Roy Jones Jr. hangs tough, in a bloody New York Boxing showdown
By Mike Cassell, Philadelphia Boxing Report (Nov 9, 2008) Doghouse Boxing (Photo © Bob Kolb)              
NEW YORK- Neil young once sung that it is better to burn out, then to fade away. Roy Jones Jr. managed to do both on Saturday night in Madison Square Garden. Early in the first round there was a glimmer, a small spark of the old Roy jones we all once knew. It was a small farewell gift to the millions of fans Jones culminated over his 19 year career since his first knock out of Ricky Randell in 1989. When Jones landed a quick hard combination that seemingly should have ended the night, dropping the pride of Whales to his knees, and bringing the crowd to their feet with a devastating roundhouse
right hand. For one fleeting moment, we were all transported to another time, when Roy Jones Jr. was the baddest man on the planet. He was Superman again, if only for the 8 seconds it took Joe Calzaghe to clear his head, get to his feet, and fight like nothing we have ever seen before, cruising to a 12-round unanimous decision.

"I was stunned. He caught me with a good shot," said Calzaghe. "That's what champions are all about. When I go down I just get upset."

`There was no doubt Jones hurt him with 40 seconds left in round one, but it just made him angry, that turned out to be a very bad thing for Jones. At the end of the round it was fitting that Jones stood in the middle of the ring for five seconds and stared Calzaghe back to his corner. Calzaghe may have gone down, but I think the way he got up and fought through the end of the round took the cape off Superman’s back. The fight was over, and 19 year veteran knew it. It was just a matter if time. He has seen it so many times before, but mostly from the other side. From that moment on, Joe Calzaghe proved why he is probably the greatest fighter to possibly ever come out Whales, and maybe even of our generation.

His heart is as big as his punch, and his speed is unmatched, even against Roy Jones Jr. Faded or not. Calzaghe controlled things using his speed and relentless aggression, forcing Jones into the possum role, trying sneak lead right hands and uppercuts all night. The funny thing is, Jones landed some tremendous shots, but Calzaghe obviously has one of the best beards in the business, because after round one, if he was ever hurt at all, nobody would have known it. In the middle of round 7 Jones sustained a very bad cut, from a very hard Calzaghe left hand that really hurt Jones. I was clear that Calzaghe was wearing Jones down, with his relentless aggression. Roy Jones had never been cut in his entire career, and this was a bad one.

From rounds 8 to 12, Jones was bleeding profusely from his right eye, and Calzaghe was just hitting too fast, too often and too damn hard. This was Roy Jones last chance on this stage, and he was fighting to win. Unfortunately, he is facing and incredible legend in Calzaghe. This fight was one sided from roun2 on, and I really question the trainer in Roy Jones corner. They absolutely no viable information to Jones during the fight, and they could not keep control of a cut, that was effecting his vision. The corner spent more times screaming for the water, and a face towel, then giving instruction. After the fight, Calzaghe showed his class, and Jones showed his respect. All three judges scored the bout 118 – 109. Calzaghe landed 344 total punches, and threw 985, landing at a 35% connect percentage. Jones landed just 159, and threw only 475 punches, a 33% connect percentage. The stat was the jabs, or the lack their of. Jones threw 149, but landed only 8, compared to Calzaghe throwing 362, and landing 120. That’s where the fight started, and that’s where it eventually ended.

"I just gave my best effort, but the guy was a better man," said Jones. "I got off my game plan and he won."

Calzaghe said that this win was even greater than the one with Hopkins, totally disrespecting Hopkins ringside, who is coming off the tremendous destruction on Kelly Pavlik, and he did not rule out retirement. Can anyone say Hopkins, Calzaghe II?

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