For one night and against one man, anyway, Roy Jones Jr. was back.
At least the showman part of him.
“I’m close. In two or three months, I’ll be all the way back,” Jones said Saturday night at Boise, Idaho.
Minutes earlier, Jones (50-4) ended a 10-month hiatus by being his usual showy self. He played, pranced and preened throughout a methodical -- and inconclusive -- 12-round unanimous decision over champion Prince Badi Ajamu to win the North American Boxing Organization light heavyweight title.
All three judges scored the fight 119-106 for Jones, who gave himself a “C” grade for the rather lackluster win. All three cards had the tired Ajamu winning only the first round.
After being announced as “arguably the greatest pound-for-pound fighter in boxing history” before the fight, Jones was merely the greater fighter in the Qwest Arena ring to win his sixth belt in four weight classes.
“I wanted to see if my reflexes were still there,” he said. “I wanted to see if I could put my hands down and not get caught, do all the things people say I shouldn’t do. Do the things I used to do. After tonight, I realize I can do anything I want to.”
The 37-year-old Jones withstood his younger opponent’s immediate, wild flurry that began the fight -- “I had him going in the first round,” Ajamu said -- before controlling the final 11 rounds.
Ajamu (25-3-2) said afterward that he had trouble breathing out his nose the entire fight, his first loss in seven bouts.
Vivian Harris knocked out Stevie Johnston in the seventh round of a junior-welterweight bout at Chumash Casino Resort in Santa Ynez.