Seventeen years after their original bout, Roy Jones Jr. and Bernard Hopkins are scheduled to fight again. When they step into the ring on Apr. 17, they will be a combined age of 86 years old!
This fight was thought to be dead in the water after Roy Jones was stopped inside two minutes of the first round in his last fight against Australian Danny Green. Hopkins, who had been inactive for 14 months, cruised to an easy points victory in his tune-up match with little known Enrique Ornelas and all fingers pointed to a Hopkins/Green bout.
However, even after Roy had lost, B-Hop was still very keen to make the fight happen, putting the Jones loss down to bad refereeing, stating that the fight had been stopped prematurely.
I disagree with this and also lost a little bit of the huge respect that I have for Jones after his bout, not because he lost in the first round but because he has since tried to get the decision overturned from a loss to a win via disqualification, claiming that Green was using illegal gauze on his wraps.
I will be very surprised if this fight does big PPV numbers but have no doubt that both guys will still make a lot of money, Jones made an incredible $4 million in the Green fight but because of the outcome of that bout it is understood that Roy has agreed to a “modification” from the original Hopkins/Jones deal. Which was 50/50 with the possibility for both of the fighters to take 60 percent of the purse if they won via a knockout.
When they first fought in May 1993 it was for the vacant IBF Middleweight title and Jones badly hurt his right hand early on but still won a fairly easy unanimous decision tagging "The Executioner" mostly with his left, in 12 very forgettable rounds.
But that was a long, long time ago. Roy would go on to become the first middleweight since 1897 to win a heavyweight title. He defeated guys like James Toney, Mike McCallum, Virgil Hill, Vinny Pazienza, and Clinton Woods so easily that he earned the nickname Superman, the only defeat he had was a DQ loss to Montell Griffin after he punched Griffin when he was already down on his knee, he avenged this defeat in emphatic fashion via a first-round KO in a rematch.
In his prime Roy Jones did things in world title fights that most guys wouldn’t even attempt to try on video games, such as the famous rooster move he used against James Toney, and in one fight against Glen Kelly, whilst against the ropes he put his hands behind his back, dodged a couple of shots and then knocked Kelly out.
When he moved up to heavyweight to fight WBA champ John Ruiz, apart from the difference in size between the two fighters, it looked the same as all his other fights. Jones was too quick, too good, and frustrated Ruiz with clowning moves on his way to a unanimous points victory.
However his kryptonite would be losing all those pounds of muscle to get back to the light heavyweight division, his first fight back at light-heavy was against Antonio Tarver and it was by far his toughest fight to date, a weight drained Roy Jones won a heavily contested split decision and in the rematch, the self proclaimed Mr. Unstoppable was knocked out in the second round.
Roy Jones was no longer invincible and was knocked out again in his very next fight, this time by Jamaican Glen Johnson, fans where now calling out for Jones to retire, but he kept going and fought Tarver for a third time and seemed happy to last the 12 rounds, even though he lost.
Since that loss he is 5-2, showing flashes of his old brilliance against guys like Sheika, Trinidad, and Jeff Lacey but also looking embarrassingly outmatched by Joe Calzaghe, a guy he would have had very little trouble with in his prime.
Bernard Hopkins (50-5-1, 32 KOs) will surely be a huge favourite going into this fight and although at 45, he will be the older man, he has aged a lot better then Roy Jones (54-6, 40 KOs) and is still considered by many as one of the best pound-for-pound fighters.
However, I am going to pick Jones to win this fight, possibly on points just because the fighters Jones has lost to are pressure fighters who throw lots of punches.
Bernard Hopkins is still very good but does not throw too many shots, so I believe, even at this stage in his career Roy will cause an upset because he is the quicker man. Whatever the outcome, as a fan, I really hope Roy calls it a day after the fight but I doubt he will.