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BADMINTON: Jones steps up to rewrite record books.

Newly-crowned WBA heavyweight champion Roy Jones has played down the chances of a unification match with Britain's WBC title holder Lennox Lewis.

Jones rewrote the history books when giving John Ruiz a masterclass in technical boxing in Las Vegas on Saturday night, cruising to a unanimous points win by scores of 116-112, 117-111 and 118-110.

The 34-year-old became the first former middleweight champion to reign among the sport's big guys since Cornishman Bob Fitzsimmons in 1897.

And, of the 13 light-heavyweight champions who have attempted to make the step up, only Michael Spinks had been successful in 1985.

However, the signs are that Jones, who was conceding an amazing 33lb in weight to Ruiz, believes a clash with Lewis would be biting off even more than he could chew.

'I've got to go back and look at it. I was here just to make history for the fans,' said Jones. 'Lennox is a great heavyweight champion and I love him to death. We go back a long way and I think Lennox is definitely the best of the heavyweights.'

Jones picked up a cool $10 million for beating Ruiz, however, and Lewis believes there are other heavyweight challengers out there who could tempt the American into defending his new title.

'For Roy Jones to move up to heavyweight was a challenge he just couldn't pass up. He decided to do it and he's the heavyweight champion of the world right now,' said Lewis.

'He's definitely going to go back in there with another heavyweight because that was by far the biggest purse of his life.

'I don't think he wants to fight (IBF champion) Chris Byrd but there are a lot of heavyweights out there who he could fight. Maybe Evander Holyfield could be next.'

As for his own future, Lewis said: 'Everyone else should have a box-off and then whoever shines, I'll decide who I want to fight.'

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Roy Jones celebrates with his WBA heavyweight champion's belt
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Title Annotation:Sport
Publication:The Birmingham Post (England)
Date:Mar 3, 2003
Words:330
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