Can Roy Jones Jr reclaim the division that he once owned?
By Phil Santos, (Jan 22, 2008) Doghouse Boxing (Photo © Bob Kolb)  
Love him or hate him, Roy Jones Jr. appears to be back. While a blown up Felix Trinidad probably isn’t the best measuring stick, it was the manner in which Jones dominated the fight that was most impressive. Tito fought hard, banging away at Jones’s body and head, but never so much as affected the 8-time former champion. After realizing that Trinidad couldn’t hurt him Jones proceeded to taunt the pride of Puerto Rico by dancing, banging his own midsection and dropping his hands as if daring Tito to hit him. He was in full control and there wasn’t a damn thing Trinidad could do about it.

Finally Jones could again celebrate a marquee victory after spending the last couple of years wallowing in mediocrity. Compiling wins over Prince Badi Ajamu and Anthony Hanshaw did little to rejuvenate interest in the former pound for pound king. But perhaps that is exactly what he needed. As opposed to risking a premature return against a championship level opponent he wisely fought solid foes against which he could refine his skills while getting back on the winning track. Apparently he knew exactly what he was doing.

The landscape has changed considerably since Jones last ruled at Light Heavyweight. Bernard Hopkins, the man he bested to capture the IBF Middleweight belt, now holds the coveted Ring Championship title. Antonio Tarver holds the IBO strap, Clinton Woods possesses the IBF belt and Danny Green holds the WBA title. While conceivably the best of the championship bunch is Chad Dawson who owns the WBC title strap. For Roy Jones another championship run is not out of the question. Particularly if at 39 Jones can continue to repeat the type of performance he exhibited against Felix Trinidad.

Consider the fact that Jones owns wins over three of the five fighters who currently hold a title. Also worth mentioning is the fact that a rematch with Woods or Hopkins would be a mega fight that would mean big paydays for both participants. Another fight with Tarver probably doesn’t make a whole lot of sense for Jones at this point. The risk/reward isn’t there against a lesser known fighter like Danny Green even though a win would garner him a title. Least
likely is a showdown with Dawson who may very well retire Jones if they were to meet.

All things considered Roy Jones has a good shot at reclaiming some version of the title provided he is able to secure a fight in a timely manner. He looked sharp and on his game, in fact he looked as good as he has since coming back from his last loss to Tarver. Given, he was in against a guy who was great at 147 and maybe 154 nonetheless Jones was terrific. The toughest opponent that Jones may face moving forward is father time. You can only avoid him for so long before he catches you and more times than not, like many of Jones’s punches, you don’t see it coming.

Assuming Bernard Hopkins and Joe Calzaghe square off in the near future, win or lose for Hopkins a fight with Jones only makes sense. We’ve heard varying accounts from both fighters about how one is ducking the other. Most recently Roy Jones said, while in studio as a guest on ESPN Friday Night Fights, that Hopkins wants no piece of him so he has turned his attention elsewhere. The fact is that this is a fight that would matter to fans and makes the most sense for the fighters. For Hopkins it is an opportunity to avenge one of the few losses on his record and for Jones a win earns him another title and a chance to go out on top. Sadly many fights that make sense never get made however the winds of change have been blowing though boxing lately and maybe, just maybe, both men see an opportunity to make an obscene amount of money and the fans can benefit from a rematch that we’ve anticipated for years.

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