Roy Jones Jr. Decisions Hanshaw!

roy jones jr.16.07.07 - By Scott Frake: Boxing legend Roy Jones Jr. (51-4, 38 KOs) reached back for some of his old magic to pull out a unanimous decision win over previously unbeaten Anthony Hanshaw (21-1-1, 14 KOs) on Saturday night at the Mississippi Coast Coliseum, in Biloxi, Mississippi. The final judges’ scores were 114-113, 117-110 and 118-109, in favor of Jones. However, it appeared that Jones actually lost the fight by at least two rounds on my scorecard.

At worse, I would call it a draw, but then that would be stretching it a lot. Jones looked nothing like his former self, throwing very few punches, mostly laying against the ropes and taking a massive amount of shots.

Jones, 38, appeared to lose the first seven rounds of the fight, largely because of Hanshaw’s high workrate and steady pressure on the aging Jones, who was unable to throw more than a handful of punches – mostly pot shots – in each round.

The fight looked eerily similar to Jones’ fight with Glen Johnson, who pounded away for nine rounds as Jones laid against the ropes, eventually knocking him cold in the ninth. After the 7th round, Hanshaw faded badly, allowing Jones to get back into the fight in rounds 8-12. Even so, Jones’ anemic punch output didn’t increase by very much, and worse than that, he continued to lay against the ropes as he had all fight long, as if his legs weren’t strong enough for him to stand and move in the middle of the ring. Indeed, I’ve seen older fighters like Muhammed Ali and Larry Holmes rest against the ropes a lot late in their career, but Jones’ has been doing this exclusively since 2004, which just so happens is the same time that he started got brutally knocked out in back to back loses. Jones won the 8th and 9th rounds, clearly, but Hanshaw came back strong in the 10th round and punished Jones badly against the ropes, landing some terrific head shots along the way.

Jones came back to win the 11th round after knocking Hanshaw down with a left uppercut, right hand, and followed by two more lefts, that sent Hanshaw down against the ropes. However, instead of following after Hanshaw and going for the knockout, Jones held back and did nothing for the last 40 seconds of the round. From appearances, Jones looked both tired and scared from having exerted himself in knocking Hanshaw done. Later on, after the fight ended, Jones made a number of excuses to explain why he hadn’t gone for the knocked out, saying, “I wanted Hanshaw to learn a lesson,” and “I need to get rounds in because I’ve been off for a year.” However, to me, it looked like Jones was just making excuse and not owning up to the fact that he can no longer fight hard for the entirety of a round, much less the whole fight.

The crowd were backing Jones the entire fight, and screaming like mad, even in the early rounds when he threw only threw a meager amount of punches and was taking countless shots in return. In the back of my mind, I felt that the crowd might possibly have an effect on the judging, because there was no way that Jones could have won any of the rounds due to the vast amount of hard punches he was getting hit with by Hanshaw.

For his part, Hanshaw was impressive, showing an excellent jab, possibly one of the best in the entire light heavyweight division. He throws his jab similar to the way Ray Mercer throws his, in which he launches his entire body along with it in one motion, making the jab land like a spear. No doubt, Roy must be feeling bad right about now because Hanshaw hit him a lot with his jab. To go with his jab, Hanshaw was very effective with hooks to the body and head, landing well on the inside. He really gave Jones few chances to get off the ropes due to the constant pressure he was putting on him with the hooks and inside fighting. At this point, I can see easily see Hanshaw beating most of the light heavyweights in the division except for maybe a few. All in all, I feel sorry for him, because he clearly won the fight, and dominated most of the round easily. Even in the round Jones won, he was still getting out-landed by Hanshaw by a wide margin. However, the crowd was making so much noise, it was impossible for Jones not to get the round.

Afterwards, Jones made mention of a possible fight with Felix Trinidad, although he also said that he’s interested in taking all comers, including Jermain Taylor, Glen Johnson, Antonio Tarver and Wladimir Klitschko. Somehow, I highly doubt the latter comment. I’d hate to see Jones against someone like Chad Dawson or Zsolt Erdei, both of whom would likely embarrass the version of Roy Jones I witness on Saturday night. However, Jones might do okay against Trinidad, only because he's been inactive for so long. Believe me, if Trinidad has 75% of his former talent, he easily beats Jones, maybe even by knockout.

Article posted on 16.07.2007

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