Controversies

In early 1998, Roy Jones, Jr. announced that he was relinquishing his WBC light heavyweight title. In response, the WBC ordered a bout between Graciano Rocchigiani from Germany and the former champion Michael Nunn to fill the vacancy, sanctioning it as a world championship match. On March 21, 1998, Rocchigiani won the fight and a WBC belt; in the subsequent WBC rankings, he was listed as "Light-Heavyweight World Champion." Jones, however, had a change of heart and asked if the WBC would reinstate him as the champion. In a move that violated nearly a dozen of its own regulations, the WBC granted the reinstatement.[citation needed] Rocchigiani received a letter from the WBC advising that the publication of his name as champion was a typographical error, and he had never been the official titleholder.[citation needed] Rocchigiani immediately filed a lawsuit against the WBC in a U.S. federal court, claiming that the organization's actions were both contrary to their own rules and injurious to his earning potential (due to diminished professional stature). On May 7, 2003, the judge ruled in Rocchigiani's favor, awarding him $30 million (U.S.) in damages and reinstating him as a former WBC champion (Rocchigiani had lost a bout since his WBC title match). The following day, the WBC sought protection by filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy (i.e., corporate debt restructuring) in Puerto Rico. The organization spent the next 13 months trying to negotiate a six-figure settlement with Rocchigiani, but the fighter at first rejected the proposal. On June 11, 2004, the WBC announced it would enter Chapter 7 bankruptcy liquidation (i.e., business closing and total asset sell-off) proceedings, effectively ending its existence. This action prompted some in the boxing community to plead with Rocchigiani to settle the dispute, which he did in mid-July 2004. The WBC continues. Roy Jones, Jr. (born January 16, 1969) is an American professional boxer. As a professional, he has captured numerous world titles in the middleweight, super middleweight, light heavyweight and heavyweight divisions. He is the only boxer in history to start his career as a light middleweight (154 lbs) and go on to win a heavyweight title. Jones left his mark in boxing history when he won the WBA Heavyweight title, becoming the first former middleweight champion to win a heavyweight title in 106 years. Jones was named "Fighter of the Decade" for the 1990s by the Boxing Writers Association of America. Jones won the 1984 United States National Junior Olympics in the 119 lb (54 kg) weight division, the 1986 United States National Golden Gloves in the 139 lb (63 kg) division and the 1987 United States National Golden Gloves in the 156 lb (71 kg) division. As an amateur, he ended his career with a 121Ц13 record. Jones represented the United States at the 1988 Seoul Olympic Games, where he won the silver medal.[2] He dominated his opponents, never losing a single round en route to the final. His participation in the final was met with controversy when he lost a 3Ц2 decision to South Korean fighter Park Si-Hun despite pummeling Park for three rounds, landing 86 punches to Park's 32.[2] Allegedly, Park himself apologized to Jones afterward and the referee told Jones that he was dumbstruck by the judge's decision.[3] One judge shortly thereafter admitted the decision was a mistake and all three judges voting against Jones were eventually suspended. An official IOC investigation ending in 1997 found that three of the judges had been wined and dined by South Korean officials. This led to calls for Jones to be awarded a gold medal, but the IOC still officially stands by the decision, despite the allegations. Jones was awarded the Val Barker trophy, as the best stylistic boxer of the 1988 games, which was only the third and to this day the last time in the competition's history when the award did not go to one of the gold medal winners. The incident led Olympic organizers to establish a new scoring system for Olympic boxing.