by Lee Payton
Roy Jones can still fight. Only these days he needs more co-operation from the opponent. Like most of the great boxers of the past, he'll look a bit like his old self against a dance partner who will provide an available target. Jeff Lacy fit the bill perfectly, and it was mostly target practice for the future Hall of Famer.
Before I get too far into it I just want to say how much respect I think Jeff Lacy deserves for sticking his nose in there and refusing to quit while being tattooed with some vintage stuff from Jones. He understood where the fight needed to take place in order for him to have a chance, but he was never really in it. Only his heart and physical strength kept him upright after 10 rounds of punishment from the better man. Lacy's fans should be proud of their man's effort and courage.
If you like what Roy does, it was pretty entertaining stuff. During the contest we were treated to some otherworldly combination punching, the likes of which only RJ can pull off. It brought me back for awhile. The dazzling speed was on display all night long, as was his ring IQ. He seemed to be having a lot of fun in there, which was good to see.
Now that he's considered ancient in boxing years, Roy has to stay away from speedsters, jabbers and movers. Those types are just too much work for tired legs and 40 year old reflexes. However, if he is content to compete on this level, against this type of fighter, he could probably hang around for another 5 years, or maybe land one more shot at the big time. Bernard Hopkins, perhaps...
Old greats just have to be more careful, in the ring and out of it. If they are realistic, they can still do big things. I think Jones knows that Chad Dawson and Jean Pascal are terrible options for him at this stage because of their overall quickness, but I also think he can still beat some legitimate light heavies if he chooses them wisely. He's one of the few guys out there who can afford to be picky.
Next up is Danny Green, who should play the necessary role quite well. He's aggressive, not all that quick and has seen better days himself. While traveling down under can be seen as a bit of a risk, it also makes great financial sense, given that the battle is sure to take place in front of a packed house.
No, Roy Jones is not all the way back. The laws of boxing dictate that he never will be, but I think that if you tune in with the proper expectations you can still have a good time.
Email Lee Payton
Sunday, August 16, 2009
by Lee Payton