Roy Jones Jr. vs. Eric Watkins: Winner, Scorecard and Reaction

Scott Polacek@@ScottPolacekFeatured ColumnistAugust 17, 2015

Roy Jones Jr. of the US gestures after he was knocked out by Russia's Denis Lebedev during their fight at the Megasport Arena in Moscow, Russia, Saturday, May 21, 2011. Denis Lebedev knocked out Roy Jones Jr. in the last seconds of the final round of their cruiserweight fight in Moscow on Saturday. (AP Photo/Sergey Ponomarev)
Sergey Ponomarev/Associated Press

The 46-year-old Roy Jones Jr. (62-8, 45 KOs) is still boxing. He’s also still registering impressive knockout victories.

The future boxing Hall of Fame member and former multi-division titleholder registered a sixth-round knockout against Eric Watkins (12-10-2, 5 KOs) Sunday in Mashantucket, Connecticut, behind a strong left hook. Jones Jr. was fighting as the main event in the Knockout series for NUVOtv, and Boxing-Hype.com provided a video of the victorious moment:

BoxingHypeStore.com @BoxingHype

VIDEO: Roy jones KOs with that left hook, still got it http://t.co/ri7NSBX0ZM

Jones Jr. didn’t just win by knockout—he controlled the majority of the fight. He jumped out to a quick start with a number of body shots from the first round and never relinquished momentum. He boasts nowhere near the foot speed and power behind his jabs that made him a dominant boxer in his prime, but he was clearly the better fighter in the ring Sunday against Watkins.

The vicious left hook was simply the exclamation mark of what appeared to be a victory the whole way.

Jones Jr. proved he can still hang with lower-level fighters at the cruiserweight level with the knockout (it was his eighth-straight win), although he probably doesn’t still have the reflexes and overall technical precision necessary to avoid the major blows against elite opponents. 

Dan Rafael of ESPN.com commented on how far Jones Jr. appeared from his prime during Sunday's fight and even compared him to former great athletes reaching the end of their careers:

Dan Rafael @danrafaelespn

This Roy Jones fight is incredibly sad to watch. #boxing

Dan Rafael @danrafaelespn

Watching that fight made it hard to believe Roy was once the best fighter on the planet and it wasn't close. He's maybe 5% what he once was.

Dan Rafael @danrafaelespn

Friend of mine watching this Jones fights. "It's like watching Willie Mays when he was on the Mets. But worse." #JonesWatkins #boxing

It is hard to blame Jones Jr. if the paycheck and exposure is still there, although even that seemed to surprise Nubyjas Wilborn of the Tallahassee Democrat:

Jones Jr. addressed concerns about how long he will fight back in June, per Rafael: "Can't nobody tell Roy Jones when to start, and nobody can tell Roy Jones when he should stop. Roy Jones is going to do what he wants to do, and I am enjoying myself in the ring and I am going to get back where I want to be."

The question now becomes where Jones Jr. goes from Sunday’s knockout win over Watkins and a technical knockout win in his last fight against Paul Vasquez.

Jones Jr. has bouts against Danny Santiago (Aug. 29) and Tony Moran (Sept. 12) scheduled but ideally wanted to face Germany’s Marco Huck in a cruiserweight championship scenario at the end of that stretch. The only problem with that is Huck was unexpectedly stopped in his last fight against Krzysztof Glowacki, so that plan may be put on hold.

That loss ended Huck’s run of 13 straight title defenses.

Myron Medcalf of ESPN doesn’t think Jones Jr. is exactly ready for a prime-time showdown anyway, so it may be for the best:

Myron Medcalf @MedcalfByESPN

Roy Jones Jr. with the knockout and now he'll ask for a bigger bout. That's like winning the CBI, demanding a title unification game v Duke.

Jones Jr. deserves credit for racking together a number of lower-level wins since he was stopped by Denis Lebedev in 2011, but Glowacki appears to be on the rise after his surprising victory over Huck.

Jones Jr. cannot say the same with the majority of his Hall of Fame-caliber career in the rear-view mirror, which means that primetime title opportunity may not be waiting at the end of his next couple of fights.


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