No one has been a bigger defender of Roy
Jones Jr. than I have. But
after tonight’s public flogging of Richard Hall, which resulted
in Jones defending his undisputed light heavyweight title via an
11th round TKO, I’ve seen enough of the wildly
talented but underachieving Jones.
In the first round of the bout, Hall, a game
but overmatched mandatory challenger, visited the canvas twice,
courtesy of Jones’ lightning quick fists.
With sufficient time to close the show in the opening
stanza, Jones chose to pose, as is his custom.
One would think that a champion with not only
talent, but determination, would have taken his opponent out in
the very next round. Uh-uh.
Not Jones. Content
to preen and pose, Jones picked his shots with a surgeon’s
impressive against world class foes like James Toney and Reggie
Johnson, but not so against Richard Hall, who should not have
spent more than three minutes in the ring with Jones.
The pattern continued throughout the fight.
Roy pitching…Hall catching.
And catching…and catching some more.
Jones, who is always at the forefront when it comes to
talking about compassion for his fellow boxers, showed none for
his opponent tonight. Mocking
Hall, dancing, and basically toying with him, Jones left a bad
taste in my mouth, but not in the mouths of a raucous Indiana
crowd which cheered his every move.
By the time round nine rolled around, Jones
had hardly broken a sweat, while Richard Hall’s face had become
grotesquely misshapen due to the accumulation of punches which had
rained down on him. Any
corner worth its salt would have stopped the fight.
But there was to be no mercy for Hall.
And Hall, despite his lack of championship credentials, had
the heart of an undisputed champion, as he continued to rise off
his stool to answer the bell.
Jones’ hands must have gotten sore by round
eleven, as he finally made an effort to finish his thoroughly
beaten foe. Referee
Wayne Kelly was about two rounds too slow in stopping the bout,
but he finally made the call at the 1:41 mark.
What does this win prove?
The same thing most of Jones’ title defenses have proven:
nothing. Roy Jones
would be doing boxing a favor by retiring, as he has become the
Hope diamond of the squared circle…untouchable and
won’t fight Dariusz Michalczewski.
He won’t fight Antonio Tarver.
He won’t move up to heavyweight, though he tries to make
us think he’s contemplating a challenge of Lennox Lewis.
And he won’t fight, period.
A glorified sparring session with an overmatched opponent
may have excited the crowd at the Conseco Fieldhouse in Indiana,
but history is a much harsher critic.
Roy Jones has squandered more talent than has ever been
seen in the sport. The
situation doesn’t look to get any better either.
Enough, Roy, enough.