It was a perfect setup, really.
Like a left to the body that drops the gloves for a big right hand, the so-called “tune-up” bouts for Roy Jones Jr. and Bernard Hopkins were supposed to set the stage for a big rematch between the two aging stars.
But when Jones was unexpectedly thrashed at the hands of Danny Green, hopes for the highly anticipated fight with Hopkins, were sent to the canvas as quickly as Jones in the first round.
Hopkins did his part.
Bernard, “The Executioner” defeated a lively Enrique Ornelas in classic Hopkins fashion—by outboxing him on all three judges’ scorecards.
Unfortunately it was too late.
By the time Hopkins took to the ring, Jones had already suffered through his debacle with Green earlier in the day.
Yes, Roy Jones Jr lost. And hopefully, for the last time.
But the real losers are the fans.
For those of us who salivated at the thought of seeing Jones and Hopkins headlining a fight that was 17 years in the making, we are the ones who got knocked out.
No MGM Grand. No Mandalay Bay. No 24/7 Hopkins-Jones .
Hopkins will fight again. His win against Ornelas all but guaranteed at least one more fight for the ageless boxer, possibly for a heavyweight title.
He has options, and we’ll see him again in 2010, lacing ‘em up.
It’s a different story for Jones.
Many anticipate the loss to Green will spell the end of an illustrious 20 year career. A career punctuated with highlight reel knockouts and unbelievable athleticism.
Like Hopkins, Jones is a lock for the hall of fame.
He might end up with a plumb TV job, doing color commentary for HBO perhaps. Maybe record another rap album. Jones will be fine.
Unfortunately, for the fans, this is it.
We pondered how that fight might have gone. Jones by knockout? Hopkins by decision?
We analyzed their styles and tendencies and results over shared opponents.
We even talked about where the fight would happen. MGM? Staples? MSG?
But, in the end, it won’t matter.
This fight is done.
On the bright side, we won’t have to wait any longer.