Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Adieu Roy Jones Jr.

On Saturday, the 8th of November in the year 2008 one of my personal sports hero's, of which mind you there are VERY few, suffered what may be his most emotionally crushing defeat.  The loss came by the hands of the relatively unknown, but undefeated Welshman, Joe Calzaghie.  Until Calzaghie's fight earlier this year against the aging middleweight legend, Bernard Hopkins, the fighter was virtually unheard of across the proverbial pond.  In what could only be described as a bizarre bout, the fight was punctuated by strange sexual theatrics by the Welshman, and sissy dramatics by the Yank.  Calzaghie came out on top in split decision (a decision it is worth noting, that I am not in complete agreement with).  The Hopkins fight was not merely a clashing of warriors, but a clash of boxing styles.  Calzaghie's style is marked by his quick and frequent flurries of seemingly ineffectual, but still scoring shots.  Hopkins, much like Jones is a more discerning fighter, opting to throw far fewer, but much more powerful shots, typically on the counter punch.  Unfortunately, in a fight going to decision more often than not, the prior that wins the decision. 

And that's how it went.  Despite a first round knock down by Jones, Calzaghie managed to take it to the American, inundating him with a barrage of quick jabs and combinations.  It was all too much for the aging fighter and by the 7th round it was pretty clear that Jones was losing steam and desperately out scored.

The champ still held on to his dignity and reputation as one of the biggest hearts in boxing history.  While it was obvious the boxer was fighting on sea legs, had the worst cut of his career, and was sure to lose based on his points, Jones never went down, even when it seemed inevitable.  The commentators likened the aging fighters performance to that of Jake LaMotta's in his final fight against Sugar Ray Leonard.  In that Fight LaMotta took one of the most famous beatings in all of boxing history, swelling and bleeding all over the ring, but never hitting the canvas.   LaMotta famously teased Leonard stating, "You never knocked me down, Ray.  You never knocked me down."  Jones could say same.

1 comment:

John said...

have you ever read freedarko? (

It's basketball analysis sort of like yours here. They likened the Warriors of this year to some sort of psychedelic trip, and make many other totally entertaining, insightful, yet obtuse references and analyses. I don't know, it's basically the best year for the NBA in about 10, I'd say. Anyhow, who knew Danny liked boxing?