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
Robert Delgado – Los Angeles
Kendall Holt inflicted a second successive stoppage defeat onto fellow super lightweight campaigner Tim Coleman on Friday, March 16 at the Morongo Casino Resort and Spa in Cabazon, California and the destructive manner of the second round knockout was achieved due to a relaxed and composed approach, according to the victor. This, after Coleman had called Holt a “shot fighter” during the bout’s promotion.
Holt’s match-up with Coleman (19-3-1, 5ko) represented a crossroads bout for both boxers. Prior to fisticuffs, Holt would have hoped to bounce-back from a split decision defeat to unbeaten prospect Danny Garcia, while Coleman was teekayoed in his August, 2011 examination against Vernon Paris and also needed a win.
As early as the opening stanza it was apparent that there was a gulf in talent as Holt began his domination of Coleman, sending him to the deck with a body shot that Tim was able to rise from, however, there was no respite as the brutality continued into the second round where a fistic barrage saw a depleted Coleman crash to the canvas three times prior to the inevitable corner stoppage.
“The fight was good,” said Holt, 30, of Paterson, New Jersey, after his triumph. “I was more patient with my jab than usual. There were a couple of things he was doing in there that got me a little hesitant at first, but [cornerman] Roy [Jones Jr] told me to keep using my jab.
“The more I was relaxed the more I started to see things. I’m percent 100 percent satisfied with this victory,” he concluded having seen his record move to 28-5-0, 16ko.
Jones Jr added: :I thought Kendall looked very good. We have a couple of things we got to work on, but I think he’s on his way back.”
Also on the card were Abraham Lopez (17-0-0, 12ko) and Gabriel Tolmajyan (12-2-1, 3ko), with the former winning a decision on points. Monstrous puncher Alejandro Luna (9-0-0, 7ko) stopped Jose Mendoza (7-5-0, 3ko) in four rounds,
super bantamweight Roman Morales (10-0-0, 6ko) scored a decision over six threes against Rufino Serrano (12-4), Roy Tapia (3-0-1, 2ko) and Jose Garcia (1-6-1, 1ko) engaged in a split draw, Derrick Murray (2-0, 1ko) out-pointed Cesar Valenzuela (2-1-1) and Jesus Gutierrez (3-0-0, 1ko) decisioned Manuel del Cid (4-9-0, 1ko).
Denzil Stone – Atlantic City
Bareknuckle boxing king Bobby Gunn, the current incumbent of the BKB heavyweight championship, is hoping to coax Roy Jones Jr (55-8-0, 40ko) into a gloved cruiserweight contest in, what the Ontarian has billed, a bout that will gain little media attention but would “go through the roof” when the two are trading shots. Jones Jr is eager to box David Haye or Krzsztof Wlodarczyk, however, the ring legend was receptive to the option of taking on Gunn…
“Thank you Roy for the response that you gave to me,” said Gunn (21-4-1, 18ko). “You are such a classy champion, and that’s why you are loved by the world—not just boxing fans, but the world in general. Everybody knows the name and loves Roy Jones Jr.
“I truly hope from the bottom of my heart that you get the fight with David Haye or Krzsztof Wlodarczyk but if you don’t I will give you the fight that the boxing world needs. You and I can be the Arturo Gatti/Mickey Ward cruiserweight super fight.
“We will be the fight that nobody puts a lot of weight into, but we will put on a show that goes through the roof. We will give the boxing world what they want by giving them the super fight of the year. Styles make a fight, and quite honestly my brother, me and you is a perfect matchup.”
Gunn continued: “Roy, you are a champion in and out of the ring, and it would be my honour and dream to step in the ring with you. Everything I have done and accomplished throughout my life wouldn’t hold a candle to having the chance to step between the ropes with you and go to battle. You are a great man, and I believe you will bring the greatness out of me.
“God Bless champ, and again, I hope you get what you want, but if you don’t, the Gunn is at your door knocking… it’s not complicated, this is an easy deal. Let’s make it happen.”
On The Beak – Admin
Former IBA cruiserweight titlist and reigning world heavyweight bare knuckle boxing champion Bobby Gunn has recently discussed coming back into the squared ring and fighting one last time with gloves. The Celtic Warrior (21-4-1, 18ko) last stepped in between the ropes in July, 2009, when he suffered a TKO loss to Tomasz Adamek for the IBF belt. Through his boxing career Gunn faced much adversity and controversy and, following the Adamek fight, he hadn’t planned on making a return to the gloved sport… until now.
“I have seen much corruption and politics in boxing and it has really taken away from what the sport used to be about,” said Gunn before adding: “The only way I would make a return to the ring is for the chance to fight Roy Jones Jr. He is a true champion and a legend, and it would be a great honour and privilege to go to battle with him.”
