Saturday, December 12, 2015

Roy Jones Jr. Knocked Out By Enzo Maccarinelli as Russian Dream Crumbles

Photo: (VASILY MAXIMOV/AFP/Getty Images)
By Peter Silkov
Former pound-for-pound number 1 in the world, Roy Jones Jr., saw his much heralded debut in a Russian ring turn into a nightmare tonight at the VTB Arena, in Moscow.  Jones Jr’s. dream of breathing new life into his career disintegrated with every passing minute of the bout, as he was out-muscled and out-sped, by opponent Enzo Maccarinelli, before being savagely knocked out in the 4th round.

Roy Jones Jr. has recently moved to Russia and taken on Russian citizenship, and has found himself feted and fussed over by the Russian fans in a way that he has not been treated in America for at least the last decade. Perhaps it was a new beginning.

Instead, the new beginning came to a violent end.

From the start of the fight, things looked ominous for Jones Jr., who will be 47 years old in 5 weeks time. Maccarinelli looked the sharper fighter from the start, and also seemed to have the edge in strength over Jones Jr. The two exchanged punches early on, but it was the Welshman’s shots that carried more force. While Jones was trying to work off the jab, Maccarinelli was firing to the head and body, and landing with worrying regularity. The fact that Enzo’s hand speed was troubling Jones Jr. was a clear early sign that this was not going to be a happy night for Jones. After Maccarinelli won the first 2 rounds by virtue of his crisper more accurate punching, Jones came back to edge the 3rd round with some flashes of his old brilliance.  Yet, just when it looked as if Jones Jr. was working his way into the fight, he suddenly looked very old in the 4th round. Enzo came out more forcefully in the 4th, firing his punches with real venom, and after driving Jones Jr. to the ropes, he landed a brutal uppercut, which send Jones Jr. down face first onto the canvas. Surprisingly, Jones Jr. beat the count. He rose with an embarrassed smile, but the smile soon faded when Enzo was upon him again, driving him back to the ropes with a two-fisted barrage, then a vicious uppercut, and right hook to the head that saw Jones Jr. drop forward onto the canvas again, where he landed with a sickening thud. Happily this time, there was no count and the medics rushed to Jones’ aid with impressive quickness. This was a bad knockout which ever way you looked at it, but for a soon-to-be 47 year old, with a long line of amateur and professional contests behind him, a knockout like this can be fatal.

There is a limit to how much the human body can withstand.  At his best, Jones Jr. was an all-time great with talent to burn. He had the kind of speed and elusiveness that you usually don’t see in the ring. But, that was a long time ago, and with his reflexes and speed robbed from him by age, Roy Jones Jr. is no longer able to dodge the punches that he once would elude with an almost embarrassing ease.  Part of Jones Jr.’s problem is he still tries to fight the way he did in his prime, but he just can’t.  

Against Maccarinelli tonight, Jones Jr. at times looked almost defenseless, against a man who at 35, is hardly in the first flush of his career either. 

Maccarinelli declared before his fight that Jones Jr. was his idol in years gone by. The affable Welshman’s celebrations were muted after the fight, as he seemed genuinely upset at what he had done to Jones Jr., but Maccarinelli just did his job, and deserves credit for performing so well after his own recent career setbacks and inactivity.  Jones Jr. came into this match on a 8-fight winning streak, but Enzo was the first fighter he had faced in a long time who held a dangerous punch.

Once Jones Jr. would have out-sped Maccarinelli with ease, but the fact that it was Maccarinelli, not Jones Jr. who was the faster and sharper fighter tonight, shows beyond doubt that it really is over for Roy Jones Jr. 

Perhaps Enzo Maccarinelli did Roy Jones Jr. a favour today by knocking him out so brutally and embarrassingly in front of his new Russian fans. Hopefully he has shown Jones Jr. that his place in the ring now is that of a trainer, not a boxer.

Let’s hope so.

 Copyright © 2015 The Boxing Glove, Inc. Peter Silkov Art. All Rights Reserved. Peter Silkov contributes

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1 comment:

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