Should Roy Jones Jr. Move Up To Cruiserweight?
By William Mackay: Just looking at Roy Jones Jr’s recent fight against Joe Calzaghe in November, it’s pretty clear that Roy needs to move up to at least the cruiserweight division to give that a try rather than continuing to waste time campaigning as a light heavyweight. Although Jones, 40, is still one of the best fighters in the World as a light heavyweight, he doesn’t have the skills any longer in my estimation to compete against the top light heavyweights like Chad Dawson, Bernard Hopkins, Zsolt Erdei, Hugo Garay and Adrian Diaconu.
It is possible that Jones (58-5, 38 KOs) could give any one of them a tough fight but probably not nearly enough to beat any one of them. Whereas in the cruiserweight division, Jones probably has enough skills and size to beat many of the top cruiserweights like Guillermo Jones, Steve Cunningham, Giacobbe Fragomeni, Enzo Macarinelli, and Tomasz Adamek.
Instead of wasting valuable time fighting Omar Sheika on March 21st, Jones needs to get serious about his career and move up to the cruiserweight division where the pickings are much easier and where he has the skills and speed to compete against most of them. Jones is probably five years late on this move, since he’s been struggling for about that long in the light heavyweight division, losing to Antonio Tarver twice and Glen Johnson.
The latest loss to Calzaghe is more of an indication that Jones doesn’t have the speed to compete anymore at light heavyweight. The good thing is he still has good speed for a cruiserweight and much better skills than the vast majority of them. Granted, Jones took a one-sided beating from Calzaghe, but that’s excusable because Joe is considered to be one of the best in the business.
Calzaghe would have beaten probably most – if not all – the light heavyweights in the division on that night. Now, if Jones is smart, he’ll call off the fight to Sheika and try to line up a fight with one of the top cruiserweights in the division, someone like Alexander Alekseev or Wayne Braithwaite. Jones could probably handle either of these guys without too many problems.
Once he gets them out of the way, Jones will get a ton of good press and at the same time regain a lot of his lost confidence. From there, he needs to go after one of the champions, preferably someone like Cunningham. He’s probably the easiest of the champions and I can see Jones making quick work of him.
Beyond that, Jones needs to aim at British cruiserweight Macarinelli, who some people think is the top fighter now that David Haye has retired. Adamek is another fighter that people consider to be the top fighter, if not the second best fighter in the division.
If Jones can beat those two fighters, I will recapture much of his lost glory and set him up for a potential move against one of the heavyweight champions. Either of the Klitschko brothers would make for a great fight, in particular Vitali, who may only have a handful of fights left in him before he retires from the sport.