He is without question one of the greatest to ever don a pair of boxing gloves. The undisputed, pound-for-pound warrior king of the mid nineties, Roy Jones Jr created a buzz the likes of which the middleweight & super middleweight divisions had not seen in a very long time. We are, however, long removed from the Jones Jr glory days of old.
With many questioning the motives behind his upcoming battle with former bare knuckle champion Bobby Gunn (for a split second I actually thought Jones was going in for a bare knuckle contest – wouldn’t put it past him!) perhaps it is time Jones packed up his gym bag and drove off into the sunset for good.
Here are 5 reasons why Roy Jones Jr should finally retire:
1) His Age
Considering he won his first world championship over twenty years ago you can probably guess Jones is no spring chicken anymore.
Even so, at 47 he is still apparently keen to grind away in the gym and add another notch onto his already elongated belt.
But the hands of time wait for no man and it’s plain for all to see that at his age Jones lacks the speed, footwork and overall athleticism that once made him a global star.
What’s that old saying? ‘With age comes wisdom’? Perhaps Jones should think about making the wiser choice.
2) His Family, Friends & Fans
Not necessarily in that order. Jones is one of the most popular fighters ever to have lived and if you find that hard to believe go and watch some of his classic contests – the enthusiasm of the crowd speaks for itself.
In his prime he lit up the American populous like Jack Dempsey and Rocky Marciano before him, and is also considered to be one of the nicest guys outside of the ring too.
Which is why I’m sure those closest too him and those who simply admire him would breathe a sigh of relief when he does finally walk away.
3) His Alternate Career(s)
Those who follow the sport closely will be aware that not only is Roy Jones a great boxer but he makes for an entertaining commentator too.
Having been a staple member of the HBO commentary team for a number of years now, Jones’ smooth, deep vocal tone along with his own unique brand of occasional comedic commentary feels just at home on television to us as I’m sure he does in the ring.
It’s also always great to have the fighter’s perspective on any match – it offers an element of legitimate educational understanding between what we hear and what we see happening. Top it all off with a more than respectable musical talent, if money troubles are what’s keeping Jones going I don’t think he has anything to worry about.
4) The Risk
There are many outstanding Roy Jones Jr moments we can look back on with fond memories. Having said that there are several other moments of which we are not so fond.
Jones has been knocked out five times in his distinguished career to date and while that doesn’t sound like much when compared to his wins, they were particularly heavy KO’s. His first KO defeat to Antonio Tarver, while astonishing at the time, marked the beginning of his decline.
His last KO defeat to Enzo Maccarinelli (a good fighter, but nowhere near Jones’ class) was particularly difficult to watch. A part of me thought he wasn’t going to get up at all:
If Jones wants to leave this sport with his mind and senses in tact now could be the time to do it. He has already absorbed a serious amount of punishment over his career, there’s really no need for him to take any more.
5) His Legacy
As I said at the beginning, Roy Jones is without question one of the best American fighters who ever lived, and is a serious contender for many people’s ‘Top ten fighter’s of all time’ lists.
But, that is of the Jones in his prime. The Jones we see now doesn’t even compare to that man. Yes they look the same, a little more world-weary, but the fighter that once was is long gone.
When he was on top of the world Jones was fighting a whos-who of boxing talent, the biggest and best names in the sport. Now, he’s fighting people who we’ve never even heard of, and with good reason.
Nobody would’ve thought any less of Jones if he’d called it a day after the one-sided loss to Joe Calzaghe, but I imagine there are those who think less of him now.
He will go down as an all time great, no question, but this seemingly endless plethora of unworthy opponents is doing nothing to support that claim. If anything, it’s damaging it.
I honestly don’t know why Jones feels the need to continue fighting. He’s accomplished everything there is to accomplish in boxing.
He’s done things no other fighter has ever done and can hold his head high as a proud ambassador of this sport. My best guess would be money troubles but as we’ve discussed that shouldn’t be the case.
If, however, it is a genuine passion and love of his craft that keeps Jones going then who am I to judge? He might not pack the same punch as he used to, but we’ll always have those special years when he looked absolutely untouchable.
Here’s to you, Mr Jones: