Roy Jones Jr. (61-8, 44 KOs) was considered by many the absolute best boxer in the decade of the 1990’s. He was virtually unbeatable. He had one loss on his record during that time which was by disqualification to Montell Griffin which he avenged by way of 1st knockout just months later of the same year. Jones had won world titles at 160, 168, and 175 by the time the decade came to an end. He was on top of his game and could have easily retired on top at the ripe age of just 30.
Jones Jr. not surprisingly continued on into the decade of the 2000’s. He was still on top of his game so there was really no reason for him to retire. He set his goals higher to win boxing’s biggest prize. The heavyweight championship of the world. In his way was the rugged WBA heavyweight champion of the world John Ruiz. It was an impressive display of skills by Jones who went on to decision Ruiz. Jones was now the heavyweight champion of the world but was unable to secure a mega fight with Mike Tyson or Evander Holyfield. Jones made the decision to vacate the crown and return to the light heavyweight weight class where Antonio Tarver had won world titles that Jones had vacated. Rumors swirled that Jones was having all kinds of trouble dropping weight to make the light heavyweight limit of 175. These rumors seemed to be true as Jones looked very drawn following the weigh-in and struggled with Tarver the night of the fight but was able to decision him in the end. Jones took more punches than he ever had in his entire career in a single fight that night. Jones could have easily denied Tarver a rematch but instead fought him again just 7 months later. Jones would not be so fortunate this time around and was knocked out for the first time of his career in round 2. It was a shocking loss and huge upset. It was also the end of Jones perceived invincibility that we had come accustomed to seeing. He was knocked out by Glen Johnson about 4 months later and then lose to Tarver and their third and decided fight. Jones Jr. would never again reach the status he had attained prior to the first Tarver loss.
It has been more than a decade since those losses and Jones still fights on. He has three fights scheduled in less than a month beginning this Sunday. All of the fights are against lower level competition. The talk has been that the eventual goal is for Jones to have a showdown with current cruiserweight world champion Marco Huck. Neither of the four sanctioning bodies have Jones ranked in any of their necessary top 15 world rankings which he needs to be eligible to challenge. You can agree, disagree, or just not be interested at all in Jones’ current comeback. The fact remains that when he finally does stop fighting he should be headed to the Hall of Fame his first year of eligibility.