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Reflexions of Roy
By Ben Franco (May 20, 2004) 
Roy Jones Jr.
If the U.S. Army was looking for ‘shock and awe’ in Iraq, there was defiantly a few people ringside, sitting in their lounge rooms, with a similar feeling, after witnessing quite possibly the biggest upset in the sport of Boxing since James “Buster” Douglas cleared the veil of invincibility away and exposed “Iron” Mike Tyson for what he really was, a human being with human flaws.

I have to say the instant the booming left hook from Antonio Tarver landed and Roy started listing backwards I got a hot flush through my head. You know the feeling, you get it before a street fight, you get it from asking that beautiful girl on a date and she says no way. It was a feeling we have all had at one time or another, fear. I feared the whole world was caving in, I mean Mr. Unstoppable had just been knocked out! What the hell was going on? Here we had the guy universally regarded as the best fighter on the planet, pound for pound, stumbling around like the corner drunk and sagging into the ropes on account of one punch.

Another feeling that pumped through my veins the other day was shock. Here was the guy we all saw robbed blind at the Seoul Olympics in 1988 who progressed on to become the middleweight, super middleweight and light heavyweight champion as well as being the first middleweight champion in 100 years to win a portion of the greatest prize in individual sport, the Heavyweight boxing championship, flat. He was flat on his back and crawling on the canvas like he was looking for spare change. I was shocked because in the last 10 years at least, I’ve hardly seen Roy get hit, which was based on his ability to slip and dodge punches. So to suddenly see him knocked out, I could hardly believe my own eyes. But there he was in center ring; Superman, disrobed and discombobulating like the mere mortals he has chewed up his whole career.

Why did I feel like that? I have been a boxing fan for over ten years and couldn’t recall a similar feeling. I read a line the other day that I will steal; it felt like some bastard had run over my dog. That is the feeling that permeated in my guts. I have always respected Roy and loved watching tape on the middleweight/super middleweight versions, but after his super middleweight run he didn’t seem to have to push himself to win a fight. This put a lot of hardcore fans off side as they pay their money and want a show, but became increasingly frustrated with his inability to fight competitive opposition and the jab-fest fights which could’ve cured anyone’s insomnia.

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But is this a fair assessment? Surely it wasn’t Roy’s fault for having sub-par opposition, he did the best he could with the limited talent available. Sure he handpicked opponents, but at least they had to be the number 1 contender. He pummeled all his opposition to the point where most of the boxing fans and media got caught up in believing the hype that they printed and as a result of this, along with a few soft fights, some people thought Roy unbeatable.
Well good old Antonio Tarver was certainly someone who didn’t believe the hype. He believed deep down in his heart he was going to knock Roy Jones, JR. out, and he was telling anyone and everyone within earshot his plans to upset Roy’s apple cart. Boy he didn’t just upset it, he smashed it to pieces with one blinding, booming overhand left/ left hook.

But why were we so shocked? Was Tarver that good or did he land a lucky punch? Were we fooled into believing this guy was the second coming after watching him dispose of the best opposition available or did RJJ pull the wool over our eyes because he knew something we didn’t?

So where does this leave Roy? Personally after a few days back on his farm and some time to digest the significance of what has happened, and for the sake of his career legacy, he must go after the third fight and avenge this loss. But after punishing his body for nearly a year, constantly trying to make a weight that is clearly unhealthy for him does he want the third fight? I’ve been interested to see all the people saying he should jump back in and fight a heavyweight, but this could be akin to career suicide. For a start Roy just got his clock cleaned by a guy who was 6’2’, 175lbs so why the hell would he risk possibly getting knocked out in two fights in a row? If you think Tarver can crack imagine what Tyson could’ve done!

It’s an interesting situation RJJ has gotten himself into and he is the only one who can pull himself back to his pinnacle of the modern day great and pound for pound king, but after 16 years of getting up at dawn pounding the pavement as well as the pads maybe Roy just wants to sleep in for a change. After all he’s only a human.

Unearthing an upset.

After the shockingly refreshing knockout of a fighter that most people with any knowledge of boxing refer to as a modern day great it has emphasized the fact that anything can and usually does happen in the sport of boxing. This is what makes this sport so great which is the unpredictable outcome of its combatants. So here is a look at some upcoming upsets.

DLH Vs The Executioner

Just about everyone has already written the Golden Boy into the worst, most humiliating outcome possible which is a vicious knockout at the hands of the greatest middleweight since the Marvelous one who graced our screens with his presence. I’m going to go out on a limb here, so no abuse from my readers.

De La Hoya comes out fast and boxes smartly for the first round and takes it on all cards. The second is much the same with ‘Nard slightly frustrated with Oscar’s speed and Oscar taking this round. At the start of the third Hopkins rushes at DLH and a head clash occurs with a nasty cut over Bernard’s right eye. The rest of the round is pretty close. Between rounds Bouie Fisher tells Bernard they can’t stop the bleeding and you’re going to have to try and stop him as soon as possible. To open the fourth, Hopkins comes out throwing uncustomary bombs and has Oscar caught of guard against the ropes, landing a big right hand which partially stuns Oscar. De La Hoya covers up and slips a lot of the onslaught, even though still regaining his composure and engages in toe-to-toe combat. This slightly puts ‘Nard on the back foot, stunned at Oscar’s ability to trade when De La Hoya crashes a booming left hook, similar to the one he dumped Fernando Vargas with, and stuns Hopkins. A tight left hook- overhand right – left hook combination finds a home on Bernard’s chin and we have a new Undisputed Middleweight Champion. Call me an imbecile, and that’s OK because if anyone had said to me Roy Jones would get knocked out in the second round of any fight, not just against Antonio Tarver, you’d be called an imbecile too.

Toney Vs Klitschko

I have to say straight of the bat I’ll be one of the first PPV customers to purchase this barnburner if it ever gets of the ground. Here is a look at the possible outcome.

VK comes out behind the jab in the first peppering Toney and trying to gauge the distance to unleash his attack dog of a right hand. Toney slips most of the shots and lands a couple of stiff jabs and body shots. At the start of the second, Toney catches a right hand and is momentarily stunned and a follow up right puts “Lights Out” down, but it was more of a flash knockdown than anything which has Toney up at the count of six.

This gives Dr. Ironfist too much confidence and he tries to bomb out Toney over the next two rounds, while Toney just takes the body of V.K. to school. At the start of the fifth round, Vitali walks straight into a massive right hand, as big a shot as Toney can muster and is hurt badly. He also realizes his left eye is cut, the same eye Lennox put through the meat grinder. He throws bombs at James, who slips most of the punches and lands one of the cleanest, hardest left hooks seen in the heavyweight division in years. Dr.K covers up and Toney goes to work landing in excess of twenty unanswered power shots causing the referee to stop the fight at 2:46 of the fifth round.

At the moment both of the above predictions sound ludicrous, I admit that myself, but after witnessing the events in Las Vegas last Saturday night, I’m becoming increasingly partial to devastating upsets and look forward to a few more in the not so distant future.
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