There are very few times in boxing when a once pound-for-pound ruler goes in to a fight looking not for a W on his record or redemption in his mind but a victory that is only measured in morality. Roy Jones Jr’s performance against Antonio Tarver in their trilogy? Rack it as a prime example of a once super skilled fighter looking not to win but to survive.
Jones’ motive? Look no further than an aged fighter wanting to go out on his feet clowning and dancing on his farewell tour of sorts.
This type of entertainment serves better for high light reels that up until Jones’ third fight with Tarver would have spot lighted strictly on Jones’ being put to his back in his final to fights of his career.
Even after losing his last three fights - something no one in boxing would ever imagine seeing Jones do - there was talk of Jones continuing to fight. If this type of talk holds true than rack it up as another aged fighter not knowing when it is time to quit.
But who am I to say that Roy Jones has nothing left? What gives me the right - a journalist who was never a professional or amateur boxer - to say that it would be crazy for Jones to continue to lace up the gloves?
Following the sport of boxing I can tell you that I’m concerned for Roy Jones. Four deaths this year alone, inlcuding the most recent one of Levander Johnson this past month should have more people than just myself a little worried about Jones fighting well into his thirties.
The boxing public rarely ever sees a big name fighter die in the ring or because of injuries sustained in a fight. But it can happen. And Roy Jones learned that he wasn’t invincible in 04' in the ring and there’s no reason to think he - or anyone else - is greater than death while inside it.
There isn’t much for Jones to do at light heavyweight and God forbid he ever steps in to the ring as a heavyweight against someone who can punch. The end result is inevitable and not something any boxing fan needs to witness to believe.
And if Jones fights more of the same way - looking to go out on his feet without trying to win - that should serve as a well enough reason that he should hang up the gloves and wait until boxing's higher power calls his name in to the history books.
Most trilogies are close bouts. Look at Ali-Frazier or Bowe-Holyfield. Tarver-Jones was interesting at best, but far from a good three set fight series. And every boxing fan should hope that we never have to sit through a fourth fight between the two.
Rematching Glen Johnson wouldn’t prove to be anything more than another 12 rounds - if it lasted that long - of Jones showing off for his fans by resembling a contestant on one of America’s reality dance shows. That may sell on prime time but it’s hardly what boxing fans need to spend their money on.
There’s no knock on Jones if he decides to fight again. But he should expect that he isn’t a super star anymore, therefore boxing fans should be given his fight free with an HBO subscription instead of a hefty pay per-view price tag.
A rematch with Clinton Woods might be interesting only to see just how much Jones has lost. Remember, Jones destroyed Woods a couple years back with the relative ease that he brought to every fight before facing Tarver for the first time.
Time can only tell what direction Jones moves his career towards. There’s no denying that he is a first ballot hall-of-famer, but to label him an All-Time Great is a stretch this writer isn’t willing to make. The best option for Jones is to continue commentating on HBO, leaving the fighter to the fighters who still have something to prove.
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