Every once in a great while a matchup catapults to the surface that gets us salivating at the mere thought of it. Although this weekends contest is about five years PAST what it could have been, in most Boxing circles the Jones/Calzaghe duel is no exception.
In August of 2003, RJ was proudly sitting on top of Boxings Pound-for-Pound list. He'd actually been there for so long that his bones were beginning to creak. Jones had absolutely destroyed everyone in his path for six and a half years in fights that were sometimes so lopsided that it left your casual Boxing "fan" questioning the abilities of his opposition.
Nobody had a clue or seemed to pay attention to the fact that the combined record of RJ's opponents within this six and a half year run was 417-22; and 14 of those fights were for World Championships verse mandatory qualified contenders. In fact the ONLY issue people seemed to sink their teeth into regarding Roy Jones career was that he "just didn't have anyone decent to fight."
After winning a relatively controversial Majority decision to Antonio Tarver in November of '03, for the first time we began to see some kinks in Roys armor. There just always seemed to be something about the loudmouth Tarver that Roy couldn't seem to completely conquer. Perhaps it was the fact that Tarver showed absolutely NO fear of Roy?
Regardless, the fight was finally CLOSE—so close that an immediate REMATCH was declared by screaming-baby Tarver as well as all of Boxings sanctioning bodies .
The second time around shocked us all as we witnessed yet another great champ be humbled by the brutality of our sport.
Two more losses followed by two wins verses B- fighters and a grand finale victory over an aging Trinidad have done little to recapture the legacy he once knew.
Funny, but by the time RJ was decapitated by Tarver, Joe Calzaghe was 35-0 and creating quite a legacy of his own across the pond. He'd been calling out Roy for years. Understandably so, Roys handlers weren't hearing him. They saw what happened to Kostya and Chris Byrd and wanted NOTHING to do with reliving the nightmare of what happend in the Olympics.
Besides, Roy had troubles of his own in America battling the naysayers—and fighting an undefeated welshman who nobody even heard of would only supply MORE rocks to the throwers if he were to beat him up. It was basically a lose-lose for RJ to fight him.
Enter Jeff Lacy. At 21-0, Lacy traveled across the seas to take on Calzaghe in front of an INTERNATIONAL television audience. The fight was a BEATDOWN of cosmic proportions however, in CALZAGHE'S favor! Calzaghe busted up three more victims before sizing up Bernard Hopkins YET AGAIN in front of an American viewing audience.
Now however, the shoe is on the other foot. Now with Calzaghe sitting atop of boxing's P4P list, it's ROY calling out Calzaghe. Fortunately for RJ, Cal obliged.
Now, finally there's reason for these guys to get it on. The big question however is "how much does RJ have left in the tank"?