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By William Dettloff

Show business, like its not too distant cousin, prizefighting, is busting with axioms. One from the old days goes like this: Be good to the people you meet on the way up, because you’re going to meet the same ones on the way down.

It’s good advice for fighters, who are all but guaranteed to finish up about where they started. They never see it that way, though. Most of the gifted ones burn bridges on the way up, and if they’re good and lucky enough to stay at the top for a while, they take the ashes and blow them into the wind.

Bridges? We don’t need no stinkin’ bridges.

Which brings us to Roy Jones.

Those who tired quickly of Jones’ prima donna act in the glory days must be giddy at the sight of the once pound-for-pound king all but groveling for a shot—in Wales, no less—at super middleweight and light heavyweight champion Joe Calzaghe.

This from a guy who, at the top of his game, simply refused to face the less formidable Dariusz Micalczewski, though there was good reason to, and whom by most credible estimates he’d have beaten easily.

Many believe Jones wasted the largest part of his prime avoiding big fights. But with the exception of Micalczewski, he thoroughly cleaned out a light heavyweight division that happened to be weak, yes, but was no weaker than the middleweight class Bernard Hopkins was similarly decimating. (And, for the record, it was far superior to the detritus over which Calzaghe was presiding.)

Still, with the exception of his win over John Ruiz, Jones was largely content to do most things the easy way, and that didn’t change until he decided to give Antonio Tarver a rematch. We all know what happened then.

Fast forward to the present: Jones, still aglow with a rediscovered and probably ill-informed pride and vigor since his win over Felix Trinidad in January, attended Calzaghe’s ugly win over Hopkins last week in Las Vegas. Afterward, he lobbied hard, trusted sources tell me, making his case for a Calzaghe fight. And he used a surprise weapon: charm.

Gone was the too-cool-for-the-room Jones who, back in the 1990s, would sit through a two-hour interview and refuse to smile or even attempt to appear interested. This is a new, friendly, accessible Roy Jones who is all of the sudden on ESPN a lot getting interviewed and making nice with Calzaghe and reporters and showing up on time for appointments.

Maybe this is a ploy by Jones for something else. Maybe he’ll price himself out of the fight, though there are rumors already that it will happen in November. I hope it does. I like this new, humble (and maybe delusional) Roy Jones. I hope he stays around a while.

Some random observations from last week:

So does Jesse Feliciano not care what happens to his brain when he gets hit so much like that, or is he too muddled already, at 25, to get it?

I don’t know which is more embarrassing—that Jose Sulaiman is in the International Boxing Hall of Fame or that the Parade of Champions Grand Marshals this year are Pat Cooper and Ed “Too Tall” Jones. Who’s on tap for 2009, Soupy Sales and Bubba Smith?

Anyone looking to make a Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. vs. Hector Camacho Jr. match for the novelty of it should be ashamed. That would make the fight between their old men—in which Chavez pummeled Camacho almost sympathetic over 12 one-sided rounds—seem competitive.

Thanks goodness Trinidad, according to reports, has passed on a fight with Jermain Taylor. No one needs to watch Tito take punches anymore for no good reason.

The one question I have after watching HBO’s countdown to De La Hoya-Forbes: How long did it take Floyd Mayweather Sr. to memorize that entire poem? That was amazing.

I would gladly pay my cable carrier cash money for the pleasure of hearing Roger Mayweather’s expert analysis from ringside.

Raise your hand, if, like me, you forgot that Paul Spadafora is undefeated.

It is very shrewd indeed of Dana White to prohibit Anderson Silva from facing Jones in a boxing match. Brilliant bastard.

If it happens that Calzaghe meets and defeats Jones, there will be no end to this “Legend Killer” nonsense. When the combined age of the two legends in question is almost that of a rookie Las Vegas fight judge, it just doesn’t mean as much. Sad but true.

So Keith Kizer and the Nevada Commission found “no evidence that an eight-ounce glove would be significantly less safe than a 10-ounce glove” at the very same time that Bob Arum was out there trying to convince them of that exact thing. What a marvelous coincidence.

Bill can be contacted at [email protected].

Team Mayweather
24,365 Posts
This guy has alot of his facts all wrong. especially about michelcheski. Jones had a set date to fight him but he pulled out with a bad hand and jones was forced to fight clinton woods. A very biased article.

1,123 Posts
I like William allot he's got a sharp sense of humor, and great writing style. Factually, I just take what he says as truth.

This quote is hilarious.

"I would gladly pay my cable carrier cash money for the pleasure of hearing Roger Mayweather’s expert analysis from ringside."
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