Is there any relevancy to the Roy Jones Jr. vs. Bobby Gunn fight?
By Nedu Obi: There has been little to no media coverage of Roy Jones Jr. and Bobby Gunn’s tussle for the vacant WBF cruiserweight title taking place this Friday, Feb. 17, 2017 at the Chase Center, Wilmington, Delaware.
But is there any wonder why?
On the one hand, you have Jones, arguably one of the greatest fighters to have ever stepped into a ring, and without a doubt, the best boxer of his era. At the height of his powers, Jones, who turned 48 a month ago, was untouchable. Throughout the early 90’s, and up until the early 2000’s, he was king of the hill.
During his reign of supremacy, Jones (64-9, 46 KOs) captured world boxing titles at middleweight, super middleweight, light heavyweight and heavyweight.
Eventually the rot would set in – in the guise of Antonio Tarver – a second-round knockout defeat to the latter followed two more uninspiring performances from the man once trumpeted as nonpareil by his peers and fans alike.
Don’t get me wrong, Jones’ legacy is intact – a lock for IBHOF if there ever was one. Nonetheless, his fall from the lofty heights of his self-made Olympus was, and still is cataclysmic to say the least.
Now, in his quest for a fifth divisional (cruiserweight) crown, “RJ” has taken the route of the bush league fighters, journey men etc – winning plenty and losing a few.
However, it’s the manner of his defeats against lower-tier fighters such as Enzo Maccarinelli, Denis Lebedev and Danny Green that rankle deep down in the hearts of most ardent boxing fans.
The aforementioned weren’t just losses; they were put on ice-esque bedtime stories losses.
Per contra, Gunn who once held the lightly regarded IBA cruiserweight title has a background steeped in bare-knuckle boxing. Currently the heavyweight bare-knuckle champion, Gunn is undefeated with a record of 72-0 (72 KOs).
“The Celtic Warrior” also sports a professional boxing ledger of 21 wins (18 Kos), 6 losses, one draw and one no-contest.
All the same, the 43-year-old Canadian is 0-3 in his last three outings – defeats to Glen Johnson (UD), James Toney (RTD) and Tomasz Adamek (RTD).
Furthermore, Gunn hasn’t fought since the Johnson fight, which was in December of 2013.
Bless his soul, but Gunn is going to be out of his depth come fight night. The one and only chance he has of upending Jones is if the latter makes a boxing schoolboy error, which would translate to a punchers chance on Gunn’s side, and a serious attenuation in Jones’ already diminishing skillset on the other.
All told, this fight is irrelevant (ish) – two over the hill competitors vying for an inconsequential alphabet strap that carries no weight.
In addition, one of these fighters was a killer in his prime, the other, well; his claim to fame is being a bare-knuckle heavyweight champ with an undefeated streak, and a former IBA cruiserweight titleholder to boot.
Though, if Gunn were to pull it off, he’ll have another claim to fame – the scalp of Jones.
Finally, the (ish) in the irrelevant stems from the fact that who can really begrudge one of boxing’s pound-for-pound greats for chasing his dream of becoming a five-weight world champion?
For me, (I don’t know about you guys) this fight, though apparently irrelevant, does have some relevancy attached to it, if only because of Roy Jones Jr.’s.