Roy Jones Jr., Boxer on the Edge of Forever

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Roy Jones Jr., Boxer on the Edge of Forever
By Robert Brizel, Head Real Combat Media Boxing Correspondent

Sportswriter Robert Brizel’s education on when a boxer’s career is supposed to end had its book rewritten when commentator ageless legend Roy Jones Jr. signed to fight Bobby Gunn at the Chase Center in Wilmington, Delaware, on February 17, 2017.

Jones, 64-9 with 49 knockouts, Pensacola, Florida, turned 48 years old on January 16, 2017. Sort of like an Evander Holyfield and a Bernard Hopkins hybrid, Jones, once the best fighter in the world, does not quite seem to know when his ring career should or will end. Roy’s real conflict came when he won the world heavyweight title, then lost his motivation to stay atop every division. When you’ve done it all, and won world title in multiple divisions, it’s hard to stay focused to that degree on that level. 46-0 Joe Calzaghe had trouble motivating himself beyond a certain point, and so retired.

Roy remains motivated to forge on, but not at the level he was when he was the best in the world. As to whether or not Bobby Gunn represents a challenge, in a previous Real Combat Media interview, Bobby Gunn revealed the opportunity to fight Roy Jones Jr. is, in the least, a challenge and a dream for him. In fact, Jones versus Gunn, 21-6-1 with 18 knockouts, Hackensack, New Jersey, has been an off again on again almost fight for years, and Roy is honoring the commitment. Gunn’s chances of defeating Jones are remote, given Roy’s generalship and vast experience. Still, you never know what can happen after the bell rings in any bout, though in most cases the result remains as consistent as the fighter.

The vacant World Boxing Foundation Cruiserweight title bout between Jones and Gunn constitutes Roy’s motivation to win a title at age 48, a lesser known world title but a title nonetheless. Roy has won 10 of 11 fights since 2011, when he won a UBO world title at cruiserweight. The opponents have not been at the ‘A’ level during this stretch, perhaps because Roy’s commentating career has been of greater motivation and interest to him.

Roy began his career at age 18 in May 1989 at super welterweight with a TKO victory in his pro debut over Ricky ‘Junkyard Dog’ Standall at the Civic Center in Pensacola. Roy’s bout with Bobby Gunn will not be lucrative nor widely publicized. A victory over Gunn would be the most beautiful way for Roy to put a period on his career as he transitions into full-time commentating and promotion. As for Gunn, ‘The Celtic Warrior’, he has nothing to lose at age 43 by fighting Jones, in what should be the final fight for both. Nothing lasts forever. The long distinguished career of Roy Jones Jr. will end pleasantly in Wilmington.

Robert Brizel
Robert Brizel
A native of New York’s Catskill Mountains, long a haven to boxers in training, New York City educator and sports writer Robert Brizel holds five university degrees in the education field, and has been writing about boxing since 1975. Robert has been an internet only boxing writer and photographer since 2008, and previously wrote for Saddoboxing. An old school writer rare in that he writes and takes his own boxing photos simultaneously, he seeks out different angles to create original stories. Robert is a frequent sight reporting boxing events in Atlantic City Casinos and New York City. Now expanding his writing to add MMA. Married with a daughter. A sharp dresser, Robert’s electric personality brings class and to events he covers. The only active boxing writer today licensed as a boxing manager and corner man, Robert works the corner in New York and New Jersey on occasion, adding a unique perspective and dimension to his perceptions of the fight game today. Also a trained vocalist who performed on the Catskill hotel nightclub stage for a decade as a child
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