Twenty-two years ago, everyone knew that Roy Jones Jr. was “Superman.” Yes, he had suffered a disqualification defeat to Montell Griffin the year before, but that did nothing to detract from his standing as arguably the most talented practitioner in the game, especially after he demolished Griffin in less than one round in their rematch. Otherwise, his record was flawless and on it were such names as Bernard Hopkins, Mike McCallum, James Toney and Virgil Hill.
But he didn’t yet have all the belts in the 175 pound division and one of those was held by a young man named Lou Del Valle. Twenty-two years ago tomorrow, Jones and Del Valle, who happened to have been Roy’s sparring partner not long before, met at the Theater in Madison Square Garden, the bout broadcast on HBO, and to no one’s surprise, Jones dominated with ease. Yes, there was a brief misstep in round eight that saw Del Valle become the first man to score a knockdown on Roy after he landed a big left hand, but otherwise, the match was vintage “Superman” and the unanimous decision victory saw him acquire another belt to solidify his supremacy in the light heavyweight division.
We don’t really need an excuse to pay tribute to Roy Jones Jr., or to re-feature one of Lee Wylie’s excellent videos, but we’re marking the anniversary of the Del Valle victory by doing both. Because, hey, there’s always a chance that some of you out there have short memories, that, as Roy liked to say, “y’all must’ve forgot.” We didn’t forget, Roy. Neither did Lee. Pretty sure we never will. Check it out: