My, how the mighty have fallen!
By Bobby Jones (August 9, 2005)  
It’s amazing to think that in less than a month and a half, boxing the way that I knew it and the way that many of you fans knew it, is over. Sure, sometimes a change is good, and it leads to exciting times and leaves the door open for another young boxer to become a superstar. But isn’t it just hard letting go sometimes? In three nights (one early morning for the actual boxer) over these 40-something days, boxing history was rewritten, revamped, and maybe even revitalized.

June 4, 2005

At two o’clock in the morning in Manchester, England, Kostya Tszyu walked into the ring for more than likely the last time as the undisputed light welterweight champion. I’m only 22 years old, and I’ve only been a ‘true’ boxing fan for about five years. In those five years Kostya Tszyu was arguably the most dominating fighter in the world. So, seeing him go out the way he did was sort of heartbreaking. Not the fact that he quit on his stool, because the more I think about it the more I think it was probably for the better, but because he actually lost. Ricky Hatton is a humble fighter, and we need more like him in our sport, and for all the fighters for the torch to be passed to, you would be hard pressed to name a more deserving fighter then Ricky Hatton. But the time to sulk wouldn’t last long, because in just one week’s time I would get to see an old great champion give us another beautiful knockout, perhaps the last one, but at least it would leave us with a lasting impression.

June 11, 2005

Not the impression I was expecting to remember. Now, I said I’ve only been a boxing fan for about five years, but that doesn’t mean I wasn’t a Mike Tyson fan – after all, who wasn’t? One of my favorite boxing stories I love to tell, years before I devoted a massive amount of time to the sport, came the summer of 1999. I was a batboy for a local college league in Winchester, VA and my family was also a host family and brought in a kid every year so they would have a place to stay while being away from home. I told one player before a late afternoon game that I was planning on getting the Mike Tyson-Evander Holyfield fight so if he wanted to come back to the house instead of hanging out with the other ball players he would have something to do. Well, the game was over and my stepmother was driving me home and I realized there were a ton of cars on our block. At first I thought our neighbors were having a party, but then I quickly realized all these cars were waiting for me to get home. In the time it takes to play a 9-inning baseball game word spread from one player to nearly 40. My parents weren’t mad, but they were shocked, to say the least. My point is, Tyson sells, he did in ‘99 and he did to a large crowd that assembled at a Hooters restaurant in Roanoke, VA. As I screamed along with the 100 or so other people that were there for Tyson to get up, I realized even if he did, it was over. It was sad. Not in a sense that I thought Tyson would ever win a title again, but in a sense that probably the most known athlete in the world would end his career on a stool.

July 16, 2005

Bernard Hopkins vs. Jermain Taylor looked to be a good fight on paper, and in the ring it didn’t disappoint. Bernard Hopkins had been undefeated since I was 10-years-old. He lost his first fight, then he lost to perennial all time great Roy Jones Jr. It was without a doubt a Teacher vs. Student fight, as Hopkins was 16-years-old the year Taylor was born. We all know now that if one judge would have given one more round to 40-year-old Hopkins he would have escaped with his titles, maybe for the last time. Not that anyone had come close to beating Hopkins, but as he approaches a loftier age he was also going after loftier goals. Hopkins was never a real favorite of mine, but it’s hard to not respect someone that has been undefeated since you were playing with wrestling figures.

Of these three fighters we are only positive (or as positive as you can be in boxing) that one of these fighters will fight again. Seeing the way Hopkins had Taylor reeling in the final rounds of their first fight Hopkins may shock the world again at the age of 40. Personally, if he won that fight, I think he should retire. But, he’s earned the right to do whatever he wants, and that whatever he wants could be millions of dollars against Winky Wright or Roy Jones Jr.

Tszyu wants a rematch with Hatton, which I think he deserves. The Hatton camp looks to be looking to another fight. It appears Tszyu only wants Hatton and if not he’ll retire. It was scary to hear a report that he had sustained a brain injury after the fight, but it appears that was either a false negative test result or just an accident. I think Tszyu only fights again if he gets Hatton. A showdown with Floyd Mayweather or another champion might change his mind, but I think it’s pretty evident whom he really wants.

Tyson. Who knows? Reports range from fighting four rounders with Riddick Bowe and Evander Holyfield, to being in a porno with Jenna Jameson. Tyson owes the US government a lot of money. I think he’ll box again. In a way I hope he doesn’t, and I think he has other ways to make money, but it just seems to me he’ll give it one more go, and quite possibly go out against a fighter of even less stature then Kevin McBride, if you can believe that.

Well, that’s how my summer vacation went, and as the end of it approaches, maybe I’m in for a few more surprises…
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