Roy Jones Jr: The twilight of greatness

Hi had the pleasure to behold two boxing greats go toe to toe on Saturday night: Roy Jones Jr. and Felix (Tito) Trinidad. Jones, in his prime was arguably the greatest boxer of all-time, with a brilliantly unorthodox style, lightning fast punches, and absolute control over his opponents. A few years ago he decided to challenge John Ruiz for the Heavyweight championship, for which he gained about 30 lbs.

He, of course, defeated Ruiz and captured the crown, however, it spelled the end of the greatness that we had come to expect from Jones. The problem, apparently was that he had to lose the 30 lbs he had gained in order to defend his Light-heavyweight crown. This took a toll on Jones’ body and left him a mere shadow of his former self. Going into the Trinidad fight on Saturday, he had lost 3 of his last 5 fights, with 2 of those losses by devastating knock-outs.

Saturday gave us glimpses of Jones’ former self as he demonstrated good speed and ring generalship, especially for his 39 years. He handily defeated the 35 year old Trinidad, who himself is a great boxer and former champion. One thing that stuck out to me during the fight was how Jones’ stamina is not what it used to be. He would fight for 45 seconds to 1 minute per round, and rest for the remaining 2 minutes. This may be acceptable for an aging and rusty opponent like Trinidad, but it would spell disaster against the current top contenders such as Joe Calzaghe, whose youth and energy would result in a sustained onslaught that Jones surely would not survive.

Don’t get me wrong. Jones still appears to have the tools to beat the best in the game. He just doesn’t have the stamina. In watching his actions in and out of the ring it almost looks like he has mono. In any case, I would love to see Jones rise to greatness one last time and face the best in the division – but only if I can solve his stamina problem. I don’t think I can bear to watch another Holmes-Ali fight where a hero gets dismantled.

comments powered by Disqus