Roy Jones Jr got a big entrance, complete with a stirring playing of the Russian national anthem (he's a citizen now, you remember), but once the bell rang, all the hype in the world didn't help, as he was blasted out in the fourth round by a bigger man in Enzo Maccarinelli.
Maccarinelli, a former cruiserweight titleholder and light heavyweight title challenger, is past his own best days at 35, but is far closer to his prime than the 46-year-old Jones, who has feasted on a steady diet of easy opposition over the last few years, building up an empty eight-fight win streak coming into this bout.
It was clear in the opening round that Maccarinelli (41-7, 33 KO) had strength and punching power that was dangerous for the aged Jones (62-9, 45 KO), who leaned back on loose ropes in the hopes of avoiding shots long enough to do something. Jones' hand speed isn't what it was, but is still pretty good for a cruiserweight, and he was able to land a shot here and there.
But without his legs, Jones simply can't protect his chin anymore. He tends to do little more than lean on the ropes as a defensive strategy, and eventually he does get hit. When it's something who has legitimate power like Maccarinelli, it's a problem.
Jones was dropped hard on an uppercut, which could have led to a stoppage from a merciful or worried referee, but the fight continued on, so that Maccarinelli could completely demolish a defenseless Jones with a series of clean power shots, sending Roy Jones Jr, once the greatest fighter in the world, falling slowly to the canvas, knocked clean out, tipping like an old tree in the forest.
It was a sad should-be ending to what has become a sad spectacle in the last decade, but it was hardly unexpected. Jones' last fight against a serious opponent came in 2012, also in Russia, against Denis Lebedev, and he was gruesomely knocked out late in the 10th round of that fight, too.
This should be it for Jones, and maybe it will be. But maybe not. He fights because he wants to, because he still has ambition. The reality is that it's not there anymore, though. Not at anything sniffing world level, anyway.
Here's the first knockdown:
And here's the finish: