By Edward Chaykovsky
On Friday night at the Chase Center in Wilmington, Delaware - Former four division world champion Roy Jones Jr. (65-9, 47 KOs), 48-years-old, once again returned to the ring and stopped an overmatched Bobby Gunn (21-7-1, 18 KOs) in the eight round of a cruiserweight fight.
Most fans would have liked to have seen Jones retire in 2003, when he jumped from light heavyweight to the heavyweight division to capture the WBA world title with a twelve round unanimous decision over John Ruiz at the Thomas & Mack Center in Las Vegas.
Jones did not retire. He dropped back to light heavyweight and struggled to win a decision over Antonio Tarver. Jones then went winless for the next two years, when he went on a three fight losing streak - two of them by knockout.
Jones continued forward by winning his next three, but then he was badly beaten up and punished by Joe Calzaghe in 2008.
He continued his career, by winning his next two fights, and then once again he went on a three fight losing streak - including a brutal knockout loss to Denis Lebedev in Russia.
Jones regrouped and won his next eight, against very overmatched competition - and then suffered another brutal knockout loss to Enzo Maccarinelli in December of 2015.
Everyone expected Jones to retire after the crippling loss to Maccarinelli, but the fight with Gunn was his third outing since that loss.
Jones admits that 2017 is likely his final year as an active fighter.
"Yeah I think it’s my last year in boxing, and I tell people all the time, 'When you’re my age, you never know which one will be your last.' Bernard Hopkins fought a fight where he thought it was probably going to be his last one and it probably was his last one. At this age you never know when it’s going to be your last one because it may turn out how you want, it may go way better than you expect, or it may not turn out how you want," Jones told On The Ropes Boxing Radio.
Jones is realistic and knows that each fight, at this stage of his career, is a potential retirement bout.
"There’s a lot of different factors that factor into whether it’s your last one or not. At this age you never can tell, but guess what I decided? I decided since I know that, then I’m going to make sure I go out with a bang and I’m going to go out and enjoy myself," Jones said.
"If it ends up being my last one, then I went out the last one like I went out in the first one, I went out with a bang. If it’s not my last one then they got more of a bang to look forward to next time."