Jones vs. Lebedev this Saturday in a meaningless fight
By Dan Ambrose: 42-year-old Roy Jones Jr. (54-7, 40 KO’s) isn’t a cruiserweight and has looked horrible in his last two fights, losing to light heavyweights Bernard Hopkins and Danny Green. On Saturday night, Jones will be moving up to the cruiserweight division to take on one of the best fighters in the division in Russian slugger Denis Lebedev (21-1, 16 KO’s) in a scheduled 12 round bout at the Sport Complex Krylastskoe in Moscow, Russia.
Forget about the fight going 12 rounds. It’ll be lucky if it goes five. Indeed, unless Lebedev carries Jones in order to give the Moscow crowd something to see, look for this fight to end early with Jones knocked out. Lebedev hits too hard and he’s a lot more of a handful than the guys that Jones has been struggling against as of late.
This is a very strange fight for Jones, because he doesn’t plan on staying at cruiserweight and you would think that he could have found guys that were arguably less dangerous to fight in his own division. By stepping up in weight against perhaps the biggest puncher in the cruiserweight division and maybe the best overall fighter in Lebedev, Jones is almost begging to be knocked out.
Sure, Jones will gain a lot if he can somehow win this fight or makes Lebedev struggle to win. However, the odds are against Jones here because he’s there to be hit now and with the kind of power that Lebedev has in his left hand and right hook, Jones is going to be in a world of hurt once Lebedev starts teeing off on him. Under the best possible scenario for Jones, he could last a while if he runs from Lebedev. However, Jones lost his ability to move a long time ago, which would make it seem unlikely that he can stay away from Lebedev for long. This is going to be brutal for Jones. Lebedev has too much power and Jones isn’t going to be able to take his punishing shots for long without going down for the count.
Lebedev doesn’t get much – other than money – for beating Jones. Lebedev wants to go after another title shot after losing by a controversial decision to WBO cruiserweight champion Marco Huck last year. Lebedev needs to forget about facing Huck again unless the fight can be made outside of Germany. The chances of Lebedev ever beating Huck in Germany are slim unless Lebedev knocks him out. I had Lebedev dominating Huck by a 9 rounds to 3 score but it just shows you how difficult it is to win when you go over there. Since the chances of Lebedev getting a fight with Huck outside of Germany would be pretty much zero, he needs to go after one of the other cruiserweight champions like Steve Cunningham if he wants to capture a title.