Boxing


The Roy Jones Comeback...Why?

23.08.05 - By Scoop Malinowski: Two consecutive brutal KO defeats, one after the other. One via the left fist of Antonio Tarver, the other from the right hand of Glen Johnson. The end result was Roy Jones laying flat on his back, as if his great career had just been put to rest in some kind of an invisible coffin.

Now Roy Jones has made up his mind. After about a year-long hiatus from the ring, he has set his sights on redemption. Jones wants to erase those final images of defeat with a victory. Without any warm-up fights, Jones has decided to challenge Tarver on October 1. This is surprising. Jones is a very intelligent and wealthy man. He would not put his long-term health at risk. He would not comeback for more money. There must be some reason why he believes he can defeat Tarver. And if he were to defy the odds, I believe a successful Jones return to the ring might well be possibly the greatest comeback in the sports' history.

To overcome two devastatingly brutal losses like those to Tarver and Johnson would be astonishing to say the least.

I can not recall anything comparable. George Foreman's amazing win over Michael Moorer capped a magical journey of redemption which took 17 years to complete. Holyfield's rally in round ten vs. Riddick Bowe was goosebump-inducing. Corrales's 10th round comeback from the brink of defeat against Castillo electrified the entire industry.

But if Roy Jones were to somehow rejuvenate his greatness after the immeasurable heartbreaks he suffered to Tarver and Johnson, I think it could go down as one of, if not THE greatest comeback in boxing history.

If anyone is capable of such a feat, it would be Roy Jones. Though often criticized for the cautious way he conducted his own career, Jones, undeniably, is one of the most spectacular and shrewdest athletes we ever witnessed. He was capable of anything in a boxing ring, as we often saw.

At the age of 36, it is not beyond the realm of possibility that Jones just might be able to summon up one last surge of his magic.

Former Wimbledon champion Virginia Wade once said: "I admire people who are good fighters, guts in a person. Not just keeling over when things got tough. It's only when it comes to crunch time that people's true character comes out."

I wonder if those crushing defeats, the first real setbacks or adversities we've ever seen Jones suffer through on the world stage....I wonder if they may have triggered something in his heart and soul.

The great champion Lennox Lewis said his two losses helped very much to build him into the great champion he eventually became.

We will soon see just what effect those defeats may have had on Roy Jones. Some say they may have broken his heart and maybe even demented his perception of reality. But I wouldn't be the least bit surprised if they motivate and inspire Jones to one of the greatest performances of his historic career against Antonio Tarver on October 1.

Roy Jones has proved it all and done it all in boxing...with just one exception. There is one piece of the puzzle still missing from this great fighter's career. Because he was so talented and speedy and always in the winning position, Jones never had to demonstrate the capacity to fight back from the bottom...to comeback and prevail when his back was against the wall...to achieve victory as the underdog, when absolutely everybody doubted him.

If Jones can find that final puzzle piece and show it to Antonio Tarver, his stupendous career will be complete.

Article posted on 23.08.2005



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