I take it all back! Hopkins-Jones II was a disgrace

By Dave Cacciatore - I have tremendous respect for both Roy Jones Jr and Bernard Hopkins, but the performance they gave us this past Saturday night was a disaster but worse than that it was a disgrace. Two men who have benefited so much from the sport of boxing did their best jobs to send fans running in cavalcades to the MMA, basketball games, the home shopping network, or house chores..

The fight lacked many things, most notably punches, something usually thought of as being indispensible in a boxing match. Why I am surprised I am not quite sure. I think I was operating under the delusion that these two great artists of the ring would resemble their former selves, and not pathetic sideshows.

Roy Jones Jr, at one time untouched by the best out there for years. Skilled, lightening fast, thought to be as near to invincible as a fighter has ever been regarded. Roy looked scared walking into the ring. He resembled a blue chip baseball prospect who after being beaned in the head is now afraid to step into the batters box.

The worse sin of all though for Mr. Jones Jr is that he appeared to lack courage. He was more than content to just go the distance without getting hurt. Even with his older slower opponent giving him opportunities and allowing him to stay in the fight he only flashed his punches. Roy never committed to taking chances with explosive bursts that could win rounds and possibly the fight. Roy did not display the heart he showed in the first Tarver when he willed himself to a victory in a similar situation.

While Jones trepidation might have been somewhat excused by his recent history of being knocked out, Hopkins fought more like the “white boys” he despises and less like the leader of the cell block. Hopkins constant crying and whining to referee Tony Weeks was despicable, especially in light of what a dirty fight he fought. Hopkins took every opportunity to foul Jones Jr when he could, then when Roy like every good boxer is taught fouled him back he pouted and acted like the prison punk.

Hopkins histrionics shamed the sport that has given him so much. His feigning that the light punch Roy landed to the side of the back of his head caused so much damage was absurd. If Hopkins was that fragile he would still be on the canvas in Ecuador from when Segundo Mercado dropped him. The most insane part of all of it was that Tony Weeks was either too intimidated or bought it and actually took a point away from Jones the first time he did it. Thereby, giving Bernard the green light to give us encore performances of his Montell Griffin impersonation in the rounds to come. If Tony Weeks really wanted to do his job he would have warned Bernard the first time he pulled that stunt and taken points away if he did it again.

I was wrong about the fight, but I won’t be wrong again about these two declining legends. My biggest regret is that one of my good friends actually shelled out money so that we could watch this joke of a rematch. Hopkins won the fight by a comfortable margin; he is without a doubt a first ballot hall of famer, and one of the greatest middleweights of all time. Roy is a once in a generation fighter whose place in boxing history cannot be questioned. The saddest part of Saturday night is that these two once great ring warriors proved that their greatness is behind them and that what lies ahead is a kind of con/pimp job. Whoring out their names and reputations for a few dollars. By all accounts, neither of these two men needs the money and both have plenty of other business opportunities.

So for the love of the sport that gave you two both so much just let it go guys! Roy’s legacy is already tarnished by his ring performances in the later years and Hopkins with his professional wrestling type antics is on the same road. Bernard achieved his revenge against the man who defeated him 17 years earlier in name only. It was painfully evident that the Roy Jones Jr of the 1990s left the arena a long time ago. Please Bernard dispel any notions you might have of a rubber match, or a challenge for Haye’s paper title. There is nothing left to prove.

Article posted on 06.04.2010

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