WAIL! BACK ISSUES . . . THE CBZ JOURNAL Apr 2001
Table of Contents
. The Dangers of Greatness: Will Roy Jones Jr. Kill Someone?
By Tim Penney


Roy Jones Jr. can be categorized unequivocally as one of the premier fighters in boxing today. However, by most accounts, he has been unseated as pound for pound champion, due to lengthy one-sided victories over inferior competition, a reluctance to battle Dariusz Michalczewski and Bernard Hopkins, as well as the scintillating performances in the past year by Shane Mosley, Felix Trinidad, and Floyd Mayweather Jr.

Jones still insists that he is the best fighter in boxing, which, if you look at his arsenal may be true. His hand speed is that of legend, the agony on the face of Virgil Hill while being knocked out by a body shot is a testament to his power, and his chin hasn't been tested because he is too fast to be effectively

hit. However, the whole is not equal to the sum of the parts. Jones has recently faced mounting criticism for not being as spectacular as these skills would indicate that he should be. After the lopsided 11th round knockout of Richard Hall in Indiana, Sports Illustrated entitled its story "Slow Cooked" implying the fact that it was apparent that Jones had extended the match after two early knockdowns. Jones himself stated that he wanted to give the crowd its moneys worth. Similarly, his previous two contests with Eric Harding and Derrick Harmon have ended with both retiring in the later rounds due to injuries inflicted by Jones, Harmon from a punctured ear drum and Harding from a bicep no doubt torn by missing the target. Most would concur with the opinion that if Jones would be more aggressive instead of toying with his opponents he could easily defeat them within a few rounds.

The thought that has been proposed by some regarding Jones' seeming lack of aggressiveness both in the ring and in making fights is due to his friend Gerald McClellan being seriously injured and left with brain damage after a fight with Nigel Benn in 1995. If this is true, while completely understandable, it could also possibly lead to a dangerous situation.

When Jones doesn't finish fighters who we know don't belong in the same ring with him, he subjects them to continued punishment that could lead to the exact situation that some believe he himself fears the most. Also by finishing his opponents more quickly, he will return to being as he claims, pound for pound best. A spectacular performance has great recuperative powers to one's ranking, as the boxing media has little patience for a lop-sided decision.

Our moneys worth is not seeing Jones continually befuddle and box the ears off (pun intended) his opponents, akin to the brutal bear baiting of Shakespeare's era. It is seeing him perform like we know he can. We are constantly reminded of the brutality of boxing, but those who love and understand it do not want to see anyone seriously injured.

Therefore, Roy, finish them fast like we know you can.


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