The Greatness That Was Roy Jones

BY Rick Folstad ON July 26, 2006
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If you don’t live in Pensacola, FL, Camden, N.J. or Boise, Idaho, it might be a little tough to get the gang together to watch Saturday’s pay-per-view fight at the Qwest Arena in Boise.

The guys will probably tell you they’re busy Saturday night, won’t be near a TV. They have to go bowling or feed the dog or paint the kitchen.

If those excuses are already being used, they can always claim they promised their wife they’d stay home and baby-sit that night while she goes to a make-believe baby shower.

Used to be easy to get guys to come over and watch a Roy Jones Jr., fight. You had to beat them away. You’d make a list of names to invite and you’d keep it short. Otherwise, they’d jam up your living room and no one would see the fight.

And it was always smart to check everyone at the door to make sure there weren’t any empty-handed strangers trying to sneak in. If they brought a six-pack with them, they could stay for the early rounds.

But that was a long, long time ago in fight years. In his last three fights, Jones (49-4, 38 KOs) is 0-3, and was stopped twice. Four fights ago, he won a controversial majority decision over Antonio Tarver in the first of their three fights.

His last big win was over John Ruiz in March 2003. It’s the last time the real Roy Jones Jr., has been seen in the ring.

That’s an ugly stretch for a five-time world champion at the end of his Hall-of-Fame career.

Maybe that’s why the suggested price for Jones’ ppv fight against NABO light-heavyweight champ Prince Badi Ajamu of Camden (25-2-1, 14 KOs) is only $24.95, or about half the usual going rate for a big fight.

And with all due respect to the great state of Idaho, maybe that’s why this fight is in Boise instead of Las Vegas or Atlantic City.

And maybe that’s why there aren’t a lot of buddies calling up to ask if you’re getting the fight.

Even at only 25 bucks.

So why watch this fight? Curiosity. We want to see who Prince Badi Ajamu is, and we want to see if any of the old Roy Jones Jr. magic is back.

Some of us want to see him win again. Some of us want to see another car wreck.

“I am boxing because I love what I do. There is no other reason,” Jones said Tuesday at his workout in Boise. “I’ve got nothing to prove – nothing to prove to anybody. They know who I am and where I‘ve been.”

Where he’s been lately is on his butt. And he can claim anything he wants. Getting stopped in a fight, even past his prime, chips away at his legacy.

“I don’t know what kind of mode I will go into on Saturday night,” he said. “I am going into the ‘have fun’ mode. What I will do is enjoy myself in the boxing ring. That’s what I do, and that’s what I’m back doing. Really, you know what I have to do? The only thing I have to do is make weight, but other than that, I am great.”

He sure was.

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