Bernard Hopkins vs. Roy Jones Jr. 3: Why Not?
By Nate Estrada: When it comes to trilogies in boxing, fans know what to expect for the third and final showdown. Winning a fight each is only asking for one more fight. From Muhammad Ali – Joe Frazier, Sugar Ray Leonard – Roberto Duran, Arturo Gatti – Mickey Ward, Erik Morales – Marco Antonio Barrera to Manny Pacquiao – Erik Morales, it’s clear they fought a third time to prove to everyone who is the better fighter and to also cement their legacy in boxing history.
Whether rivals or not, the third fight is the ultimate test between the oppositions regardless if it’s a fight many want to see or not. So why not one more showdown between Bernard “The Alien” Hopkins (55-7-2, 32KOs) and Roy Jones Jr.(62-9, 45KOs)?
When they first met in the ring on May 22nd, 1993 for the vacant IBF Middleweight Championship, both were upcoming fighters and were also ranked next to each other, therefore the fight was bound to happen.
Jones won that night displaying his quickness and strength to get the unanimous decision over Hopkins while making a stride to become fighter of the decade during the 90’s. Despite the lost to Jones, Hopkins made his mark as a Middleweight king as well as he became the IBF Middleweight Champion in 1995 and defended his title for 10 years. Along the way, Hopkins became the Undisputed Middleweight champ when he knocked out Felix “Tito” Trinidad in September 29, 2001.
With more success and exciting fights as they moved up in weight divisions, they became extraordinary fighters. Jones went from middleweight, super middleweight, light heavyweight to heavyweight becoming champion in these divisions that hasn’t been seen in many years. Meanwhile, Hopkins went from middleweight to light heavyweight capturing titles as well, proving his critics wrong for counting him out to win numerous times. Then when many teased and rumored it, Hopkins and Jones would have their rematch on April 3, 2010.
17 years in the making, the rematch was billed as “The Rivals”. Excitement was proven during the build up to the fight clearly showing the two fighters had a grudge between them. Unfortunately, the fight wasn’t as exciting as their entertaining press conferences prior to the fight. Let all alone the unsatisfying PPV buys for the fight. This time around during the rematch, it was clear that Hopkins’s discipline with his training all those years would benefit him in the rematch, making him the winner by unanimous decision. Afterwards, it was Hopkins getting the spotlight for showing everyone he still belonged in the ring with the opponents he’d be facing later on despite his age. For Jones, he continued to fight after their rematch hoping to regain championship glory. Receiving wins and losses after the rematch, their legacies still grow.
Without a doubt Bernard Hopkins, 51 years old and Roy Jones Jr., 47 years old, are bound to become boxing future hall of famers. Both are fighters that we may never see again in the sport of boxing when you think about it. Will we ever see a boxer talented as Jones was? Will another boxer have the longevity as Hopkins does in the sport? An important aspect of what makes their careers illustrious and why a third fight would be great is because they still want to fight.
Both losing their recent fights, it is clear age is getting to them and that their time in the ring is almost up. Since losing to Sergey Kovalev in the fall of 2014, Hopkins has stated he wants one more fight, a memorable one but hasn’t mentioned who it’ll be against. For Jones, he received a loss in a devastating KO by Enzo Maccarinelli last month.
With everyone worried for his health, he still hasn’t planned on retiring. Needless to say, nobody wants to see both men risk their health against tougher opponents. Since they are the last of their era still in the sport having two fights down, no talks have been mentioned for a third fight. It may not be desirable to many but when it comes to their legacies, they can surely say the fought the best there was especially if they fought each other one more time at their age today. They’ve proven too many that they are among the best boxers in history and are still capable of competing today.
As the curtain is closing soon for both men and with nothing to lose, one more fight between Hopkins and Jones would be a glorious way to end their career earning a respectful spot in boxing history.