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Jones Not Getting the Message from His Face

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↵If you watched the Joe Calzaghe/Roy Jones fight this past Saturday night, then you saw a lot of Roy’s blood. In a unanimous decision loss to Calzaghe where he was nearly blanked on the scorecards, Jones was cut badly in the seventh round and bled profusely for the rest of the fight, a fight in which he looked all of his 39 years and then some. For those of us who still carry a vivid image in our minds of the lightning-quick man-wrecker that was Roy Jones in his prime, the stationary, sluggish edition of today is a shocking sight, not so painful as, say, the nearly comatose version of Ali that fought Larry Holmes in 1980, but on the same trajectory of deterioration of what was once an almost unimaginable level of skill and speed. ↵

↵As I mentioned in my recap over at No Mas, the fact that Roy knocked Calzaghe down in the first round on a freak punch gave many the mistaken impression that Jones was in this fight. But what actually put Calzaghe down was the heavily-taped part of Roy’s forearm hitting Joe on the bridge of the nose, a counter-punch that missed the mark but managed to catch Calzaghe anyway with what I imagine felt like a rock solid piece of plaster being swung at him full-force. That’ll knock anyone down -- hell, that might even put Tony Margarito on the canvas. ↵

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↵Without such an unlikely occurrence, Roy no doubt would have lost the first round, too, and been completely blanked on the judges’ scorecards, not to mention severely cut and on the whole smacked around by a man that most boxing experts agree couldn’t punch his way out of a brown-bag lunch if you spotted him the PB&J. ↵

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↵You’d think such an outing would make a 39-year-old washed-up fighter start to think about hanging up the gloves, but evidently Roy is not taking the bait. In this piece over at Boxing Scene, both Roy’s manager and promoter are saying that Roy will continue to fight and that bouts against Antonio Tarver, Glen Johnson, Bernard Hopkins and Chad Dawson are all on the table for the future. ↵

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↵Roy’s manager, McGee Wright, blamed the loss to Calzaghe on Roy getting away from his game plan. Presumably, that game plan was “avoid getting an embarrassing beating” and yes, Roy certainly drifted from that plan. Wright added that “Roy was one punch away the whole night,” which was indeed true, but then this generally tends to be true of any fighter with arms. ↵

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↵The delusionary capacity of people in the fight game is astonishing, especially when there’s money still to be made off a fading legend’s name. The vultures pick those fallen carcasses dry. I fear that Roy, like Ali, like Ray Robinson, like so many greats before him, will continue to fight so long as fans can be conned into shelling out the dough to watch him, trading on the capital of what he once was at the great expense of what he is today, a shot fighter who bears about as much resemblance to his younger self as a pack-mule does to a Derby-winning thoroughbred. ↵

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This post originally appeared on the Sporting Blog. For more, see The Sporting Blog Archives.