Yes, my good fellows, Roy Jones Jr. is scheduled to enter the ring once again on July 26th, reports ESPN's Dan Rafael. In this match-up he'll be taking on Britain's Courtney Fry (18-5, 6 KOs) in Riga, Latvia.
If you're picturing Jones Jr. circa mid-to-late 90's, than this fight against the British journeyman would easily be a mismatch of epic proportions. But in 2014, pretty much any professional fight for Roy is worrisome. Though Roy is coming off three consecutive victories, albeit against people you've likely never heard of, he has no reservations about continuing his career or fighting Fry coming into the bout.
"I know he'll give it all he got, which is what I want from any opponent," Jones said. "I want to go out and do my thing and take what I've been doing in the gym to the boxing ring."
Many people have called on Jones to call it quits for years now, but he is stubbornly unwilling, rebutting with the following rationalization:
"You do think about it but it's hard to leave when you know you still got it. I know I still got it," he said. "I'm very much looking forward to [going to Latvia]."
I'm sorry to tell you this Roy, but no, you do not 'still have it.' You haven't 'had it' in over a decade now.
As if this weren't bad enough, the undercard to this main event will also feature none other than James Toney (Dear God!), who will be taking on 6'9", 330-pound Evgeny Orlov (15-12-1, 11 KOs) of Russia. The promoter of this monstrosity, KP Promotions, originally wanted to put Roy back in the ring with James Toney for a rematch of their 1994 bout (yes, 20 years ago!), but Roy wanted none of it.
"I'm not doing that. For what reason? What do I gain from that? What am I gaining from that fight," Jones said. "I already beat him and beating him again does nothing for me. Besides, I want to fight for the cruiserweight title. I ain't interested in going up to heavyweight again."
At this stage of their respective careers, the fact that either one of them could be licensed to fight professionally anywhere in the world is disturbing. I know, I know, they both have the right to earn a living and it generally should be up to a fighter to decide when to retire but there has to be exceptions. Referee's have the ability to determine when a fighter's being too brave for his own good during a fight, and the same logic should apply here. I've seen Roy not only lose, but be completely separated from his consciousness more times than I'm comfortable with. James Toney, on the other hand, while never having been knocked out, is still mostly incomprehensible at this point.
When is enough enough? And isn't it about time we appoint Teddy Atlas as boxing's watchdog (as he so often clamors for) so that he, or someone, could put an end to all this madness?!