Regarding having the opportunity to fight Roy Jones Jr, Gunn conceded: “I’m far from the best in the world but I was in the mix with the best, and I never been much of a talker. The bottom line is that I will fight, and I will go to anybody’s back yard and fight them; that has never been a problem in my career. I have been involved in a lot of controversial fights, but at the end of the day I’m a fighter, and if a fight makes sense, I’ll do it.”
Amid reports there would be a bare knuckle boxing title defense in late February or early March, Gunn was adamant about accepting an offer from Jones if it was presented: “If this fight materialises, it would be a fight for fans,” said Gunn.
“Jones is a warrior and I know we would fight a war. He’s a great fighter, and I don’t know if I could win a decision over him, but I can promise that Roy Jones Jr would never forget the fight.”
At 43-years-old, Jones Jr. (55-8-0, 40ko) has still remained active inside the ring, fighting twice in 2011 (1-1-0, 0ko). Through his career Jones Jr displayed incredible skill, winning numerous world titles in four different weight classes.
“Although this fight may be just a pipe dream at this point, if it does happen, fight fans will be in for a treat. With all of the disappointing fights of 2011 and the ongoing drama encircling the boxing world, the sport desperately needs a fight featuring two warriors who will leave it all in the ring and throw hands for the sake of fighting and nothing else… not a seven digit payday or endorsements, but fighting because that is what is inside of them, and ultimately to see who the better fighter is on that night.”
Bareknuckle boxing enjoyed a renaissance in 2011 as Gunn became the first bareknuckle heavyweight boxing champion in over a century and, earlier this month, an official announcement was made regarding the organisation of the bare fisted game’s first sanctioning body. Even though Gunn would be wearing gloves in a prospective bout with Jones Jr, it would be sure to generate a lot of press and could provide a window into bareknuckle boxing as a result, with Gunn as the ambassador.
“Happy Birthday Roy; take me as your next fight,” Gunn finished.
Denzil Stone – Atlantic City
Once considered a pound-for-pound mainstay, a fast-fisted, showboating, agile, athletic, multi-talented badass of a boxer who had the reflex actions of a snake… Roy Jones Jr, the first professional pugilist in over a century to win the heavyweight world title having started his career as a super welterweight, has seen his skills diminish since entering his 40′s but, following a victory over club fighter Max Alexander has vowed: “This is just the start“.
“I’m feeling wonderful,” commented Jones Jr (55-8-0, 40ko) after unanimously decisioning Alexander (14-6-2, 2ko), a prizefighter who boxed Junior as his ring return following a two year absence from the professional circuit.
Contrary to popular opinion, Jones Jr doesn’t box like a completely shot fighter, however, there are many aspects of his game that have been diluted with age. His speed, one of his most useful tools during his 90′s and early noughties heyday, has slowed, his punch resistance is rightfully questioned, he is no longer as sharp as he was and his endurance/stamina to go 12 rounds could be an issue as, after ten rounds with Alexander, Junior checked himself in to the Mayo Clinic in order to get checked out and to make sure his heart was okay.
The skills Jones, 42, has retained, have been his general boxing ability. Earlier in the year he journeyed to the Sport Complex Krylatskoe in Moscow in order to take on highly-fancied cruiserweight contender Denis Lebedev and even outshone the prime Russian in the opening round. The longer the fight progressed, though, the easier it became for his opponent who, in the tenth and final round, clobbered him so hard that he was separated from his senses for a number of minutes.
Versus Alexander, Jones boxed with less initiative, which he later revealed was because he wanted to conserve energy. He was also more rigid with his defensive shield, perhaps wary of his (in)ability to take a punch against a younger fighter, even if the man whom he was boxing only had two pro knockouts to his name.
Jones, however, sparked into life in the contest’s latter stages, boxed his way out of clinches, put his punches together well, displayed a strong left hand and closed the fight in a strong, convincing manner.
The win has signaled a new chapter in Jones’ career. The Floridian fighter, who won world titles at middleweight, super middleweight, light heavyweight and heavyweight, has seen a cruiserweight crown elude him and, should he add it to his honours roll, would see his already Hall of Fame-worthy career rise to the status of being a five-weight world champion, joining the likes of Sugar Ray Leonard and Floyd Mayweather Jr.
“I want a cruiserweight world title,” he confirmed. “This is just a start. I’m not through yet.”
Alexander, meanwhile, believes had the bout been a 12-rounder, then he would have sealed the victory by way of kayo: “I could have done a little bit more. If it was a 12-round fight I think I would have stopped him.
“He was fast, still fast, still strong, but he never hurt me.”
On The Beak – Admin
Ring legend Roy Jones Jr (55-8-0, 40ko) won the vacant, lightly-regarded UBO intercontinental cruiserweight title on Saturday, December 10 as he interrupted a losing streak that spanned three fights and 28 months to convincingly out-point Max Alexander over ten rounds at the Civic Center in Atlanta. Jones Jr was the more stylish pugilist, fighting in spurts and enjoying particularly strong rounds in the latter stages.
