Jones Decisions Alexander: What did he prove?December 13, 2011
Boxing legend Roy Jones Jr. entered the ring Saturday night in Atlanta, GA to begin what many felt was an ill advised comeback. Jones, who dominated Boxing’s mythical pound for pound debates for nearly a decade has badly regressed in the last seven years. He has suffered several severe knockouts during this period of time and it is clear that this is not the same fighter who dominated multiple weight classes for many years. It is not the same fighter who was once the undisputed best fighter in the world.
It is because of Jones’ steady decline that many feel he should retire before suffering permanent damage. Jones however has ignored those pleas from experts and fans alike and has remained firm in his belief that he can once again rise to the top of the sport. In the build up to this fight Jones proclaimed that this comeback will be the greatest comeback in Boxing history. I am not convinced.
For ten rounds I saw the great Roy Jones engage in what was in essence a glorified sparring session with Max Alexander who did not belong in the ring with Jones even if this Roy Jones is 42 years old. Frankly Jones probably could have finished this fight well within the scheduled distance if he wanted to. Jones elected instead to carry a fighter who was a “Hand Picked Opponent” in a fight where he needed to make some kind of statement. Even if a quick knockout over this outclassed opponent really wouldn’t be making much of a statement. Although Jones won the “Sparing session” clearly what did he really prove?
Honestly it was unrealistic to expect Jones to be anywhere near the fighter he once was. It was however reasonable to expect that Jones would press the fight more against a fighter who offered no real resistance. It was reasonable to assume that a fighter in Jones’ position would press forward and try to finish his opponent. Unfortunately this was not the case…
It was frankly a lackluster performance on what was a lackluster night of combat sports in Atlanta, GA. It is worth noting that Jones promoted this card in addition to fighting on it. Perhaps Jones felt that he needed to give people in attendance a show when he entered the ring after what was an undercard that I personally would not consider to be world class. Maybe Jones felt that allowing the fight to go the distance would give those in attendance and those who watched the event via Internet pay-per-view on www.Ustream.tv their money’s worth.
It is understandable that a promoter would want to give the consumer the best product for their hard earned dollar. As a fighter however Jones should have taken care of business and that would be finishing an opponent who did not belong in the ring. In the ring Jones disappointed the fans, and frankly the whole evening was embarrassing and beneath Jones’ standard.
Jones however remained defiant after the fight telling the Associated Press quote "I'm feeling wonderful. I want a cruiserweight title, the world title.” It goes without saying that a win is a win and for Jones a fighter who had not won a fight in over two years, a victory has to be considered positive. Jones did prove that he’s ready for Friday night Fights held in a gym somewhere, but a world championship?
In the build up to the fight I questioned if Roy Jones was in denial. Without fully repeating myself I will state that I was and still am concerned for Roy Jones well-being. A win over a fighter like Max Alexander frankly does very little to ease my concern. I must disagree with the idea of Jones challenging for a World Cruiserweight championship. Frankly the only thing that Jones proved Saturday night was that he was capable of carrying an outclassed fighter for ten rounds. He did not however prove that he was still capable of mixing it up with the upper class of either the Light-Heavyweight or Cruiserweight divisions.
It may seem terribly harsh in the eyes of some for me to be so blunt however, I would be doing a disservice to the reader if I were not honest. The Jones-Alexander card was frankly one of the worst cards I’ve covered in my career. Some have even gone a step further and have called the fight and the overall card pathetic. It is unfair to blame Jones for the overall card. Although he was the promoter of this card he cannot control what happens once fighters other than himself enter the ring.
Criticism however in regard to Jones’ performance is appropriate. If Jones is indeed serious about wanting a world title in the Cruiserweight division he will need to raise the quality of his opposition substantially.
I’ve been asked why did I cover this card? Why should I give my time and effort to cover what I suspected would be a great disappointment in advance? Simply put it’s my job however, I had hoped that we would see a “New” Roy Jones. We did not… It has left me with no new beginning or end and I can only repeat myself and refer to my earlier column and offer;
“ Unfortunately I believe each fight Roy Jones enters is just another exercise to an end already passed…”