Roy Jones Jr. and 15 Big Name Fighters We No Longer Care About
It's nothing personal.
There are just some fighters that have become irrelevant. You know what I'm talking about: some are way past their primes, and others just don't have the same mystique and allure they once did.
Last week, there was a report from one website that former light heavyweight champion Roy Jones Jr. (54-7, 40 KOs) could face cruiserweight Dennis Lebedev (21-1, 16 KOs) this April in Russia.
Roy's a legend and was always quite the colorful quote, but I really haven't followed him since his first fight with Antonio Tarver in 2003. He was lucky to emerge with a win then and got blasted in the rematch. I hoped he would retire, but like so many others, he's stayed around.
He's not the only one, though. There are other talented fighters out there, some of them world champions. I just don't care about them like I used to.
Here are the ones I'm talking about:
16. Evander Holyfield
He was one of my childhood heroes, and one of the most beloved heavyweights of my generation.
This is just sad, and I don't see how this is going to end well.
15. Jose Luis Castillo
The former lightweight champ once gave Floyd Mayweather Jr. quite a test when they fought in 2002. I thought Castillo may have won, but Mayweather left no doubt in their rematch.
Castillo (62-10, 53 KOs) hasn't fought since last August, but most of his fights are now in Mexico and he's become just another name on undercards.
14. Winky Wright
Winky's a good guy and one of the most pleasant champs I've spoken with.
Wright's returning after a two-year layoff to face Matthew Macklin (28-2, 19 KOs) in April. Franklin has won 11-straight fights and currently holds a random European title belt.
Wright (51-5-1, 25 KOs) is 39 and made a name for himself with wins over Shane Mosley back in 2004.
13. Marco Antonio Barrera
Barrera is a legend and was one of the three favorite boxers I enjoyed watching.
After his second loss to Manny Pacquiao, though, I remember thinking, "OK, can you just hang it up? Go out with some dignity?"
Of course not. Then he got embarrassed by Amir Khan in 2009.
12. Erik Morales
Morales should have walked away gracefully after Manny Pacquiao knocked him out in the third round of their 2006 fight.
He's stuck around like his hated rival Barrera. Now Morales (51-6, 35 KOs) is set to face Marcos Maidana (29-2, 27 KOs) for the interim WBA lightweight title on April 9.
That's going to be ugly.
11. Fernando Vargas
Another former world champ making a comeback? That's original.
Vargas used to be one of the most talented, toughest fighters around. His fight with Felix Trinidad was a classic, and he gave Oscar De La Hoya a test in their title fight.
Fernando was definitely one of the more confident fighters I ever met, but I think he's bored and misses the limelight and adulation from fans. I get it.
That's hard to walk away from. Fighters say it's like a drug. I guess Vargas needs a fix again.
10. Rocky Juarez
The Houston fighter just lost a unanimous decision to Alejandro Sanabria (27-1, 21 KOs) in Mexico in February.
That was the fourth straight losses for Juarez (28-7-1, 20 KOs), who hasn't won since 2008. Rocky got three big title shots against Marco Antonio Barrera (twice), Juan Manuel Marquez and twice again with Chris John.
His combined record in those fights: 0-4, with one draw.
9. Juan Diaz
"Baby Bull" is a sharp guy, and I like the fact that he's gone after his degree at the University of Houston.
I kept rooting for him when he got his title shots, but Diaz (35-4, 17 KOs) has lost four of his last six fights.
That tells me all I need to know.
8. Bernard Hopkins
Ya, the Executioner is a physical freak and it's amazing to see a fighter still competing at a high level at his age.
Hopkins has absolutely zero to prove now, and his legacy is secure. I think he's fighting just to fight, and that's fine.
I just have zero interest in watching him.
7. Chad Dawson
Dawson (29-1, 17 KOs) remains one of the top light heavyweights in the world, even after his loss to Jean Pascal last August.
I just haven't been able to get into his fights.
It happens. Sometimes it's easy to follow certain fighters. You can try as hard as you can with others, but they just don't hold your attention.
6. Zab Judah
Zab (41-6, 28 KOs) has another belt again after defeating Kaizer Mabuza on Saturday.
I wish him the best. Zab really rubbed me the wrong way for his temper tantrum after getting knocked out by Kostya Tszyu in 2001. I regained a lot of respect for Zab after watching the tough fight he gave Miguel Cotto back in 2007, but he seemed to drop off the map after that.
I moved on and started watching other fighters.
Like I said before, it's nothing personal. Your attention just shifts elsewhere sometimes.
5. Kelly Pavlik
The former middleweight champ is supposed to return on the undercard of the Pacquiao-Mosley fight in May.
I could care less how Pavlik's fight goes. What I do care about is making sure he stays clean and sober after recently spending time in the Betty Ford Clinic. That's way more important than what happens in a ring.
If he can attack that with the same ferocity, I'll respect him just as much as I used to for what a great fighter he became.
4. Ricardo Mayorga
I get it, I get it.
You love to smoke and drink, and you'll talk trash and say all sorts of shocking stuff to get under your opponents' skin.
The only thing I care about with Mayorga is making sure the other fighters shut him up, especially if they can knock him out.
3. Vitali Klitschko
He and his brother are gentlemen, and two of the strongest, most dominating heavyweights to ever come along.
Unless they agree to fight each other, though, I just can't get interested in following either of them.
2. Roy Jones Jr.
He's gone from being the flashy, charismatic, jaw-dropping champ to an old, washed-up former champ just earning paychecks.
Hate to see such a brilliant career end that way.
1. Wladimir Klitschko
The best thing that could possibly happen is if Wladimir faces David Haye and their fight is actually exciting.
I feel for Wladimir, though. The guy is talented and has a great record (55-3, 49 KOs), but he's also fighting during a time when the division is absolutely dreadful and there's not a single truly talented American heavyweight to be found.
No fight fan in their right mind could devote time to watching heavyweights anymore on a consistent basis.