(Embedded video above credit – Youtube, SuperBoxingVideos)
(Embedded video above credit – Youtube, SuperBoxingVideos)
(Embedded video above credit – Youtube, SuperBoxingVideos)
Alan Dawson – London
Roy Jones Jr (54-8-0, 40ko) returns to the ring this evening, December 10 against little-known cruiserweight journeyman Max Alexander. In his day, Junior was “the most talented fighter to enter the ring and one of the best to do it,” according to former sparring partner and friend Iceman John Scully, but the question marks over his punch resistance and reflexes are now too great for the former four-weight world champion to “keep on like this”.
OTB: You know Roy Jones very well. He returns [on Saturday, December 10] but not without criticism from people who believe he should retire. I recently spoke to one of his sparring partners – Andres ‘Taylor Made’ Taylor – who says Jones is still sharp and that armchair critics will always be there. Have you had the opportunity to see Junior in training lately? If so, what are your thoughts on his fitness/athletic shape/ability to fight at the top level?
ICE: I am not surprised at all that Roy is still sharp in the gym, not at all. I am very sure that if someone were to see him spar they would be surprised, they would say: “Wow, he’s still got all his skills and his moves. He looks great!” But, by the same token, he has been in this game as an amateur and pro for more than thirty years already! He has shown that his ability to take a punch is extremely diminished and that just doesn’t come back to you.
Letting go of the game is very hard, I know this, but it’s been time for him to let it go I believe.
OTB: On his fight specifically, do you think he will be easily able to showcase his superiority over a guy who hasn’t boxed professionally for two years? What do you expect the result to be?
ICE: Well, it’s very hard to say. I mean, in his last fight against Denis Lebedev, the Russian, I thought he looked pretty good in some spots and actually showed me what he would have really done with that guy just a few years ago. But he was taken out in brutal fashion and at his age  that can’t be a good thing.
I won’t be surprised if Roy wins this but the bigger picture is this… If he keeps fighting and keeps winning, he will likely work his way into another good fight with a top guy and at his age, in his state now, he cannot beat the best guys. He doesn’t have the reflexes anymore or the ability to take a punch anymore.
I hate that I have to say that because I’ve known RJ since 1986 and he’s the best overall fighter I personally have ever seen. But this is just wrong, him keeping on like this.
I personally don’t want people to forget who he was. I don’t want the young guys coming up now, who weren’t around when he was beating [James] Toney [1994 on points], [Bernard] Hopkins [1993 on points], [Vinny] Pazienza [1995, sixth round teekayo] and [John] Ruiz [2003 on points] to see him like this and that this is the guy we all bragged about so much.
OTB: Do Roy’s recent losses affect his legacy?
ICE: Unfortunately, in the eyes of many, they will and I believe that’s wrong.
For me, you have to judge a man on his prime years. What he does very early in his career and what he does after his prime is almost irrelevant when deciding how good or great he was. I mean, you cant possibly use losses to [Larry] Holmes and [Trevor] Berbick as indications of what type of fighter Muhammad Ali really was, you know?
Roy in his day was maybe the most talented fighter ever to enter a boxing ring, certainly one of the best ever to do it. Sugar Ray Robinson, who most say was the greatest ever, ended up with nineteen losses in his career and nobody uses those against him.
As always, On The Beak is thankful to Iceman for his time.
Steve Farhood – Showtime
On December 17, every eye in boxing will be glued to the super middleweight battle between WBA titlist Andre Ward and WBC titlist Carl Froch, who will clash in Atlantic City in The Final of the Super Six World Boxing Classic.
The super middleweight division was born in 1984, when Scotland’s Murray Sutherland was crowned IBF champion. Since then, many of the greatest fighters of their generation, including Sugar Ray Leonard, Thomas Hearns, Roy Jones, James Toney, and Joe Calzaghe, have engaged in 168-pound title bouts.
Ward-Froch will be the 76th unification bout in boxing, and the sixth at super middleweight. Given the immense stakes, it will be one of the most critical contests in the division’s 27-year history.
To date, the 10 most significant super middleweight title bouts
1. Roy Jones W 12 James Toney, November 18, 1994, Las Vegas (Jones retains IBF title): Those who insist Jones ducked the best available opposition conveniently choose to forget this fight. Toney, 44-0-2, is ranked second pound-for-pound, Jones, 26-0, seventh. Toney drains himself making weight, rehydrates until he is a bag of water, and performs accordingly. Jones scores a knockdown in round three en route to a clear-cut decision win.
