Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Sad Way to Go Out

There was big boxing news last night as Kevin Iole of Yahoo Sports reported that the Floyd Mayweather-Manny Pacquiao match is almost set. However, there was a fight that nobody in America I have to believe knew occured in Australia as Roy Jones Jr. fought Danny Green. Jones ended up losing in a first round TKO, which if you watch the video shouldn't have lasted as long as it did. There was talk that he would fight Bernard Hopkins for a second time but after this display, it's time for Jones to retire.

To be fair, Jones has never recovered from his move to heavyweight. Hard to remember that Roy Jones Jr. was the dominant fighter in the late 90s, early 00s. What hurts his career is that the light heavyweight division was never strong while he dominated; just like when Larry Holmes dominated the heavyweights. His early fights with Hopkins and James Toney were most notable names, but not fighting Hopkins when he became the top middleweight of his generation also will remain a strike against him. He made the move to heavyweight at the right time when Lennox Lewis was retired and the likes of John Ruiz were sucking the life out of the division and had he been able to pull it off, the heavyweight division would have been more interesting. Unfortunately, he couldn't and his career was never the same after losing three fights in a row to Antonio Tarver, Glen Johnson and Tarver again (in a related story, Tarver also ruined his career by going heavyweight and fighting Rocky Balboa). Jones has somehow hung around the past five years and prior to last night, only lost to Joe Calzaghe, but losing to Danny Green in the first round tells me that it's over.

Jones looked like Ali in the Bahamas against Trevor Berbick, Leonard against Hector Camacho, and Tyson against Danny Williams in his loss last night. In other sports, I do think athletes can control when they retire or not. I have three exceptions. One, is Brett Favre, especially when he's doing his will he or won't he act; can't stand it. Two, is players who have suffered a lot of concessions in football, hockey or sometimes baseball. The last is boxers who if they just go to the ring to take a beating, they shouldn't be fighting and we shouldn't allow them to or they could die. Watch the "30 for 30" about the Ali-Holmes fight and you see a man in Muhammad Ali who shouldn't be anywhere near a ring, much less fighting Larry Holmes. I don't want that from Roy Jones Jr., though I know Bernard Hopkins can't destroy him like Holmes did.

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