08.11.03 - By Jim “Boxadamus” De Pierro: Roy Jones jr. 48-1 (38 Kos) vs. Antonio Tarver: If anyone should heed the saying ‘be careful what you wish for you just might get it’ is Antonio Tarver. For years Tarver has sowed the wind by calling out Roy Jones and now he is about to reap the storm. The Light-Heavyweight division is truly in a state of flummox. The divisions best talent moved up in weight to capture heavyweight gold while Michaelczewski who for years was the only fighter that could even stake a claim as the divisions legitimate heir was bested by a man Roy Jones decked three times in a fight that was a total blow out. In the aftermath Antonio Tarver has emerged as the king of the barren wasteland known as the light-heavyweight division with victories over Roy Jones jr. left overs namely Reggie Johnson, Erick Harding and Montel Griffin. Like Richard the Lion heart who came home from fighting the in the crusades only to find his country taken over by the evil Prince John so to has Roy Jones returned to his weight division and found it usurped by his arch-nemesis Antonio Tarver. Like Prince John, Antonio Tarver shall meet a similar end when Roy Jones returns to reclaim the light-heavyweight throne.
Taking away from my silly melodramatics this is not a very hard fight to predict. Roy Jones wins, its only a matter of how. I have always felt and maybe someday I will be proven wrong on this but a bet on Roy Jones against any non-heavyweight is money in the bank as far as I am concerned. The buildup to this fight has that same kind of feeling going into the rematch of Roy Jones against Montell Griffin. I see a scenario where Jones is very pumped up looking to make a statement. The reason Jones wins this fight is pretty simple. Jones speed and natural ability is going to spell havoc for Tarver who despite his long lanky frame looks awkward out of place with his arms. I see Jones easily getting inside and beating Tarver to the punch. I think as long as this fight lasts its going to be short and sweet. Tarver may very well prove to be RJJ toughest opponent to date.
Jones gets criticized a lot for ducking tough challenges and for many his move back down to the light-heavyweight ranks is a retreat from the more formidable challenges of defending the WBA belt. A lot of people are going to think I am crazy for saying this but I actually think that Tarver stands a better chance of beating Jones than Corrie Sanders would have. Now I know what a lot of you are thinking, “Boxadamus has lost his mind. Corrie Sanders is huge and he just clobbered Wlad earlier this year. He would break Jones in half if he landed the left hands on Jones that he did on Klitschko.” There is no dispute than Corrie Sanders is stronger than Antonio Tarver but I think if and this is a very big if that if Tarver could catch Jones with a clean shot he could drop Jones too. The thing is that Jones would never get hit by either of those guys but I would argue that Tarver at least has conditioning, technique and stamina to put himself in a position where he could land that big shot. Sanders might be dangerous for a round or two but people are so caught up in the fact that he beat Wlad so convincingly they forget the fact that Sanders is 37 and has only fought 5 rounds in the last 3 years. Sanders would be quickly winded and disposed of by Jones in the mid to early rounds they ever fought. Sanders victory over Wlad was legitimate but he won largely because of rookie mistakes on Wlad’s part. Sanders couldn’t possibly hope to beat Jones on the basis of Roy Jones making a mistake.
Roy Jones jr. TKO 3 over Antonio Tarver
* * * * Bonus Prediction * * *
Next year is going to be the year of small heavyweights. By the end of 2004 the holder or holders of the WBA, WBC and IBF heavyweight belts will all be under 230 lbs.
Article posted on 08.11.2003