It appears to be the end of the road for living legend Roy Jones, who was knocked out with 11 seconds remaining in the tenth round of a cruiserweight fight set for ten against Denis Lebedev in Moscow on Saturday.
We say appears because the man who once reigned as the best of the best, pound for pound, has been unwilling to read the writing on the wall, which is that he is a shell of himself at his best. Jones, who turned 42 on January 16, has now lost three in a row, to Danny Green (TKO1), Bernard Hopkins (UD12) and now the lefty Lebedev (22-1, 17 KOs; age 31), a man whose previous best win came over shopworn Enzo Maccarinelli.
Jones, who weighed a career high 198 1/4 was backing up in the tenth, eating nasty right hooks to his body. With a 55 seconds to go, he landed a clean right which sent Lebedev into the ropes. With 17 seconds to go, a loosey-goosey Jones was backed into a corner, where he ate a couple straight lefts, and a right hook which hurt him badly. He was basically out of it, and the victor tossed a couple uppercuts for good measure, as Jones bowed his head, while staying on his feet. The winner cracked him with a sweeping right, as he and ref Steve Smoger hesitated, perhaps surprised that the bout wasn't heading for a decision finish. Jones then pitched to the mat, face first. A doctor entered the ring quickly, and put smelling salts under Jones' nose, to try and wake him up.
It's not pleasant seeing anyone on the downside of their career, taking punishment. But to see such a talent as Jones getting worked over in such a manner is that much harder to take. We at TSS sincerely hope that should Jones still refuse to give in to reality, those close to him convince him that it is over. It is time for Jones to hang up the gloves, and find other things to pass the time. Because time has passed him by, and he is doing his longterm health no favors by absorbing vicious blows.
Who will win? Wladimir Klitschko or Tyson Fury?