Roy Jones Junior Back Sparring - Will The All-Time Great Fight Again?

By James Slater: Back in the day when he truly was “Superman,” it never for a single second entered my mind that the sublime Roy Jones Junior would ever lose, let alone get brutally KO’d more than once. But, as we all lament, all boxers, no matter how gifted, begin a slow fade if they stick around long enough. No man can beat Father Time (although the amazing Bernard Hopkins is currently doing a terrific job at age 46 going on 47!).

And, once his laser-like reflexes began to desert him, Jones suffered crushing, at one time unimaginable losses, to Antonio Tarver, Glen Johnson and then, later on, Danny Green and Denis Lebedev. It was the just plain awful 10th-round KO loss he suffered at the hands of Lebedev in Russia recently that convinced fans that Roy, a smart guy, would at last decide to walk away from the ring and concentrate on commentating and doing other things with his life.

Seeing the once magnificent former multi-weight king being smashed so brutally by a fighter he would’ve handled easily in his prime was too much, and we all hoped Jones would see sense and quit. However, in a recent interview with 8Count News, the 42-year-old with the 54-8(40) record sounded like anything but an ex-fighter who is content in retirement.

Jones stated how he had got back into sparring a week or so ago, and that he felt “kind of Jeff Lacy-like, kind of awesome.” Jones also stated that he loves the sport of boxing and that he will only walk away when he is good and ready to do so. Jones didn’t exactly say he will fight again, but he had that look in his eye; the one that all fighters who are itching to engage in further combat get.

When Jones said he felt “Jeff Lacy-like” in his recent sparring session(s), he was of course referring to his last decent ring performance. Jones has often said he rolled back the years with his August 2009 10th-round retirement win over Lacy, even though in truth, he only displayed flashes of his former brilliance. It seems Jones looks back at that fight, his last victory to date, and feeds off it. Jones chooses to forget the three heavy losses that followed (to Green, KO1, Hopkins II, LU12 and Lebedev).

But if Jones is feeling like fighting again, who on earth could he choose as an opponent? With his punch resistance all but gone nowadays (Roy has suffered 4 KO defeats), Jones would be hard pressed to find a single world class light-heavyweight or cruiserweight fighter he could definitely beat (and let’s simply pray that Jones entertains no ideas of fighting again as a heavyweight). But for Jones to get “up” for a fight, he has to have a challenge; that means a ranked opponent. Therefore, if he does lace ’em up one more time, another loss awaits Jones.

The sad thing is, fans would tune in to see another Jones fight. As is the case with Evander Holyfield, some fans can’t seem to say goodbye to a hero. Jones has even spoken about the possibility of facing Kimbo Slice, who has of course just started an adventure in pro boxing. Surely, though, if the man many experts feel is deserving of going down amongst the top 30 or so greatest fighters in history were to be flattened by a guy like Slice, that would be the final straw - even for the diehards of diehards.

Will Jones fight again? I think he will. And his true fans cannot do a thing about it, apart from refuse to watch the spectacle.

Article posted on 06.09.2011

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