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Erasing The Legend Of Roy Jones Jr

Having just witnessed the last round stoppage of Roy Jones Jr. by Denis Lebedev, it is now clear that the American fighter must retire; for his own health.

It is one of boxing's worst kept secret that Jones has been in decline for many years, racking up defeats to Antonio Tarver (twice), Joe Calzaghe, Danny Green, Bernard Hopkins (in their second 'fight' if you can call it that) and of course now Lebedev.

Never has a natural talent of the sport fallen so far from grace, going from packing out arenas all over America to fighting 10 rounders in Russia. Jones reportedly has a lot of financial problems, and looked every bit the part of the fighter there for the pay day in the build-up to the Lebedev fight.

Take nothing away from Lebedev though, just as Calzaghe before him, he now has a win over Roy Jones Jr on his fight record.

The sicking finish in the final round, was surely an indication for Jones, if he chooses to watch it back to call it a day.

Even the fights that Jones has won in recent times (Jeff Lacy and Omar Sheika) have been seen as safety-first bouts against opponents who would not trouble even this shadow of the once arguable pound for pound king.

The first defeat of his career, a needless disqualification against Montell Griffin, began his downward spiral, although a lot of people noted that he was never the same fighter after dropping back down to Light Heavyweight after beating John Ruiz to win the WBA heavyweight belt in 2003.

Since that time Roy has operated mainly at Light Heavyweight, but has never looked the same fighter and has recently operated at Cruiserweight against Green and Lebedev; losing both by stoppage.

Despite dropping Calzaghe in the first round of their fight in 2008, he was a dismantled, bloody mess by the end of what proved to be Joe's swan song from the fight game.

Lest we forget the good times of Jones at his majestic best, slick, switch hitting, and dominating the likes of Glen Kelly (the infamous one punch knockdown) and the lesson he handed out to Ruiz.

During the sixth round of his fight with Vinny Pazienza, it was noted that Jones was one of the only fighters in history not to get hit by his opponent in a round. Of course, we are not counting the cowardly effort of Audley Harrison against David Haye last November.

Roy Jones Jr. fans will preach to you that he would have destroyed all in his path in his prime, unfortunately this is not his prime and he must now assess the future and surely call time on what was once a glittering career.

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