Roy Jones Jr.: Get Real or Get Out

Paul MagnoCorrespondent IAugust 16, 2009

NEW YORK - NOVEMBER 08:  Roy Jones Jr enters the ring prior to his bout against Joe Calzaghe of Wales for their Ring Magazine Light Heavyweight Championship bout at Madison Square Garden November 8, 2008 in New York City.  (Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images)

It was almost too appropriate when Roy Jones Jr. assumed the identity of Peter Pan bad guy, Captain Hook, for the pre-fight publicity leading up to Saturday's PPV bout with Jeff Lacy.

Dressed as the hook-handed cartoon pirate, he was the very definition of irony since Jones, the one-time baddest man on the planet, has been a mere caricature of himself for the last six years.

There was a time when he would do to world-class fighters what he did to a clueless, hapless Jeff Lacy in the main event of the Hook City card from Biloxi, Ms.

In Jones' glory days, the six and eight-punch combinations were flying at fighters like Bernard Hopkins and James Toney, not at a lifeless lump of flesh like Lacy, who was painfully out of his league, even against a fighter not even in his own league anymore.

And here's a little secret about Lacy that most hardcore fight fans already know: He's always been slow, predictable and a very fortunate club fighter who managed to win a world title. He's never been much more and after being humiliated by Joe Calzaghe, beaten by Jermain Taylor and moving up from 168 to 175, not much was expected from him.

The Lacy fight was only the latest in a series of encounters, temporarily interrupted by a one-sided beating against Calzaghe, designed to give the impression that the legendary Roy Jones Jr. is still relevant.

Prince Badi Ajamu, Anthony Hanshaw, Felix Trinidad, Omar Sheika (!) and now Jeff Lacy; all assigned with the difficult task of looking just good enough to make RJ look like he's actually fighting, but not so good as to actually challenge him.

Whether Jones' ego or his wallet is at the core of this charade is a mystery, but this "comeback" leads to the bigger question of when it'll stop.

What's his ultimate goal? Money? One more title shot? Respect?

If the goal is money, this is all understandable, but if Jones is fighting for respect? One has to wonder how a Hall of Fame legend can earn respect by beating a collection of club fighters and faded, naturally-smaller opponents.

All stories are worthless unless they actually go some place and Jones' story, right now, is just one long run-on sentence with no real reason or purpose behind it. A proposed bout against another over-matched fringe contender, Danny Green, will not put a period at the end of Jones' career sentence.

The last three times Jones has faced world-class talent, he's been blown-out and/or blown away. Does he hope to eventually redeem himself? Or does he even care anymore?

Boxing is full of posers and pretenders. We don't need one of our modern day legends degrading himself by clowning and showboating against obviously inferior talents.

Roy Jones: Get Real or Get Out.

If you don't plan on fighting real, world-class fighters, then focus your energies on promoting fighters who actually do.