Jones TKO's Sheika, Flores Out-Points Herrera

by James Slater - Last night, in his hometown of Pensacola, Florida, former pound-for-pound king and multi-weight world champ Roy Jones Junior proved he can still look like a million dollars against the right opponent. Outclassing and eventually stopping the rugged yet hittable Omar Sheika, the 40-year-old future Hall of Famer opened a nasty cut over the 32-year-old's right eye, prompting referee Tommy Kimmons to call a halt to the bout at 1-minute and 45-seconds of the 5th round. Improving to 53-5(39), Jones picked up the vacant NABO 175-pound strap. Paterson, New Jersey's Sheika, who must retire, surely, fell to 27-9(18)..

Showing genuine flashes of his former brilliance, Jones peppered the slower Sheika with shots from all angles, looking classy and sharp in doing so. Sheika, as tough as they come even now, simply had no answer for his opponent's speed and variety, even though Jones fought with his back to the ropes for long periods. It must be said, though, that looks can be deceiving. Yes, Jones looked superb, and to some he may have looked as good as ever; but we saw what happens when the veteran version of R.J steps in with one of the division's elite. The real Roy Jones was the man we saw losing to Joe Calzaghe, in a one-sided fashion, last November.

Sure, Jones, who is not a shot fighter by any means, can continue picking up wins at a limited level if he so chooses - but what is the all-time great really proving in doing so? Jones certainly doesn't need the money. Maybe he is just unable to walk away from the spotlight. One thing's for sure, his home-town fans loved watching him do his thing last night, giving their hero much applause.

I want to give thanks to Pensacola in the house," Jones said post-fight. "I felt really good. I'm ready. With my father, coach Merk and my team I'm more comfortable. Do you want me back? (Jones asked his fans, who bellowed a resounding YES). I'll be coming back!"

The Roy Jones Junior show looks set to carry on for some time, then.

On the under-card, unbeaten 30-year-old cruiserweight contender B.J Flores of Arizona scored a good, unanimous decision win over the always-dangerous Jose Luis Herrera of Colombia. Winning by commanding scores of 98-92 and 99-91 twice, Flores improved to 23-0-1(14), also picking up the vacant 200-pound NABO belt. 29-year-old Herrera fell to 16-6(16).

"I went the distance with Herrera," Flores said. "and next I want Victor Ramirez (the current holder of the WBO interim belt at cruiser)"

The time is right for the promising Flores to make his move, that's for sure.

Article posted on 22.03.2009

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