Join Date: Apr 2005
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Interesting "Iceman Diary" Flashback, I think...
Just came across this as I was looking through my ollld notebooks, diaries, etc...
September 25, 2004: Roy Jones was knocked out tonight by Glen Johnson for the IBF Light heavyweight title. This is the first time Roy has been OUT. Against Tarver he was stopped and hurt bad but this time it was ugly and frightening. I have been hardened by years in the game and have been up close to the ring when guys have been knocked out unconscious and it never really even made me wince, other than the time Roy knocked out Art Serwano in Reno in 1992. That was scary. Last night was worse. I jumped out of my seat last night because, the way it looked, I had the feeling we might be seeing a Gerald McClellan type situation. Several moments after the KO saw Roy still laying there motionless with the look like he was frozen.
You have to give all credit to Johnson and his corner. This guy fought the right fight, mentally as much as physically. If there was ever a time to step in and go right to Roy, with an all out assault and little respect as Glen did in the first round tonight, it was now. The last time Roy was in a pro ring was less than four months ago and he was stopped with one punch by Antonio. A hard pill to swallow for a guy that has dominated probably ninety-five percent of every round he has ever fought as a professional. Tonight Glen came out and immediately got Roy right back into a bad mental situation. He never let Roy get set. Not once in the whole fight. Every single time Roy set his feet and threw good shots he was met with furious return fire. Going the other way, if Glen came out and tried to just work his way into the fight and take his time he would have most likely allowed Roy to get his engine started and settle into a groove, find his rhythm against a less enthusiastic foe and taken control of the fight after a few rounds. But Glen wasn't having that. Not tonight. He is the poster boy now for, "Doing what you gotta' do."
Now, I am not one for calling for retirement as soon as a guy looks like he is finished. I usually think it is the fighters decision and his alone but in this case I have to say that my gut feeling -all things considered- is that Roy Jones should probably retire. As I stated before, his prime to me was from late 1993 to somewhere around 1999. That Roy Jones was a brilliant boxer with brilliant moves, defense, combinations and speed. Now, he has gotten hit more in his last three fights than he had in all his previous fights combined and he has spoke too often of a serious lack of motivation and drive in recent years. Last night he was not able to keep Johnson off of him and his return fire was nowhere near enough to get Johnson to even take a step backwards. Let's be real. Glen did a great job last night and showed true mental and physical championship qualities but this is a man who I really believe wouldn't win more than a round or two against the prime Roy Jones. You have to know that. I think he would probably go the distance against Roy back in the day but his style would be tailor made for RJ. No doubt. I have seen Roy Jones fight live and in person eighteen times as a professional and countless other times in the amateurs and in the gym sparring. He beat twenty or more guys like Glen Johnson over the years, sometimes with ridiculous ease.
Now, though, Roy Jones has slipped in the last year into a mental and physical funk and these two KO losses are things that I don't think a 35 year old veteran with fifty fights behind him can fully come back from. Mentally and physically Roy appears to be weaker right now than I ever imagined I would see him. For example, I keep thinking back to the start of the ninth round to where I saw Roy come out and attempt to touch gloves with Glen because that immediately a red flag with me. I mean, when I saw him make the attempt it immediately raised a red flag with me because, you see, it wasn't like he was fighting an overmatched guy that he was beating easily and he was touching gloves like he has in the past to kind of say, "Hey, your doing OK. I respect that you are still trying." This was Roy Jones losing every round against a super tough and strong willed guy who wasn't taking no for an answer. Roy had to know he was way behind and I think somewhere deep down he knew he wasn't going to come from behind and KO this guy, either. He reached out to touch gloves and, I promise you, when I saw that I sat up in my chair and immediately thought to myself, "something is wrong with his mind, with his confidence. This isn't the Roy Jones I know."
When a guy like Roy Jones starts touching gloves at the start of a round with a guy that is beating him like that, then I know something just isn't adding up.
Less than ninety seconds later the fight was over.
In cases like this I almost never expect or think that a guy should retire. KO's happen, losses happen. Fighters get hit and hurt and they are trained to come from that and fight back. Terry Norris did it twice back in the 1990's. First he was KO'd badly by Julian Jackson only to come back a few months later to win his first title against John "The Beast" Mugabi. Then a couple years later he did it again by convincingly beating Simon Brown to reclaim his championship just a few months after Simon had smashed him to take it.
I also remember Marlon Starling getting hit after the bell so hard that he didn't even remember getting knocked out while talking to Larry Merchant after the fight. But in his very next fight he came back and absolutely schooled reigning WBC Champion Lloyd Honeyghan on the way to a ninth round TKO win.
Those two were closer to their primes, though, and Terry was actually just before his when he got KO'd those two times. They were younger than RJ is now here in 2004. It is a whole different scenario. In the case of Simon Brown, though, it was a situation where he was a monster back in his championship days. The give and take war off attrition he had with Tyrone Trice back in the late 1980's that ended with Simon scoring a fourteenth round stoppage was a wonderful display of will and courage. So wasn't his back and forth brawl with Maurice Blocker in the early 90's. Once Simon got KO'd by Vincent Pettway it was the beginning of the end for him. He never recovered and there was no turning back once he hit that path. KO losses to Bernard Hopkins, David Reid and, finally, Mads Larsen followed.