Alan Dawson – London
Roy Jones Jr survived a ten round cruiserweight bout at the Atlas Arena in Lodz, Poland on Saturday, June 30 and, although he boxed in a one-paced fashion, fought off balance and was dropped in round six by erstwhile unbeaten Pawel Glazewski, 29, he walked away the winner having received a generous split decision verdict. Post-fight, in an arena filled with gold confetti, Jones Jr then reiterated his desire to become world champion at 200lbs.
Official verdict: Jones Jr via split decision.
Walking out to his own rap anthem Y’all must have forgot, fight veteran Roy Jones Jr made his way to the Polish ring hoping to rewind the years to when he had to climb weight classes… from junior middleweight, all the way to heavyweight, just to find a competitive fight.
Regarded to be one of the finest athletes to have graced a modern boxing ring, the skill-set of Jones Jr, at 43, has deteriorated rapidly since his prime form at the swing of the new millennium but, versus undefeated hometown favourite Pawel Glazewski, he was boxing a pugilist not famed for possessing weaponry that could properly threaten Jones’ ultimate weakness in his final years as a fighter – his chin – but that still did not spare him from receiving a canvassing.
In the opening session Jones Jr denied Glazewski a route to scoring shots as the European struck his arms when he flurried. Jones varied his own jab, throwing to the mouth and to the gut, but was more successful with his secondary shots rather than the introductory punches. Jones controlled the centre of the ring… well, he was forced to, as his foot speed was nil, however, this mattered not as Glazewski’s attack was largely ineffectual at the beginning of the contest.
In round two, Jones attempted to wind up a bolo but was simply out-gunned by a fighter 14 years his junior, yet, in round three, Jones found a way into the bout as he appeared the more superior boxer when working from the inside region, sending short, sharp, single-fire shots to the body. His slow speed of foot was in contrast to the way he could let his hands go but Jones was void of confidence whenever an incoming shot landed cleanly.
Self-assurance in the American’s game rose by the fight’s midway point and, like he had in round one against Denis Lebedev in Moscow in May, 2011, he showboated. And, while he had crept ahead of his opponent, there were worrying signs for the final half of the contest… namely: he was breathing out of his move and his hands were getting lower and lower.
In round six, and just as Jones was beginning to look at his best he could produce at this stage of his career, he was knocked to the floor with a left hook, a move that had been rehearsed by Glazewski in the preceding rounds, but one which had caused little damage as it previously fizzed harmlessly in front of Jones’ face. Not this time. Jones, though, rose to his feet and attempted to box on.
Able to throw only sporadically, with Glazewski having no issue taking Jones’ power, combined with Roy’s own lack of balance and speed, it was clear Jones – if it had not been years ago – is no longer a ten round fighter and, heading into the concluding stanzas, the Pole was in control.
Midway through round nine, Jones caught Glazewski flush with a sweet uppercut, again while on the inside, but again it was something that did not rattle the undefeated opponent, who returned fire with an abundance of hooks. In the final session, Jones was tagged again with a left hook he had no defence for all fight.
Throughout the fight, Jones was largely dominated by a fighter he would have mauled during his heyday, yet, bizarrely, he was awarded a decision win by the three ringside judges which, presumably, sets Roy up for a shot at current WBC world champion at 200lbs, Krzysztof Wlodarczyk, in a match that would also be staged in Poland.
“I still want to be cruiserweight champion,” concluded Jones, defiantly.
Elsewhere on the bill, welterweight Rafal Jackiewicz decisioned Luca Michael Pasqua, Nate Campbell shut out Krzysztof Szot in an eight round junior welterweight bout and Jameel McCline dropped a unanimous ten round fight to Artur Szpilka