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In a manner of speaking, former champ hits home

    I was very impressed with former boxing champ Roy Jones Jr.'s message to the children at the Lester Community Center at 317 Tillman last Friday (Dec. 28).

    Jones, the only professional boxer to successfully journey from light middleweight to heavyweight champion of the world, told his young audience – boys and girls – how inspirational his grandmother was in his upbringing. She was the person he most wanted to impress.

    Several times during the afternoon visit, Jones mentioned how much of a role God has played in his success, which also includes championships in the middleweight, super middleweight and light heavyweight divisions. I thought it was important for the children to hear him stress that while you have to work hard to be successful, it means nothing if God isn't part of you.

    One kid asked Jones if he went to college to learn how to box.

    "No," said Jones, who also spoke later at the Gaston Community Center at 1048 S. Third St. But it was what Jones said next that was the kicker.

    The 43-year-old Jones, whose birthday is Jan. 16, said he studied public speaking. That move, said Jones, played a major part in him becoming a boxing analyst.

    Meshed into his talk were key points on how to prepare for your future: work hard at your goals; let your doubters be your inspiration to success.

    Although it was billed as an anti-bullying message, Jones actually spent very little time talking directly about that topic, choosing to put more weight on being obedient to parents and to God and having the determination not to fail.

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