As he continues to wind down a Hall of Fame career that officially became a punchline with his pathetic lip-synching performance in Russia in April, Roy Jones Jr has his passport ready for a trip to Poland on June 30, where he'll face Dawid Kostecki.
Unlike Roy's trips abroad to fight Danny Green and Denis Lebedev, he's facing neither a contender nor a guy who used to be a contender, and there's nothing really on the line in this one. It's a ten-round fight without even some bogus fringe title up for grabs.
Jones (55-8, 40 KO) did win his last fight over Max Alexander in December, something I paid to see (on replay, really, since it was Khan-Peterson night) because I'm a sick human being with no moral compass, and I'd watch this one, too, but I have a wedding to attend that day, so I'm going to be spared seeing this live as it happens.
It's kind of a shame, since the slow and increasingly forlorn evaporation of Jones' credibility has become something of a morbid pastime for me, something I observe and keep close tabs on so that I hopefully learn something as a boxing fan and critic, and maybe the next time I see a favorite fighter keep on fighting until it becomes stomach-turning, I won't be surprised, or even care that much at all. Actually, it's already kind of helped me process the ongoing tragedy that is Shane Mosley's career.
Jones vs Alexander was a straight-up club fight. I know one of the guys fighting was Roy Jones, but it was in an empty "venue" in Atlanta, against a really bad opponent, in a fight that nobody cared about. The last time Roy tried to fight in the States was in his hometown of Pensacola against Danny Santiago, and they had to cancel that one.
This idea that there's still an audience out there that wants to see Jones -- believe me, I've heard this as a reason he keeps fighting -- is completely bogus. Nobody cares. If they did, his fights wouldn't be UStream pay-per-views in empty civic centers in non-boxing markets. He travels because, for whatever reason, he wants to fight, and he can't make money fighting in the States anymore. He's no different than Evander Holyfield.
This fight was actually announced a few days ago, but I put off talking about it until I could figure out things to say about it -- that's where I'm at with Roy. I don't care. He's going to fight. C'est la vie.
Kostecki (39-1, 25 KO) has a pretty record, but it's also really empty. Anyone he's beaten with any level of "name value," he's beaten them far past their sell-by date, including Lolenga Mock and Byron Mitchell. The 30-year-old is so mediocre that there's even, I suppose, an outside chance that Jones might win, but that would depend on Kostecki not throwing punches, since Jones has major problems when guys throw punches at him, in that he turtles up, often on the ropes, and waits until they stop before bringing his hands away from his face.
Watching Roy Jones fight now is like watching one of the countless shitty Jones imitators we've seen over the last 10-12 years. They always think their reflexes are better than they really are, which is how Jones is now. They always think they're way faster than they really are, which is how Jones is now. Jones still shadow-boxes OK when he's shooting a promo for weight loss challenges or the like, but in the ring he's really a dud now. He shouldn't be beating anyone decent at this point, because he's got nothing to offer -- no power, average speed, lousy chin, weak defense. If Kostecki loses to Jones, Kostecki should quit. I'd say Roy should quit if he loses, but Roy should have quit years ago.