Ringside Report: 'Super' Joe Calzaghe Batters Roy Jones, Jr.

Joe CalzagheBy Christopher Roche, Ringside - Brickcity It started in the undercard and continued throughout the main event. Welsh fans held their flags up high and chanted:

Super Joe-
Super Joe Calzaghe!

The devoted throng of fans who crossed the pond for last night’s scrap were not disappointed, as Joe Calzaghe, of Newbridge, Wales, dominated the once invincible Roy Jones, Jr., at Madison Square Garden.

Calzaghe’s confident supporters had an anxious moment in round one, when Jones landed a blistering jab that turned Calzaghe’s head. Jones followed that up with a wide right hand that caught Calzaghe’s face with a good bit of forearm.

Calzaghe, in almost a repeat of the Hopkins bout, dropped to one knee, and then he rolled toward his side. As the Garden erupted in frenzy, Calzaghe rose to his feet and steadied himself. For Jones, that proved to be his one and only chance at victory, but Calzaghe shook off the knockdown and honed in on his prey.

By the time the second round got going, Calzaghe’s impression of a windmill made its first appearance. Jones backed into the ropes with his gloves over his face, a la Winky Wright. Calzaghe blistered Jones’ body and peppered his head. In between the barrage, Calzaghe dropped his hands to his side and poked his head directly onto the gloves of Jones, just daring Roy to hit him. Jones could not pull the trigger.

Calzaghe’s shaking and showboating continued into the third round, and Jones still could not let his hands go. In the fourth, Jones landed a decent right hand, but he was reduced to being a one-punch warrior, while Calzaghe looked like he was working over a heavy bag. Jones landed a couple of straight right hands in the fifth, but Calzaghe blistered him with a combination, perhaps one of the best of the fight.

The pace slowed a bit in the sixth, and Jones tried to steal the frame with a sneaky right hand at the ten second knock, but Calzaghe came back in the seventh and imposed his will. Calzaghe dazzled Jones with combinations from all angles, and he opened a nasty cut over Jones’ left eye. The blood freely gushed during the eighth, and it seemed as if Calzaghe was content to slap Jones around and punish him.

By the time the ninth round rolled around, there was no question who was winning the fight. The only doubt that remained was whether Jones would finish the fight. The cut was bad, and Calzaghe’s combinations were taking a toll, especially the windmills to Jones’ body.

Jones’ rallies were easily stymied, and at the close of round eleven, a confident Calzaghe showboated around the ring, as a bloodied Jones flopped down on his stool. Calzaghe’s faithful were going crazy, and many of Jones’ fans headed to the exits early. The twelfth round was elementary, and once the final bell sounded, it was clear that Calzaghe won the fight going away.

I scored the bout 10 rounds to 2 for Calzaghe, with the first round being a two pointer for Jones. All three judges agreed, and the scores came back 118-109 for Calzaghe. With the victory, the 36 year-old Calzaghe pushed his mark 46-0, 32 KO’s. Jones, 39, of Pensacola, FL, dropped to 52-5, 38 KO’s.

Other Results

Zab Judah did little to inspire fight fans with his unanimous decision victory over Ernest Johnson. Judah, of Brooklyn, suffered more bad cuts, and he looked far from being a world-class welterweight. Johnson, for his part, was game, but the 29 year-old did not have the talent, or the experience to overcome the 30 year-old Judah.

Judah moved to 37-6, 25 KO’s, 2 NC, and Johnson, of San Diego, dropped to 18-3, 7 KO’s. The scores were 99-91 and 98-92 (twice).

In perhaps the most bizarre event of the night, Dimitry Salita shut out Derrick Campos on one judge’s scorecard, while just barely edging Campos out on another. Salita looked shaken several times in the fight, but judge Robin Taylor still scored the bout 120-108 for Salita. Meanwhile, the other two judges scored the bout 117-111 and 115-113.

Despite the strange scoring, Salita remained undefeated, as the Brooklynite moved to 29-0-1, 16 KO’s, and Campos fell to 17-6, 10 KO’s.

In other action, Dominick Guinn, Danny Jacobs, Daniel Edouard and Joseph Judah all came out on the winning side.

Overall, it was another excellent night of Garden boxing. Perhaps most encouraging was the surprisingly large crowd. On my way home, I heard an American fan talking on his cell phone, and he mentioned this was his first fight he had ever seen live. He said, “The seed has been planted. This was good.”

Let’s hope more nights like this happen for boxing, because it was one of the best atmospheres I have witnessed at a sporting event. Too bad Hatton vs. Malignaggi is not taking place at MSG.

Article posted on 10.11.2008

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