If you're a fan of 90's fighters, boxing in general, and/or Roy Jones Jr. specifically, the four ugliest words in the English language have to be: "Roy Jones' next fight."
But, apparently, the former four-division world titlist and nearly super human display of fistic perfection in his time, is deep in talks for yet another bout against someone younger, stronger, and better-regarded at the moment.
Lem Satterfield of Ring Magazine is reporting that Jones (56-8, 40 KOs) is currently discussing an autumn bout with 29-year-old cruiserweight contender, Lateef Kayode (18-0-1, 14 KOs).
Most recently, the Nigerian working under trainer Freddie Roach, Kayode, fought to a June draw with Antonio Tarver. However, Tarver tested positive for a banned substance following the bout and the decision will likely be thrown out altogether by the California State Athletic Commission.
Jones, 43, is on a deceiving two-fight win streak, notching decisions wins against club fighter Max Alexander in December of 2011 and against Polish regional contender, Pawel Glazewski, last June. But the man once voted "Fighter of the Decade" in the 90's by the Boxing Writers Association of America has not won a truly significant bout since narrowly defeating Antonio Tarver in their 2003 first encounter.
Since 2003, Jones has been pummeled by most of his opponents who operate at (or near) the elite level and has struggled mightily against fighters who would've been easy-pickings for a near-prime Jones.
Included in the Roy Jones lowlight reel are brutal knockouts at the hands of Antonio Tarver, Glen Johnson, and Denis Lebedev; A one-sided slap-beating by Joe Calzaghe, A one-round stoppage by the pedestrian Danny Green; and a dull, listless rematch loss to Bernard Hopkins.
Even when victorious, fans of Jones have been treated to little more than the buzzard-picked remains of someone who used to be a special breed of human being and a once-in-a-lifetime star. In his most recent contest, against Polish fringe contender, Pawel Glazewski, Jones was dropped in the sixth round and was very fortunate to walk away with his ten round split decision.
To his credit, Jones has been consistent when it comes to his decision to stay active. Following the Glazewski bout, Jones vowed to fight on and has never really wavered on wanting to remain an active fighter.
But, really, this is not even about boxing anymore. This is about common sense and facing reality.
If Jones is barely good enough to squeak by a regional non-entity like Glazewski, what hope does he have against a real contender or champion? Kayode is still raw and awkward and won't likely ever develop into a truly elite cruiserweight, but it doesn't take a fight predicting genius to assume he will probably walk right through Jones at this point.
And for those who remember the real Roy Jones, they will resort to the same fight-time rituals they've been employing since around 2008-- Wish for the best and hope that Jones won't finally be retired the hard way.
Paul Magno was a licensed official in the state of Michoacan, Mexico and a close follower of the sport for more than thirty years. His work can also be found on Fox Sports and The BoxingTribune. In the past, Paul has done work for Inside Fights, The Queensberry Rules and Eastside Boxing.
Lem Satterfield, Jones-Kayode in the works, RingTV
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- Roy Jones
- Antonio Tarver