Former pound for pound multi-weight world champion Roy Jones Jr was in action on Saturday night, making his first ring appearance in almost a year at the Mississippi Coast Coliseum in Biloxi, MS.
Jones faced previously unbeaten super middleweight Anthony Hanshaw, a seven year pro who most recently had fought Frenchman Jean Paul Mendy to a draw over the vacant IBO 168 lb title.
From the start it was clear that the 38 year old living legend still had enough left to handle a grade B opponent. Jones conserved energy early on with a rope-a-dope that Muhammad Ali certainly would have appreciated, goading Hanshaw into expending a good deal of energy for very litle return.
Jones picked his spots all night long, stinging Hanshaw with counters to both the head and body. But the same lack of reflexes that resulted in KO loses to Antonio Tarver and Glen Johnson, earned Roy a fair amount of leather from Hanshaw as the fight progressed.
By the midway point in the bout, Jones' potshotting began to have an effect on his opponent as Hanshaw was hurt in the seventh and ninth rounds but the former four division world champion never tried to finish off his quarry.
In the eleventh frame, Jones turned back the clock to unleash a vicious multi-punch combination that put Hanshaw on the floor for the only time of the bout. Again, Jones never tried to finish the job and by the time it was all over, the veteran had posted a 118-109, 117-110 and 114-113 unanimous decision win to secure the vacant IBC Light Heavyweight title.
Jones wins his second bout in a row, improving to 51-4 (38), and afterward spoke of facing the currently retired former welterweight and light middle world champion Felix Trinidad. Hanshaw suffers his first loss, seeing his record to 21-1-1 (14).
Also on the bill, former WBA Featherweight champ Derrick Gainer defeated ex-WBU Super Bantam titlist Carlos Navarro by a dodgy split decision, ex-world cruiserweight title challenger Ezra Sellers stopped Troy Beets in the sixth at heavyweight and former NABF Welter beltholder Oscar Diaz posted a no decision after suffering a bad cut in the first round against Juan Manuel Buendia.