampley of NBC and HBO,

who will be covering Jones' fight against Eric Lucas in

Jacksonville tonight for HBO.

"Roy is probably the most talented fighter pound for pound in

the world," Lampley said in a telephone interview from Los

Angeles earlier this week. "I've been disappointed we have not

been able to match him against better opponents. . . . Right now

he does not get and does not deserve the same credit as Pernell

Whitaker and Oscar de la Hoya."

Jones won't earn any more credit from Lampley when he fights

Lucas. "There are fighters out there who are worthy opponents

for Roy, but Eric Lucas is not one of them," Lampley said.

One of the major story lines for HBO -- as for anyone covering

Jones' fight -- is his decision to play for the Jacksonville

Barracudas of the United States Basketball League on the same

day he fights Lucas.

Lampley sounds less than impressed. "Maybe he's a little bored

with boxing. Or maybe he's eager to expand his persona. . . .

But I think he's doing it at a cost to his status and his

profile as a boxer."

In fact, HBO is promoting the delayed broadcast of De la Hoya's

spectacular fight with Julio Cesar Chavez, which took place in

Las Vegas last week, as much as it is the live broadcast of

Jones against Lucas and featherweights Kevin Kelley and Derrick

Gainer.

Like the De la Hoya fight, most HBO fights originate from Las

Vegas. But Lampley said he has no problem with Jones' decision

to fight in Jacksonville.

Lampley, who has come to Jacksonville frequently through the

years, says there's no lingering resentment over the celebrated

incident that took place here on Dec. …

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