Let's rewind the clock back to May 15th, 2004 when Roy Jones had definitively fallen from grace when he was knocked out in two rounds in a rematch with Antonio Tarver. Prior to his second fight with Tarver, Roy was coming off of a very poor performance, capturing a majority decision win over Tarver in a fight that many didn't give Tarver a shot at winning. With Roy's recent success defying odds to become the only man to progress from junior middleweight to heavyweight and capture a belt with his win over John Ruiz, the odds were stacked against the 'Magic Man'.
In the matter of 47 minutes all previous notions that the newly crowned heavyweight champ would steamroll Tarver were thrown out the window and many began to seriously question what Roy had left. It seemed that time had finally caught up with Roy Jones with his poor performance as it does with most fighters that have relied on speed throughout their career, but Jones wanted to prove that this wasn't the case and the rematch was set. Once the bell rang in their second encounter it only took two rounds for Tarver to prove to the world that Jones had seen his better days and that Superman had finally found his kryptonite: father time.
Jones would go on to continue to compete after his KO loss to Tarver, finding little success in the ring defeating only journeymen and former stars that didn't resemble their former selves in any sense; most notably Felix Trinidad and Jeff Lacy. Since that May night when he was knocked out by Tarver, Jones has gone 5-6 being knocked out three more times—twice in his last three. Although many fans have been calling for Roy to retire for quite some time due to him taking unnecessary damage in the ring, Roy refuses to listen and continues to take beatings from men that he would have killed a decade ago.
During last night's HBO broadcast of Williams vs Lara, Jones was given the duties of being a ring side analyst for the night's fights as he has become a regular for the network's Boxing After Dark series. While Jones usually offers solid commentary from an athlete's perspective of the sport, his view on Williams' future as a fighter was extremely frustrating given his own recent battles in the ring.
On several occasions Jones made remarks about the damage Paul was taking at the hands of Erislandy Lara that saw Lara routinely tag Williams on the chin. Jones made comments along the lines of essentially calling for Williams' retirement because the shots he was taking were the same types of punches that damage fighters in the long run, and that his corner should stop the fight. To be blunt, it appeared that Jones was calling Paul a shot fighter that had nothing left.
While it's the job of the commentators to give us an unbiased analysis of what's happening I felt sickened to hear these types of remarks from a man like Roy Jones Junior. Roy Jones is far past his prime and if anyone needs to retire it would surely be him, not Williams. I'm not saying that Roy was wrong, but he came across as the biggest type of hypocrite there is; either that or he's just delusional. How can Roy sit their and say how last night's fight was such a hard thing to watch when he himself has been putting boxing fans through far worse viewings? If Roy wants to come across as sincere then maybe he should be his own counselor and really listen to his own commentary last night. Roy can't sit their and act like the brutality appalls hims when he's been the recipient of far worse beatings.
I tend to think that the fight we saw last night from Williams could be chalked up to an 'off-night'. If anyone deserves that much it's Williams. He's been in some great fights and was coming off an almost year long layoff. I'm not calling for Williams to retire, I would like to see Williams in another fight before I pass that type of judgment on the man. Unfortunately, Roy Jones is far too hypocritical to give Paul Williams that kind of pass.
In a perfect world Williams would be able to make this up by following up this performance with a solid win, but we don't live in a perfect world. We live in a world where former superstar athletes of the sport are allowed to prance around and call for other athletes to retire when they themselves need to be seriously looking at retirement. Let's hope the 'The Punisher' can come back and shut some of these people up. The man has given us some great fights and to toss him out like yesterday's trash is simply wrong.
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