Does Jones Have Enough Left To Defeat Calzaghe?
By Michael Lieberman: At 39 years-old, former middleweight and light heavyweight champion Roy Jones Jr. (52-4, 38 KOs) is seemingly at the end of his career going into Saturday night’s bout with unbeaten Joe Calzaghe at New York’s Madison Square Garden. Chosen largely because of his name rather than his recent accomplishments, Jones is going into the bout at a huge disadvantage no matter how much Calzaghe and other British writers try to pump up the fight.
The fact remains, Jones has done little in the past three years since being beaten in three consecutive fights to Antonio Tarver and Glen Johnson, two of which were devastating knockout losses. Since that time, Jones has beaten Prince Badi Ajamu, Anthony Hanshaw and Felix Trinidad, though only Hanshaw could probably be considered a good fighter out of the bunch.
In that fight, Jones had a great deal of trouble, and spent the better part of the bout stuck to the ropes taking shots. He got the win, but it was very, very close and he looked totally shot as a fighter.
I personally had Hanshaw winning the bout by two rounds, but I figured he wouldn’t get the nod in the closer rounds given Jones’ much bigger name. If you exclude the Hanshaw fight, which like I said, I saw Jones losing, Roy has only beaten a faded Trinidad and Ajamu. That’s not exactly the types of fighters that you would expect to qualify Jones as having turned his career around after the three losses in 2004 and 2005.
This is why this Saturday’s fight is such a ridiculous joke as far as I’m concerned. If Calzaghe wanted to bow out of the game, he should have at least picked someone with a little more in the tank than the 39 year-old Jones, don’t you think? I mean, come on, Jones looks ancient in his photos and even worse in his television interviews.
Honestly, the fight reminds me a lot of Sultan Ibragimov’s title fight in October 2007 with then 44 year-old Evander Holyfield, who for his part, was coming off four consecutive wins over marginal talent after having lost three consecutive fights between 2002 to 2004.
Holyfield, once a top heavyweight in the sport, had done little to deserve the bout with Ibragimov, yet there were people out there who felt that he stood a chance because of his four wins against poor opposition leading up to the Ibragimov fight.
It seemed painfully obvious to me that he had exactly no chance at winning the fight, and much assumptions proved correct as he lost almost every round of the bout. Unfortunately, I see this Saturday’s fight as being the same way. Jones is far too old to beat Calzaghe at this point in his career.
That’s not to say that Calzaghe is a great fighter, because I don’t think he would have stood a chance against a prime Roy Jones Jr., Bernard Hopkins, Gerald McClellan, or Julian Jackson. However, Calzaghe has picked the perfect time in Jones’ career to make the fight happen, almost assuring that he’ll end up the victor over Jones.
I just hope Calzaghe doesn’t get things twisted and assume because he beat a faded Jones, who probably would be beaten by the entire top 10 in the light heavyweight division at this point, that it equates to him being able to beat a prime Jones. Believe me, Calzaghe would lose and lose badly to Jones if this fight had occurred earlier in Jones’ career.
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