This was without a doubt one of the most painful fights I’ve ever endured. It wasn’t the most punishment I’ve ever seen a fighter take, and it wasn’t painful in the sense that one of the fighters wasn’t putting forth effort or reaching his potential. It was painful in the sense that Roy Jones Jr. got thoroughly beaten, and in a manner and style that was uniquely his when he was in his prime. When Roy Jones Jr. fought from about ’90-’03, he had the ability to make his opponent look foolish. He could administer punishment for 36 minutes and not even break a sweat. He could escape fights looking unharmed. Roy personified the sweet science of the sport; to him it was about inflicting as much pain while receiving the least. He could toy with his opponents because he was so much smoother, quicker, and better. He could stick his chin out there and just dare the man across the ring to hit him. And when he wanted to land a big punch or a combination, he could. But that was Roy Jones Jr. in his prime, at his best. That was a Roy much different from the one we were forced to watch on Saturday night.
Saturday night at Madison Square Garden, there was a complete and utter role reversal that took place. Roy Jones Jr. went from being the dominant athlete — the one who called the shots in the ring and embarrassed his opponent — to the guy who was getting pummeled. It was truly sad to see. Joe Calzaghe whipped him and he whipped him good. He could stick his chin out two inches away from Roy’s gloves and leave himself unguarded and nothing would happen. Roy was so lost he didn’t even notice he had wide open shots. Calzaghe dominated the footwork, pinning Jones in the corner at will, unleashing combination after combination. He was so much faster and so much quicker than Roy that Jones Jr. became the chump. Calzaghe completely turned the tables on Roy and has nothing to apologize for. Every tactic and all the showboating Jones Jr. did when he was on top of his game came crashing down in 36 of the saddest minutes I’ve ever seen in the ring. That was the first time I’d seen Jones Jr. cut so badly and bleeding all over the place. That was the first time I’d ever seen him so thoroughly embarrassed. I can’t ever remember seeing a one-time legend looking that foolish at his own game, a style that he practically invented.
Roy, for my memories’ sake, please retire. I can’t bear to see that happen again. That fight was truly, truly sad. And there wasn’t even a question; after the first round knock down, Calzaghe won and dominated every succeeding round. No doubt about it. You looked old and it’s time to call it quits — hopefully you’ll realize that.