Roy Jones Jr: “Williams Jr Sparred Lightweights! He Didn’t Look Good!”

Roy Jones Jr. Gives His Side On The Michael Williams Jr. Controversy

Collage of Roy Jones Jr Michael Williams Sr Michael Williams Jr
Roy Jones Jr (Credit: Ivan Sekretarev/Associated Press) | Team Williams Jr (Credit: IG - @teamwilliamsjr150) | Michael Williams Jr (Credit: IG - @michaelwilliamsjrtheboxer).

Roy Jones Jr Speaks On Michael Williams Jr Sparring Controversy

The sparring controversy that canceled a major payday and career defining fight for 23 year-old Michael “Boy Wonder” Williams Jr. against multi-divisional world champion Adrien “The Problem” Broner has gotten more attention than the promotion of the event!

Williams Jr. received a “Golden Ticket” to be the opponent for Broner’s return on February 25. However, on February 17, news of Boy Wonder being pulled out of the fight due to a broken jaw hit social media courtesy of his father, Michael Williams Sr. was able to speak with Williams Sr. where he disclosed the injury was due to an unnecessary sparring session that took place a week before fight night. He also expressed his displeasure with Jones’ decision to spar and was adamant the Hall of Fame inductee will no longer be training his son going forward.

“Roy [Jones Jr.] was more worried about his brand than the safety of my son!”

Michael Williams Sr.

RELATED: Williams Jr Out vs Broner: “Roy Jones Was More Worried About His Brand!”


After many discussions of this hit social media, Jones finally broke his silence in an interview with World Combat Sports. According to him, the thoughts of Williams Sr. are absolutely the opposite of his intent. Furthermore, he clears up a myth that Williams Jr’s jaw was broken because he was sparring someone much bigger than him.

“First day he sparred ten rounds with a 3-0, 135 pounder, another 3-0, 135 pounder one-handed for three rounds and he moved around with a ’68 pound fighter. They didn’t really spar, he was just showing him the ‘Adrien Broner’ look with the jab. That was Andrew Murphy.

“I didn’t like the way Michael looked against any of the 135 pounders. Both of the 135 pounders are 3-0 professionals. Adrien Broner has won more titles than these dudes had fights. If these two 135 pounders are giving you this much trouble, why would I let you fight Adrien Broner?”

RELATED: Michael Williams Sr. To Roy Jones Jr: “Because Of Your Ego, My Son Is F****d Up!”

Jones would mention the names of the two lightweights that he felt were giving Williams Jr. fits in sparring. One of which was the man responsible for the injury.

“The only people he sparred with was Mandeep Jangra. […] The other 3-0 lightweight was Zechariah Lewis […] and he’s 3-0 as a professional. Those are the two guys he sparred with.

“With Jangra, he only went one-handed for three rounds. […] To be honest with you, the day that he [Williams Jr.] got hurt, he went three full rounds with Zech and three one-handed rounds with Jangra. So how is that hurting him?”


Apparently, Jones was weary all training camp of the lack of defense he felt his protege had. He expressed his concern to team Williams. By his own admission, Williams Sr. stated he was not interested in pulling his son out of the fight and goaded Jones to fix the problem.

Therefore, in an attempt to get another look at his fighter, Jones scheduled the last sparring session on February 14 with Lewis. The Hall of Fame inductee described the sequence of events that ultimately caused the fight-cancelling injury.

“He [Williams Jr.] laid the right hand out and rushed the one-two behind it. He got caught on the ropes with a straight right hand. […] Andrew [Murphy] said he heard something pop when he [Lewis] hit him.

“I didn’t hear it, […] but I know he [Murphy] stopped it because he said he was hurt. I told him [Williams Jr.] ‘that’s good’ and I took his headgear off cause I know at that point, I’m not gonna let him fight.

“He [Lewis] ain’t got nothing but three fights. Adrien Broner is a four-time world champ. If he gets [Williams Jr.] with a right hand like that, I know what Adrien finna do!

“[…] I asked him if he was ok and he said ‘no’ so I told him to come on down cause he can’t fight. I didn’t know nothing about his jaw cause he didn’t say nothing.

“I just thought he got caught with another good shot which he got caught with a couple days before and I didn’t like how he reacted to them. So I told him I wanted to see him again. If you can’t do no better today than you did yesterday, we not fighting.”

When asked about Boy Wonder’s concern about the different vibe he felt during this training camp, Jones did not hesitate to explain why.

“You want to know what the different vibe was? He’s fighting a four-time world champion! You not fighting bums, guys with three fights or guys who haven’t made it yet. You fighting a four-time world champion.

“Certain things you do, he [Broner] not gonna let you get away with. That’s what the vibe was!”


There can be legitimate cases made for both sides of this argument. Williams Sr’s anger stems from the obstacles he and his son had to endure as an independent team. He feels the opportunity to fight Broner was a blessing that was squandered because Jones felt the need for unnecessary reassurance that Williams Jr. was “ready” for the fight. That need ultimately destroyed their chance for a big payday. Or as the kids like to say, “Roy messed up the bag!”

On the other hand, Jones’ job as a trainer is to assess if his fighter is ready for a bout. If he feels his protege is not properly prepared, he does have right to voice his concern and step-down if need be. Furthermore, while the decision may have been a gross error in judgement, the sparring session was one last effort to determine if Williams Jr. was fit to fight.

Regardless of who is deemed correct, Jones seems to still have love for team Williams.

“I got nothing but love for Michael Williams Jr. and Sr. I don’t care how bad they hate me, I got nothing but love for them.”

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