by Jake Donovan
Roy Jones Jr. promised after his win over Pawel Glazewski earlier this year that retirement was not among his plans for the immediate future.
Sadly, he appears to be staying true to his word.
The former four-division champion is planning a return to the ring on March 2 in Memphis. Full details – such as venue and opponent – are not yet clear, though the bout will mark his fourth straight in the cruiserweight division, as he is slated to appear in a 10-round main event.
Jones (56-8, 40KO) will turn 44 by the time the date rolls around and continues to try new things deep into the twilight of a career one day destined for the Hall of Fame. After having never fought out of the United States in 20 years as a pro, Jones has since fought in Australia, Russia and Poland.
The planned appearance in Memphis suggests yet another item to check off from his bucket list.
Jones has only fought in Bluff City – or anywhere else in Tennessee – just once in his pro career, a Sept. ’04 ninth-round knockout loss to Glen Johnson, who went on to become Fighter of the Year. The event christened the then-brand new FedEx Forum, whose doors had officially opened only three weeks prior, but appeared to be the final nail in the coffin for Jones’ career.
Nine years later, Jones stubbornly marches on.
The loss to Johnson was the second of three straight setbacks, sandwiched in between losses to Antonio Tarver. The stretch followed Jones’ last great moment in the sun, defeating John Ruiz to win an alphabet belt at heavyweight in March ‘03 and then outpointing Tarver later to reclaim status as the best light heavyweight in the world.
Jones is 7-7 since then, though is currently riding a two-fight win streak. A ten-round points win over Max Alexander last December came in front of a sparse crowd in Atlanta, sending Jones back overseas, where he continues to remain a draw. The modern day legend has been met with tremendous fanfare in each of his three fights overseas.
The March 2 show – assuming it comes off – will be promoted by Jones’ Square Ring Inc., along with local promoter/trainer Malcolm Terry. In recent months, Terry’s Mid-South Boxing company has restored the long-running ‘Boxing On Beale Street’ series at the historic New Daisy Theatre, which is down the street from the FedEx Forum.
Jake Donovan is the Managing Editor of Boxingscene.com. Follow Jake on Twitter: @JakeNDaBox