"Old" Roy Jones Jr. is one of the greatest fighters of all time as a champion at middleweight, super middleweight, light heavyweight. Jones has even won a portion of the heavyweight title, which is a feat that hasn't been completed by a middleweight in over 100 years. He is a man with the ability to knock you out with either hand and possesses unimaginable speed of hand and foot with an array of skills unmatched inside the squared circle.
Unfortunately, we did not see this Roy Jones on Saturday night in his fight against Joe Calzaghe.
As a fighter that nearly never lost a round in his prime, Jones was nearly whitewashed on the scorecards.
Jones was cut badly for the first time in the seventh round, causing him to bleed profusely for the remainder of the fight. He looked all of his 39 years and some.
For those of you who have the same memory as me, we were hoping for the lightning-quick power puncher that was Roy Jones. This stationary, sluggish edition was unable to pull the trigger and was a shocking sight. He was not, however, as bad as the completely empty version of Ali that fought Larry Holmes in 1980, but the same path of deterioration was inevitable.
Roy Jones can still hold his head high despite losing the fight, because his first round knockdown caught viewers by surprise. He had Calzaghe down and hurt, and aside from that, his fighting spirit remained all night.
“Roy showed that he has heart. He fought all twelve rounds, which was almost dangerous considering the state of his eye, but he kept going.” said Calzaghe at the post-fight press conference.
Jones was unable to attend the conference, because he had to go to the hospital to have his eye stitched up.
After being written off a few years ago following three consecutive losses, this fight is a personal victory for Roy Jones. He proved himself as a fighter, and showed he had the heart of a champion when he fought to the final bell.
I don't believe this fight will affect Jones' legacy, because let's remember he was able to fight himself into contention and get a big fight after losing.
On Saturday night we saw the OLD Roy Jones, rather than the "old" Roy Jones, and let's hope this was the last time we see him in the ring. As a champion and fighter, he has nothing left to prove.