Roy Jones Jr.: What Will It Take for the Former Great to Finally Retire?

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Roy Jones Jr.: What Will It Take for the Former Great to Finally Retire?
Ethan Miller/Getty Images

Roy Jones Jr. ended up winning a 10-round fight against Max Alexander last Saturday night. Jones was coming off a three-fight losing streak. 

After the victory, Jones grabbed a microphone and asked the audience whether or not he was "back" and if they wanted him to return to Atlanta for another fight. 

It was yet another reminder of how cruel a sport boxing can really be for its fans. 

Back in his prime, Jones used to tour schools and field questions from kids on the very subject of hanging on too long in the sport and risking injury. He dismissed any notion it would happen to him. He'd seen it happen to too many others to ever permit it taking place with his own career. 

This kind of thing makes those that ignore history doomed to repeat it seem merciful. 

An opponent like Max Alexander speaks volumes as to what Jones' history bespeaks in terms of the risks involved with continuing his career.

Regardless of whoever is steering Roy Jones Jr.'s ship as far as his career is concerned, they were so concerned about his fragility that they settled on an opponent for Jones, who had last won a fight back in 2007. Even then, Alexander showed up badly out of shape for the biggest fight of his career. Jones looked uncharacteristically soft also (he's 42!). 

With Jones claiming stamina had been an issue is previous fights, he seldom pressed the fight against Alexander. Despite this, Jones won nearly all the rounds on each of the judges' scorecards. 

Jones said after the fight that he felt wonderful and wanted a cruiserweight title. "I'm not through yet!" Jones shouted to the crowd. 

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Jones entered his fight against Alexander after suffering the most savage knockout of his career against Denis Lebedev in Moscow. With seconds left in the fight, in a fight Jones was arguably winning, Lebedev connected with a series of blows that left Jones badly injured after collapsing into the canvass headfirst. 

Beyond Jones himself, just who is keenly interested in his career continuing on remains a complete mystery to me. Concussions are something that one becomes more susceptible to incurring the more you endure. Jones has sustained three terribly vicious knockouts in the latter stages of his career. It's apparent to most watching him that he risks permanent injury or worse each and every time he steps inside the ring. 

It's incredibly sad to watch this story unfold toward boxing's cliche conclusion with another legend.

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