More Than Just A Fight

By Tom Donelson
Updated: November 10, 2008

IOWA CITY, Ia. — Joe Calzaghe defeated Roy Jones, Jr. in a fight that signifies the end of era for Roy Jones, Jr.. Between the early 90’s through 2003, Roy Jones, Jr. was the best pound for pound fighter as he easily dominated fighters between the Middleweights and the light heavyweight before taking a portion of the Heavyweight division when he defeated John Ruiz.

From that high point, Jones was never the same fighter as he barely beat Antonio Tarver before losing three fights in a row decisively. Tarver knocked him out in their second bout and Glen Johnson pounded Jones for nine rounds before stopping him.

While he survived the third Tarver bout, there were times that Jones valued survival more than winning in that third bout. After running a three-bout win streak going into the Calzaghe’s bout, the big question was how much did Jones have left.

While his victory over Trinidad gave his boosters hope, Jones came into the Calzaghe’s bout as the underdog. His best hope was his right, a favored weapon against a southpaw and as Bernard Hopkins showed after his fight with Calzaghe, the Welsh fighter was vulnerable to a straight right.

Calzaghe ended up on the floor after Hopkins nailed him with a right in the first round. In the Jones fight, history repeated itself. After the first two minutes, Calzaghe pursued Jones and appeared to have the upper hand.

Jones nailed Calzaghe with a right uppercut and Calzaghe went down, stunned. It looked like that maybe, Jones has turned back time and was in position for an upset.

The second round was competitive but after that; it was all Calzaghe.His hand speed and his own quick reflex gave Jones trouble and in the fifth round, a Calzaghe straight left open up a cut over Jones’ left eye; the first cut in his career.

From this point, Jones’ power ebbed and he no longer had the quickness to combat Calzaghe. There was a time that Jones would have defeated a fighter with Calzaghe style but those days have long since past and now Jones is just another good fighter; no longer a hall of fame fighter.

As for Calzaghe, he is the best light heavyweight and the only one who’s deserving of a shot at the recognized light heavyweight title now is the young Chad Dawson.

Over the past year, Dawson has survived his own version of a playoff by barely beating Glen Johnson and then out fighting Antonio Tarver. The only question is whether Calzaghe feels the need to fight him or if the money is right for Calzaghe to fight Dawson.

He really has nothing more to prove as he defeated two of America’s best pound for pound in Hopkins and Jones. Yes, both men were past their prime but Calzaghe is also 36 and now no one can question his place in boxing history.

He’s 46-0 with 23 of those wins in championship bouts show a fighter who fought and beat most of the better fighters of his generation. While Jones was not the fighter a decade ago, he showed that he was still dangerous with his right hand upper cut in the first round.

Calzaghe survived a knockdown in his two big profile fights and found a way to win. The really big story is not so much the fight itself, but how the fight came together.

Jones and Calzaghe promoted this fight themselves and essentially eliminated the middlemen. Over the past decade, many of the better fighters just as Bernard Hopkins, Oscar De Hoya, Roy Jones and now Calzaghe have become promoters for themselves and other fighters.

Calzaghe and Jones are preparing for a second act after their career in the ring is over by establishing themselves outside the ring. Like De La Hoya, Jones and Calzaghe are using their own influence to further their own careers and that of other fighters.

They are challenging the status quo of the boxing establishment. Neither fighters has to worry about their place in boxing history for they have established that in the ring.

Nor do they need to fight anymore except for further glory and money.

Another fight that had consequences for the Middleweight division occurred in Germany when Arthur Abraham dismantled a game but out gunned Raul Marquez. Marquez did not have the power and at 37, he didn’t have the speed to challenge one of the top two Middleweights.

Abraham is now setting himself for a big bout with Felix Sturm or even a bigger money fight with Kelly Pavlik. A Pavlik-Abraham could be one of the best Middleweights bout in a long time, if it could come about.

Maybe Abraham could take a page from Roy Jones and start texting Pavlik.This fight has appeal simply because these are the two best Middleweights in the world.