Maybe Roy Jones Was Hit More Than I Thought

10.11.04 - By Frank Lotierzo - - Last night I watched the HBO replay of last weeks Trinidad-Mayorga middleweight clash. Trinidad looked just as precise and brilliant and Mayorga showed great toughness and heart. The bottom line is Trinidad is a league above Mayorga as a world class fighter. From a style match up, Mayorga doesn't have tool one to beat Trinidad with. Mayorga's only shot is to catch Tito with a bomb that he didn't see and possibly stop him. However, Tito showed a sturdy chin and a solid defense in making Mayorga repeatedly miss during the fight.

After the showing of Trinidad-Mayorga, HBO had a round table discussion in which they recapped what transpired in the fight. The topic debated was the impact of Trinidad's sensational victory and what it means for the great sport of Boxing. The round table panel consisted of HBO broadcasters Jim Lampley and Larry Merchant and color commentator former four time Champion Roy Jones.

Lampley and Merchant were typical in their evaluation, basically stating how good Trinidad looked and that Mayorga, although a very dangerous opponent to comeback against after a long layoff, was tailor made for Trinidad to look good against. Roy Jones added some good insight, and remarked how effective Tito could be by going to Mayorga's body during the fight. And Trinidad all but crippled Mayorga when he dug downstairs with his big left hooks.

At the close of the broadcast, Lampley turned to Roy Jones and asked him what the future holds for him in Boxing since his knockout loss to Glencoffee Johnson two weeks earlier. Maybe it's me, but I was shocked by what I heard come from his mouth. And based off his last two fights, being knocked out and not beating the count versus Tarver, and being down for eight minutes after Johnson, I cant believe I'm the only one taken by his words.

What Jones proceeded to say was about as credible and believable as Democratic Presidential nominee John Kerry trying to convince the electorate that he hasn't taken a position on every side of every issue, or President George Bush trying to convince that Iraq is close to becoming a democracy?

In answering Lampley's question, Roy Jones looked into the television camera and said that he's still the best fighter in Boxing, and the loss to Tarver and Johnson were no big deal? Basically Jones said that getting knocked out in his last two fights, losing his title and failing to regain it are nothing to be concerned about. Jones is trying to con the Boxing press and Boxing fans that he just wasn't motivated and that's why he lost! What was one of Mike Tyson's favorite saying, "That's Ludicrous." The unmotivated excuse by Jones for losing the rematch to Tarver and Johnson after that are something that a fighter couldn't even make up and hope to convince anyone!

Sure, that makes sense. A fighter deemed fighter of the decade by those who cover him and thought by some as one of the best non heavyweight fighters in history, and who is legitimately unbeaten in the ring for 15 years gets destroyed in his last two fights at the weight where he made the most defenses of any title. And he lost because of a lack in motivation? No way do I believe Jones wasn't motivated for the rematch with Tarver, or his fight versus Johnson. The rematch with Tarver and the Johnson fight were the first fights in his career where he faced adversity. Historically, that's where the greatest of the greats defined themselves and solidified their greatness. To believe what Jones says defies all reason and logic and is just a feeble excuse.

When he fought Antonio Tarver in their rematch, he said that Tarver was going to get the real Roy this time. Between the first and second fights, the legitimacy of Jones victory over Tarver in their first fight was questioned by many for the first time in his career. You mean to tell me that didn't get him motivated? Not to mention how badly Tarver was mocking him in front of the media. Maybe some will buy that, but I'm not. If that's the case, then he doesn't have the character found common among histories greatest fighters.

In the rematch, Jones looked as strong as ever in the first round. In the second round he was knocked out by the only clean punch Tarver landed in the fight. Jones fought in a style uncharacteristic to him normally, he started to lead and slightly push the action in the second round. As a result of that, he was caught with a big left thrown by Tarver knocking him down. When he got up just before the count of ten, he could've been knocked down again by a shift in the wind.

Four months later he fought Glencoffee Johnson for a piece of the Light Heavyweight title. Johnson who had lost nine times fought Clinton Woods twice before facing Jones and had to go the distance both times. Not to mention that Johnson was 2-2-2 in his last 6 fights. At the bell for the first round, Johnson jumped on Jones and Jones didn't attempt to discourage him by fighting back. No, he just did a cheap Rope-A-Dope imitation and let Johnson lead.

It was obvious from the onset that Jones hadn't recovered emotionally from getting starched by Tarver. Jones was tentative and glove shy against Johnson. The only reason for that is because of the memory in his head of his last fight. When Jones did open up with some monster left hooks, they looked every bit as dangerous as they did in any other fight.

After being left in a position in his last two fights that no other greats have been in their last two fights, Jones says it's all because of a lack of motivation! No way. He had a ton of baggage emotionally after getting dumped by Tarver. That is now four fold after not being able to get up for eight minutes after being destroyed by Johnson. If he fights again, he'll have even more fear and concern about getting hit and stopped.Yet he went on an on about how if he fights again, no problem. Roy Jones is shamelessly in a very deep state of denial.

Recently I wrote that Jones was rarely hit until fighting Antonio Tarver and Glencoffee Johnson. Well from the way he's been talking in the media and on HBO, I was wrong. Obviously he took more punches than I thought, because nothing else can explain the nonsense that's coming out of his mouth. He just can't accept that he lost and thinks he can change with his words what is obvious to the eye. If Jones fights again he'll have more self doubt than he did before the first round started versus Johnson. I know that only because of what my eyes saw in the fight against Johnson. Unless of course he's motivated?

Article posted on 11.10.2004

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