The fight between Roy Jones Jr. and Joe Calzaghe may be not as long overdue as many fans believe it is.
Jones looked excellent in his previous fight against Felix Trinidad, who did not look bad either, and Joe Calzaghe struggled to win a spilt decision against Bernard Hopkins, who recently proved that he is far from washed up, defeating Kelly Pavlik last month.
The funny thing would be if Jones and Hopkins end up fighting each other in a mega-fight, pending a victory against Calzaghe. That fight was once looked at as the only fight left for both guys and a mere attraction with little effect on the landscape of the current boxing picture.
It would be bigger now than it would have been five years ago.
In my opinion, Jones may have just enough left to win a close fight. I do not see Calzaghe being able to hurt Jones, and once Jones realizes this, it could make for an interesting encounter.
The age difference is not as big as people would think, either. It just seems that way because Jones has been in the public eye in the United States far longer than Calzaghe and it gives the impression that he is 10 years older—that is hardly the case.
I truly have a hard time believing that either man is ready to walk away from boxing, regardless of the outcome. The winner would be in a position to make a lot of money and depending how close the fight is, a rematch would probably gain more attention than this fight, especially if Jones wins.
On the other hand, we have seen Jones look awful in recent years and a terrible outing probably spells the end of him as an elite fighter.
Roy Jones Jr. will enter the fight as an underdog. He was perceived as a washed up fighter before beating Trinidad and has been written off after losses to Antonio Tarver and Glenn Johnson.
However, Calzaghe wants to retire undefeated and secure his legacy by beating the man that was considered the best fighter in the world for many years. A loss by Jones does not damage his reputation any worse than it was damaged by the knockout losses he suffered a few years ago to Tarver and Johnson. A close decision loss to Calzaghe may actually help his current stature because of how well Hopkins did after losing a close decision.
Calzaghe has everything to lose. A loss forever tarnishes his perfect record and his legacy would be hurt badly. It would be assumed that he could never have beaten Jones in his prime if he is unable to beat him now.
In the end, I can see Jones surprising a lot of people and winning a competitive and fairly close decision. But I find this fight one of the toughest to predict in recent memory and the questions about how much Roy Jones has left and if Calzaghe is in the same league as Jones, even at this stage of his career, will be answered once the bell rings. I truly cannot wait!