Jones vs Tarver fight recap

09.11.03 - by Ben Yap: Jones the current WBA Heavyweight Champion vs Antonio Tarver WBC Light Heavyweight Champion. No title was on the line as Tarver had relinquished his belt. Jones wore Blue with White Stripe, Tarver, Purple with Red Trim. Here's how the action went:

Round 1: Tarver came out in the first round pumped and aggressive, this is the fight he had been wanting for a long time now. He had a point to prove and he was going to prove it. Jones probably knowing this, chose to fight the first round more defensively, waiting for Tarver to 'cool down'. Jones stayed out of range, used a lot of feints, but landed very few meaningful punches. He did land a good body shot though. Tarver spent most of the round finding his range with the jab. He trapped Jones in a corner to end the round and landed a nice right hand which didn't faze Jones who waved him in. At the end of the round, Jones complained of a low blow, which on a replay, turned out to be an accidental head butt. Jonesí cornerman advised him to keep the fight on the outside.

Round 2: Tarver came out in the second round, talking to Jones, Jones on the other hand looked uninterested and even bored, and he showed it in fighting a lazy and careless fight taking way too many punches. Tarver trapped Jones in the corner again and landed some very effective punches. Jones looked like he just wanted to get Tarver out of there trying to land that one big shot. Jones landed a big body shot , but Tarver was unfazed. He once again trapped Jones in the corner. After landing a good left right combo, Tarver briefly backed away before he again was able to trap Jones in the corner. Tarver landed a lot of good combinations, the hard work he put in was paying off.

Round 3: Jones started the third round jogging out from his corner. He fought this round a bit more aggressive. Jones looked more alive this round, his defense was 'back up' and he parried the few jabs Tarver threw at him. Tarver used good head movement to avoid many of Jones's hooks. They then briefly had a 'head movement' contest, where each dared the other to land a punch on the other whilst their guards were down. They both showed great defensive skills. Jones then landed a good body shot, followed by a three punch combination. Tarver, however was unhurt, and trapped Jones in the corner again. A good hard right to the head by Tarver whilst Jones was on the ropes ended this round.

Round 4: The rhythm of the fight began to pick up in this round. Both fighters were starting to take the fight up a level. Tarver stalked and taunted Jones, whilst Jones tried to potshot. Jones landed a good right but Tarver, undeterred kept moving forwards to Jones. At the end of this round, Tarver trapped Jones on the ropes and landed a beautiful combination of punches. Jones reacted by beating his chest in defiance, and then Tarver winded up his right arm bolo style. Both were not giving up any confidence, but in my opinion Tarver was definitely winning the fight.

Round 5: Tarver came out aggressive in this round, and while Tarver's jab was working, Jones was still trying to find his range. Once Jones tried to potshot him, Tarver began to box defensively. Jones finished this round with a big body shot. But despite this Tarver ended the round confident. At this point the crowd was booing. They probably demanded more action from Jones.

Round 6: Jones started the round with a big right hook which was blocked by Tarver. Tarver again became more aggressive again. Jones landed more punches in this round, including some good body shots. Tarver kept coming though, and eventually trapped Jones again. Good combinations were landed by Tarver. Once out of the corner, Jones landed a big body shot, and a big right to the head. The crowd got excited and began cheering. Tarver trapped Jones in the corner and landed some combinations. Jones finished the round by skipping out of the corner and landing two big rights.

Round 7: Tarver appeared a bit tired but continued to be aggressive. Tarver began fighting more on the inside now, and it was effective. Tarver landed a good series of combinations on the inside including a big right. He trapped Jones in the corner and punished him with combinations to the head and to the body. Jones finally responded with a big right hand counter over a missed Tarver jab. Jones then landed a body shot to end the round.

Round 8: The round began with time being called as tape on Tarver's glove had come loose. When the fight resumed, Tarver trapped Jones on the ropes again and landed combinations. Jones responded by holding where Tarver showed some good infighting skills, landing some combos, keeping his man hurt. Jones then landed a two-punch combination causing Tarver to become defensive. Jones then landed a body shot. Tarver pushed Jones into a corner and then landed some good combinations. Jones also landed a combination in response and then held, but Tarver would have none of it and kept fighting on the inside much to Jones's dismay. Tarver spun Jones around and was warned by the ref. Tarver finished the round strongly with combinations on Jones whilst Jones was trapped on the ropes.

Round 9: Jones began the round with a body shot. Jones was now bouncing on his toes and pot shoting. He was fighting purely on instinct now. Jones looked beaten up and tired but Tarver was less aggressive this round. Jones landed a good hook uppercut combination but Tarver then trapped Jones in the corner and landed combinations to the head and to the body. Jones fought off the ropes this time with a left and right combo.

Round 10: Jones began this round with a left hook followed by a right. Jones looked like he had gotten his second wind now. However Tarver finally trapped Jones in the corner again and landed combinations. Jones laded a left hook. Tarver's height and lateral movement continued to frustrate Jones.

Round 11: Jones began this round aggressively, Tarver on the back foot but boxing smartly. Jones landed a big right hand and a three punch combination on Tarver whilst Tarver was on the ropes. Back to center ring, Jones landed a good one two combination, and Tarver looked slightly hurt. The crowd got excited as Jones landed two more head shots. Tarver didn't really respond but instead got back to his jab. He finally trapped Jones again on the ropes and landed a nice volume of combination punches. Time was called again as Tarver's gloves were fixed. When the fight resumed, Jones landed a big right to the body to end the round.

Round 12: The round began with Jones landing a big one two combination. Tarver however had other ideas and trapped Jones on the ropes and landed some good combinations as well as a big uppercut. Jones landed two body shots and then held. Tarver finished the round well with a nice combination. The fight finished with both fighters on their feet.


Roy Jones was declared the Majority winner. I had the fight for Tarver as I felt his combinations where he trapped Jones numerous times on the ropes won the fight for him. Jones stole a lot of rounds coming out aggressively at the start of rounds, but if you judge the entire round, Tarver's combinations should have really won him the fight. Tarver's stock rises regardless, and let's face it how can Roy Jones fight his next fight at heavyweight if he just lost to a Light Heavyweight? One thing Jones showed in this fight, which he never had to show before, was heart, he basically took a beating round after round, he was slower and seemed to lack any interest in this fight, he landed a few good big shots, but they did not compare to the numerous combinations Tarver landed throughout the fight. McGirt was proven right in the end in that Tarver had to do a lot more in order to win this fight. Overall it was a good fight to showcase Tarver's skills but a fight Roy Jones would probably rather forget.

Article posted on 09.11.2003

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