In boxing, what goes up must come down
By Rob Scott (January 6, 2005) 
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Also See: VOTE NOW: Is Roy Jones Jr A Winner in Your Book or Not?

We are officially into the year 2005 and I can’t help but think of last year at this time. When we brought in 2004 and everyone was screaming “Happy New Year!” who would have guessed that the career of Roy Jones Jr. would drop as fast as that famous lighted ball in Time Square.

When the year rolled around Roy Jones was still the man in boxing. He was considered the best fighter pound-for-pound in the world. He was still considered the best, even after his poor performance on November 8, 2003 against Antonio Tarver. Unfortunately for Jones, on May 15, 2004 Tarver made the best of their rematch and took just two rounds to knockout Mr. Pound-For Pound.

September 25, 2004 saw Jones’ status fall deeper into what Roy himself has to feel is an abyss, as again he was a knockout victim. This time a right hand in the ninth round by defending IBF light heavyweight champion Glen Johnson left Jones stretched out for a count in which the referee could have counted to a thousand instead of the required ten.

These knockouts that left Jones beat-up and subsequently beat-down were sights that many never thought they would ever see. The inevitability of ‘what goes up-must come down’ has been an axiom in boxing from its inception. If this wasn’t true, then Ali, Leonard and even Roy Jones would still be champions. The basic bottom line relates to everything; there is a beginning and an end; nothing last forever. This isn’t the first time this has happened in the sport, and it definitely will not be the last.

The year is now 2005 and Bernard Hopkins has since stepped in as the new Mr. Pound-for-Pound. Hopkins is just days shy of his 40th birthday and has stated that he will not fight much longer; but in boxing, his statement could come into fruition whether he likes it or not. His game plan is to make this his last year; but will he step down off his throne or will his reign end ill-fatedly like so many others?

Boxing has traditionally been a young man’s sport; but fighters like George Foreman and Hopkins, to their credit, have given off a ‘that was then and this is now’ sense. The ‘Executioner’ at forty stills fights on to keep that top spot, but others fight on never to again see those heights. In the recent past Evander Holyfield and Mike Tyson have been total opposites in the sense of remaining in the game. In Holyfield’s case many people feel that he is self-delusional in his never-ending crusade to once again be the undisputed heavyweight champion. After winning only two of his last nine bouts, Holyfield’s eternal optimism still soars, while the confidence of many his fans has already crashed. In Tyson’s case, many fans have been the delusional ones in thinking that he is still that young whirlwind that tore through the heavyweight division in the 1980s; emphasis has to be put on the fact that it was ‘the 80s’. While Tyson’s clusters of fans have remained unyielding, Tyson himself shows all the signs of a person who knows within himself that his day has come and gone.

The mythical pound-for-pound list has names which have all come and gone. Hopkins name will eventually fall from #1 to #-none, with others waiting to fill his shoes. Floyd Mayweather is a hair away from that spot, but a key win would surely place him there. Young guns like Miguel Cotto, Rafael Marquez and others have rising talents and growing experience that will eventually enable them to fit those shoes as well and help them not only run with the big dogs, but be ‘the big dogs’.

Roy Jones dropped the boxing ball in 2004. The New Years Eve ball has been dropped for 2005 and now it is time for us to see which fighter will drop their boxing ball and which fighters will pick it up. Man I’ll tell ya’, it’s the inevitable of boxing.

VOTE NOW: (Roy Jones Jr. Speaks) Is Roy Jones Jr A Winner in Your Book or Not?
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