By Dave Wilcox
As if it wasn’t bad enough that I have had to suffer through watching Roy Jones and Bernard Hopkins make losing the norm in their later years, it has now come to my attention that the two former greats plan on fighting each other on March 11. I guess the good news is that of them has to win. For the life of me I can’t come up with one positive thing to say about this fight. It makes no sense on any level.
The two first met back in May of 1993 for the vacant IBF Middleweight title. That night, Roy Jones won a fairly easy decision over “The Executioner”. At the time the fight was very meaningful because two young and talented up and coming fighters were facing each other - a novel concept to say the least.
Ever since their first meetin, both men have gone on to secure greatness and reserve their spot in boxing’s coveted hall of fame. Before I go into my incoherent ramblings, understand that I have a great deal of respect for the talents of these two warriors. I think that my high level of respect for both men is partly why I’m so offended by this affair.
HBO will parade this match up through their propaganda machine and ask us to pay a small fee of $55.00 to watch two aged guys who head into the bout with a combined 0-5 record in their most recent fights. Not only is this going to be on pay-per-view, but there will not be any titles at stake. I realize that in this day and age, belts mean very little, but this old school scribe wants to at least have the illusion that the fight means something.
This fight is so meaningless to me that I get upset just thinking about it. What if Roy Jones wins, then what? Oh joy, he beat an over the hill middleweight who he already beat 13 years ago? Wow, what an accomplishment. From this point forward, the only thing Jones can do to his “legacy” is tarnish it further than he already has. For crying out loud, he’s been knocked out in two out of his last three fights. In the rubber match with Tarver, he was so excited to go the distance that it was sickening. That is pretty sad for a man once compared to Sugar Ray Robinson.
As for Bernard Hopkins, what happened to retirement for dear mother? Wasn’t B-Hop supposed to ride off into the sunset by now? Twenty title defenses is a great accomplishment for Bernard and will always keep his name at the top of any middleweight list of all-time greats. He certainly has nothing to gain from a Jones fight. Let’s say he wins. Does it really mean anything that he beat a Roy Jones who has lost three fights in a row? I think not.
I can only think of two reasons as to why this fight is taking place. Greed and ego. Roy Jones, Jr. and Bernard Hopkins are slapping the collective faces of all fight fans and banking on the fact that all of us gullible fans of the sport will take the bait and shell out $55.00 to watch this joke of a fight. They are trying to milk the sport that made them rich for one more payday. It’s meaningless, it’s embarrassing and I think they should be ashamed of themselves for trying to pull this sham off. If Hopkins wants redemption, he needs to find it in Arkansas because beating Jones at this point will only bring dollar signs. As for Jones, he lost his chance at redemption on October 1st when he was content on “surviving”, and not winning, in his third bout with Antonio Tarver.
Maybe they deserve one last payday and we should be thankful and willing to give to the Roy Jones/Bernard Hopkins foundation AKA pay-per-view? Or maybe not!
I can tell you one thing that is for sure, I won’t be watching. Unless of course they put it on free TV. Wait a minute, there is no such thing as free TV anymore. Oh do I long for the old days of Wide World of Sports, NBC Ringside and CBS Sports Saturday. Every weekend there was a good fight between two good fighters. Ironically the reason we no longer can enjoy top fights on regular TV is because of pay per view.
It’s gotten to the point where the only place you can see fights is on pay per view or on the movie channels. It really damages the sport we love because we no longer have the opportunity to follow fighters like we used to be able to on TV. The fight cards you see on cable now are so inferior to the shows of ten years ago. USA Tuesday Night Fights and ESPN Top Rank Boxing were tremendous shows that always had top talent in competitive fights. I can’t even watch ESPN fight cards anymore.
- A weird thing happened to me. John Ruiz lost and I was mad. I thought Ruiz was on the wrong end of a bad decision against Nicolay Valuev. It just goes to show you that humans love controversy and we always need something to bitch about. I guess that’s why the decision upset me so much. What will I moan about now that everyone’s favorite whipping boy is gone? I’m sure I’ll figure something out.
- Can’t wait for Rahman vs. Toney! That should be a very interesting and exciting bout. The division doesn’t need Klitschko to be exciting, all it needs is James Toney’s mouth and everything will be fine.
- I chuckled when I saw that Zahir Raheem was fighting on the undercard of Pacquiao vs. Morales 2. Raheem really got screwed. He beats the hell out of Morales and his reward is the undercard of Morales’ next bout? Only in America!
- It has been reported that Antonio Tarver is demanding a 50/50 split to fight Mike Tyson. There he goes again thinking he is a draw. If he isn’t fighting Roy Jones, nobody is showing up. Hopefully Tyson rejects the offer so we don’t have to watch him get knocked out again by an inferior opponent.
- Castillo will knock out Corrales again in their third match
- Hope everyone has a safe New Years Eve and a Happy New Year.