Boxing


Roy Jones Jr. Just Can’t Win

By Phil Santos – Overhandright.com - Roy Jones Jr. will undeniably be remembered as one of, if not, the most dominant fighter of the 90’s. With the exception of a DQ loss to Montell Griffin Jones was perfect from 1989-2003. For that matter Jones was disqualified in his fight with Griffin for hitting him while he was already down, a defeat Jones later avenged by first round KO. Much like Floyd Mayweather today Jones has faced unfair criticism much of which stemmed from his being virtually unbeatable. Fans disapproved of his choice of opponents, media disparaged his style and brashness. Victories over Bernard Hopkins, James Toney, Montell Griffin, Virgil Hill and Clinton Woods just weren’t enough for some.

Like practically all great champions Jones inevitably met his match. After a close decision win over Antonio Tarver Jones granted him a rematch. And the rest, as they say, is history. Tarver scored an amazing second round TKO, sending Jones career spiraling downward and started a three fight winless streak for the former champ. Conversely both Antonio Tarver and Glen Johnson rose to fame by stopping the once invincible Roy Jones Jr. All the skeptics rejoiced as if somehow these losses were their justification.

With 04’ and 05’ behind him Jones set out to re-establish himself as a winner. He out boxed Prince Badi Ajamu en route to a decision win and bested previously unbeaten Anthony Hanshaw in July. Maybe this wasn’t a vintage Roy Jones, destroying and, completely dominating opponents but he was doing what it took to win. Ajamu and Hanshaw boasted a combined record of 46-2-2 (28) before facing Jones so by no means were they cupcakes. The critics weren’t impressed. “Jones should retire”, “He’s got nothing left” was the consensus among fight aficionados.

Now Jones has signed up for a match up with another man who will be considered one of the best of his generation, Felix “Tito” Trinidad. For Jones a win over a fighter with big name recognition can’t hurt but in this case a win over Trinidad probably won’t help much either. Trinidad has twice retired after loses, has never fought above 160 and hasn’t stepped between the ropes since 2005. The reality is Jones has everything to lose and very little to gain by taking this fight. He is the naturally bigger man with as much if not more boxing skills. Jones has also been more active, fighting once in 06’ and once in 07’.

There is always a chance for an upset and Felix Trinidad was a great fighter, and I’m emphasizing was, but Jones will win this fight. He will not receive much credit for doing so as has been the case for most of his career. His position amongst the All-Time Greats of the sweet science is secure. He is a multiple division World Champion, a pound for pound great and he deserves his due respect and while he may not earn it by beating “Tito” history will remember him as such.

Article posted on 28.12.2007



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