2. Sugar Ray Leonard D 12 Thomas Hearns, June 12, 1989, Las Vegas (Leonard retains WBC title; Hearns retains WBO title): The legends are rematched eight years after their historic unification battle at welterweight. While both are past their primes, they produce a thrilling duel, with Leonard, 35-1, suffering knockdowns in rounds three and 11, and Hearns, 46-3, barely surviving round 12. Almost no one agrees with the decision, including Leonard, whose thought before the announcement of the decision is, “The only uncertainty left was the margin of [my] defeat.”
3. Joe Calzaghe W 12 Mikkel Kessler, November 3, 2007, Cardiff, Wales (Calzaghe retains WBO title, wins WBC and WBA Super titles): The Welshman and the Dane fight for three belts before a crowd of almost 50,000 at the Millennium Stadium. In a crisply fought bout, Kessler, 39-0, is stronger for five rounds, but Calzaghe, 43-0, rallies to take a well-received unanimous decision. Having made 21 defenses, Calzaghe is finally recognized as a legitimately great fighter. “I had plans for this fight,” Kessler says, “but he just crushed my dreams.”
4. Nigel Benn D 12 Chris Eubank, October 9, 1993, Manchester, England (Benn retains WBC title; Eubank retains WBO title): Like Leonard and Hearns before them, bitter British rivals Benn, 37-2, and Eubank, 35-0-1, are rematched at a higher weight. (In a 1990 title fight at middleweight, Eubank stopped Benn in nine rounds.) The second bout, fought before 42,000 on sacred grounds at Old Trafford, is a disappointment, with neither fighter willing to take the chances that marked their pulsating first encounter. As it turns out, a point lost by Benn for punching low costs him the win.
5. Sugar Ray Leonard KO 9 Don Lalonde, November 7, 1988, Las Vegas (Leonard wins newly created WBC super middleweight title and WBC light heavyweight title): Fighting for only the third time in 6 1/2 years, Sugar Ray, 34-1, becomes the first boxer in history to win world titles at five different weights. The naturally bigger Lalonde, 31-2, drops Leonard with a right hand in the fourth, but Sugar Ray rebounds to punish the Canadian champion and brutally finish him in the ninth.
6. Joe Calzaghe W 12 Jeff Lacy, March 4, 2006, Manchester, England (Calzaghe retains WBO title, wins IBF title): Despite Calzaghe’s credentials and home field advantage, the powerpunching Lacy, 21-0, is the betting favorite. The bettors are dead-wrong; the southpaw Calzaghe, 40-0, dominates with speed and sharp punching and wins virtually every round. “Long before the finish,” writes Brian Doogan in “The Ring,” “it had become almost unbearable to watch [Lacy] suffer such a beating.”
7. Andre Ward Technical Win 11 Mikkel Kessler, November 21, 2009, Oakland (Ward wins WBA title): In the opening round of Showtime’s Super Six tournament, 2004 Olympic gold medalist Ward, 20-0, making a mammoth jump in class, scores an upset, chopping up longtime titlist and tournament co-favorite Kessler, 42-1. The ringside doctor halts the bout because of a butt-induced cut over Kessler’s right eye.
8. James Toney KO 9 Iran Barkley, February 13, 1993, Las Vegas (Toney wins IBF title): Toney, 33-0-2, becomes a two-division champion with a career-best performance. He utterly dominates Barkley, 30-7, who is two fights removed from defeating Thomas Hearns for a second time. When referee Richard Steele intervenes, Barkley’s left eye is closed, his right cheek is swollen, and he’s bleeding from the nose and mouth.
9. Sven Ottke W 12 Byron Mitchell, March 15, 2003, Berlin (Ottke retains IBF title, wins WBA title): As is often the case, Ottke, 34-0, benefits from home cooking, edging American puncher Mitchell, 25-1-1, by split decision in a unification match. Moving in and out, the German utilizes a pitty-pat attack and survives a rocky moment in the final round.
10.Mikkel Kessler W 12 Carl Froch, April 24, 2010, Herning, Denmark (Regains WBC title): In one of the outstanding bouts of the year, Kessler, 42-2, rejuvenates his career–and strengthens his standing in the Super Six tournament– by edging Froch, 26-0, by unanimous decision. There is little to choose between the two (scores of 117-111, 116-112, and 115-113), but in the later rounds, Kessler is clearly invigorated by the crowd’s support.
All Pictures: Stacey Verbeek – Maple Avenue Boxing Gym, Dallas
The great James Smitty Smith of In This Corner, British broadsheet boxing scribe Gareth A Davies, the Tecate girls, Latin America’s most popular sportscaster Ines Sainz, former pound-for-pound superstar Roy Jones Jr and renowned boxing adviser Cameron Dunkin were just some of a plethora of faces backstage at Manny Pacquiao’s competitive and controversial win over Juan Manuel Marquez in Las Vegas on November 12.