Roy Jones: The Great Who Can’t Quit (But Should)
For younger fans, it’s hard, incomprehensible in fact, to understand how great, how super-special Roy Jones once was. During the years 1993 to 2003, Jones was indeed worthy of his ring monicker “Superman.” Right through the weights – 160/168/175, even for a brief spell at heavyweight – Jones was a true master of his craft.
But last night, in the latest episode in a career that has suffered, as all athletic careers inevitably must, at the hands of Father Time, a 54 year old Jones was beaten by former UFC world champ Anthony Pettis. Pettis was having his very first boxing match. It was close on the cards, with one judge having the eight rounder all-even at 76-76, the other two officials giving it to the novice boxer via scores of 77-75 and 78-74.
Jones, who insists he will not bother with exhibition bouts, that he wants the real thing instead, is now 66-10(47) yet he says he will not call it quits just yet. Fans and Jones admirers have longe since given up calling for the once untouchable Jones to retire and stay retired.
Jones said post-fight that he was happy in being able to entertain the fans.
“For me, I like to come and entertain the fans. My job is to come in and make sure that the fans got what they paid for,” Jones said. “I think it was a good fight. He did a great job and fought a very smart fight. I think I educated him and taught him a lot in this fight. So, I think if I fought him again it would be even better because he knows a lot more now. I think it would be a really good rematch. I don’t do exhibitions, I fight real fights. I’m not an exhibition guy, I’m a real guy. I want to win, or I want to lose. But I’m going out on my shield, and I want to be able to do it again as many times as I want to.”
These words from Jones are part egotistical (Jones’ ego is as healthy as it was in his prime years) and part worrying. Just how Jones goes “out on his shield” is indeed a scary thought. Even those vicious knockouts suffered at the hands of Denis Lebedev, Glen Johnson, Enzo Maccarinelli, and, in the first stunner, Antonio Tarver, failed to convince Jones to walk away. Here, so many years later, Jones is still insistent on risking himself by stepping into the ring.
Jones WILL box again, that seems inevitable. It has to end some time, though, and when it finally does end, we hope Jones is able to recall his once fabulous ring career.
As for the now 1-0 Pettis, he said after his win how he is “going to take it one fight at a time, day by day.”
Pettis-Jones II could happen later this year.