Boxing


Jones/Calzaghe: The Aftermath - Where Do They Go Now?

Joe CalzagheBy Vivek Wallace: Leading up to last Saturday nights showdown between Joe Calzaghe and Roy Jones Jr. few knew decisively which one of the two superstars would emerge victorious. After 12 somewhat lopsided rounds and a heavy dosage of vindication later, it was the "Pride of Wales" who proved once again where he stands amongst the all-time elite in the sport. A brave young man, trained by a former musician who probably couldn't fight his own way out of a wet paper bag, yet nearly two decades later they brilliantly cap off arguably the best story in the sport, and they did it the old fashioned way - by kicking ass and taking names, literally. No, he and his trainer aren't American, but neither can anyone deny that this is a script which is typically born in Hollywood. With the showdown finally settled, in the 'aftermath' we now take a deeper glimpse into what that future may hold for both men.

Joe Calzaghe - A Look Ahead:

For Joe Calzaghe, the future has never looked brighter. He basically removed all the pre-existing obstacles from his path and silenced his doubters.. Not only did he remove those obstacles, but he did it in their homeland and he did it more decisively than anyone thought he could. With him pocketing the most legendary names in his respective weight classes already, one has to wonder what really is there left to prove? It's obvious that he doesn't care to flirt with a Hopkins rematch. After the one-sided affair last Saturday night, I seriously doubt that Jones will raise question of a rematch, which even if staged overseas would fail to draw. Then you have Antonio Tarver who's surrounded by question marks and relative to the big picture, in the eyes of many he's been relegated to the role of an afterthought. Recently, the name Chad Dawson has entered the equation and he's a very worthy candidate, maybe even too worthy in the sense that he could be more of a risk than Calzaghe's willing to take at this stage. Of all the names on the table, he's the only one with enough youth, stamina, and ability to make for an interesting case. The old adage states that styles make fights, and when applying that ideology, the only other 'wildcard' in the mix would be Glen Johnson, considering that he doesn't EVER fight backwards, and much like Calzaghe, rarely does he stop letting his hands go. That fight would be intriguing for stylistic reasons, and when you add the fact that Johnson is the only other fighter in the division who has handled the better names in the light heavyweight realm, he should definitely have more consideration than he gets. Aside from Johnson (who we know won't get the nod), and Dawson (who we can equate the same result for different reasons), there really are no other names in true contention. They say "nothing in life is perfect" huh? Well, for those ill-willed fans around the sport that wanted to see Calzaghe fall on the wrong side of a decision for once in his career, all indications appear that your time has run out. Clearly, there are more things Calzaghe can do to polish his legacy, but for all intents and purposes, there's simply nothing left to prove so why risk it?

Roy Jones Jr. - A Look Ahead:

When considering the Roy Jones Jr. future perspective, many thoughts come to mind, but of all those many considerations, a precious few lean towards a ring return. Jones, (similar to Calzaghe but for different reasons), at this point has little to gain and truthfully speaking, little to lose as well. No matter who he defeats or how good he looks doing it, he can't add to what he has already accomplished, so future victories would serve little purpose. If he went into the ring in another marquee match up and suffered another loss, the notion that he was already 'shot' would resonate even louder. The odd irony about Jones Jr. is the fact that had he been in the ring with more than half the other light heavyweight competition out there, he probably would not have loss last Saturday. Roy's defeat came mainly because he fought a man who's speed not only rivaled his own, but was better, and that same man's youth and stamina to dispatch that speed was easy, while Jones has clearly reached a point where his reserve bank has unfortunately dried up. Bottom line, the historical chapter in his legacy has run out of pages, with the proverbial 'ink' of good fortune currently shooting blanks. I have no idea what the true reason was for his failure to face Calzaghe in his prime, but what we do know is that it may have very well come back to haunt him. There's no telling for certain who would have won but at that point he was as sharp as a knife and for the record (no pun intended), consider this.....Roy Jones Jr. at super-middleweight and below has an all-time record of 33-0 w/29KO's. It wasn't until he moved up in weight that the problems started, giving him an all-time record of 19-5 w/9KO's above that weight limit. So in a very ironic fashion, the very same venture that put him on pace to make history in effect found a way to take history. And speaking of that venture that sent him north in weight above the super-middleweight ranks, what's even more ironic is the fact that the last place he received a victory in that particular weight class was the same place that he suffered his most recent and potentially career ending defeat above that division - New York City's Madison Square Garden.

In the end, with a legacy that's already sealed, there's no doubt that Jones' career is facing the proverbial 'westside', symbolizing a once burning sun that's finally preparing to set. All we can do now is thank Roy for the past, and wish him the best, praying that he finds equal or greater success in all future endeavors. As for Joe Calzghe, the best way for me to sum up my perspective of him is by indulging in a very 'Larry Merchant' type moment by telling a 4 sentence story that doesn't mean much to anyone but me, yet the end leaves a clear message for all to see...here goes....

As a former U.S. Marine who was rarely home, I would often wonder if my aging Mother had began to lose her God given skills in the kitchen. At one point I secretly returned home for a weekend visit, only to have her prepare something while in rush that left me somewhat in doubt. Many years later she summoned the family back to our old home where she had planned a Thanksgiving feast for everyone, yet after the last meal I had eaten, I found myself far less than eager to attend. Well, good thing I decided to go, because to this day that feast remains the best I've ever taken part in and it was all her solo creation.

The moral of my story: Like my Mother in the kitchen, JOE MAY NOT HAVE ALWAYS MET THE OUTSIDERS' EXPECTATIONS, BUT WHEN THE CHEEKS WERE IN THE SEATS AND THE STAGE WAS GRAND, HE ALWAYS FOUND A WAY TO PULL OFF WHAT MOST OF THEM SWORE HE WOULDN'T.

My parting question for all fight fans.....Whether you support him or not, what more could any of us ask for? Think about it.....

ESB WOULD LIKE TO TAKE THIS MOMENT OUT TO THANK BOTH THE CALZAGHE CAMP AND THE JONES CAMP FOR A JOB - AND POSSIBLY A CAREER - WELL DONE!

(Got Questions or Feedback: Contact ESB's Vivek Wallace at vivexemail@yahoo.com and 954-292-7346, or show some love at www.myspace.com/anonymouslyinvolved).

Article posted on 10.11.2008



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