Roy Jones, Jr: It Is Time to Walk Away

Cliff Eastham@RedsToTheBoneSenior Writer IIDecember 3, 2009

There is a time in every athlete's life when he must face the man in the mirror and hear the sad sweet song.Β  "It's over. Don't look back. It has been a good ride, but this is the end of the road."

Either some people don't have that conversation with the man he watches shave every day, or he fails to pay attention to the warning or plea as it were.

That discussion should have taken place the morning after Roy Jones, Jr. was embarrassed by Danny Green in Australia.

While watching this fight, it appeared to me that Jones didn't want to be there. It was the first time he was fighting outside the limits of the "land of the free," and he clearly looked misplaced to me.

The right hand that began the end looked far from impressive to me. It looked like he was hit on the top of the head and just went down. No disrespect to the power of Green, but that punch did not measure up to the one thrown by Antonio Tarver which sent Junior to his first KO loss.

Was this just another payday for the former eight time world champion?

Until his invincibility was discovered by the Magic Man in the second round in 2004, he was perhaps the best fighter in the world. Β Then was the ridiculous disqualification loss to Montell Griffin in 1997.

Jones didn't just beat people, he dominated them.

Roy had some famous fights during his 20-year professional career. He fought as a middleweight for his first 18 fights, fought several at super middleweight and, in 1993, won his first world title, an unanimous win over Bernard Hopkins for the vacant IBF Middleweight Championship.

Hopkins would not lose again for 12 years when he lost a split-decision to Jermain Taylor.

In 1994 Jones beat James "Lights Out" Toney (undefeated at the time) like a drum en route to an unanimous decision for the IBF Super Middleweight Championship.

He won the WBC Light Heavyweight Championship in 1996 with a shutout of Mike McCallum.

In 2003, Jones stepped up to the heavyweight ranks and won the WBA Heavyweight Championship with a decision over John Ruiz.

Jones had three fights with Tarver, the first one he was given a gift in a majority decision. The second fight was the two round shellacking administered by the Magic Man, and the third was an unanimous decision won by Tarver.

Sandwiched between the last two Tarver fights was a 9th round KO at the hands of Glen Johnson.

In 2008 Jones had a mega fight with Felix Trinidad, who many thought was washed up from being inactive for nearly three years. Roy won a lopsided decision over Tito and then lost big to Joe Calzaghe (who Jones would have easily beaten in his prime) notwithstanding a first-round knockdown of the undefeated Calzaghe.

He knocked out Omar Sheika and forced Jeff Lacy to quit prior to the whipping he just took this week.

So, Roy, it has been great to know you, my good man. You have given us highlight reels we will cherish forever.

It is not a shame to walk away from boxing. The only shame is not knowing when it is time.

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