Joe Calzaghe vs. Roy Jones Jr is a fight that will be won more on “reflexes” and who can maintain said reflexes and intensity more so than who has more speed or power. In boxing, as a fighter ages, if you want to defeat an older fighter, it becomes more about taking him out of his element/comfort zone and the older fighters inability to adapt to different demands and less about their attributes and who takes a better punch, etc., that wins the fight.
Case in point, Joe beating Hopkins, because Joe is busier and made Hopkins sustain a pace he isn't comfortable with, he won. Where as Kelly Pavlik, who fought Hopkins at a predictable slow pace (which allowed B-hop to slip and slide, reset and fire, think and posture, and he didn't have to do a “gut check”) lost.
Hopkins didn't have to question his own desire to continue boxing, which you have to do with older fighters who have trained and fought for grueling decades! As an “old” fighter, you aren’t able to pull the trigger any more or not nearly as fast as you once did… that is the loss of reflex, but more accurately it is the loss of desire.
The fire doesn’t burn as bright as it once did and there is nothing that can be done about that once that flame has been extinguished.
Jones was always an exception to the rule, whether he will revert back to being that exception in this fight is anyone’s guess. Again, Calzaghe should apply CRUEL pressure, but in doing so he is leaving himself open to Jones who, as a counter puncher, still hits exceedingly hard and effectively.
Jones is more susceptible to being hit now because he doesn’t fire back with the same conviction he once had. Lay on the ropes against someone who throws as many punches as Joe and although you may not get knocked out with one clean blow, but the amount of punches you will eat will leave you praying for a swift end. I for one have never been a fan on Jones “wait out the storm” type defense.
I believe Calzaghe is more tenacious than talent. Not that he doesn’t have ability, just he has so much persistence and drive, he hasn’t met a man that can stand with him and bring the heat like he does. That alone is intimidating. He plays a game of tag and never gives you a chance to do the tagging.
Joe can be dropped and therefore can be stopped. Jones will be tested and that is when we will see exactly what Roy has left.
In my estimation, this fight is a pick'em fight. In my book Jones in his day would be a runaway favorite. His feints, hand-speed, dexterity and reflexes would just be too much for Joe. He would always be one step ahead of Joe in a fight of fistic fencing…But if Joe can test Roy’s desire…well, now we got a fight!