On Saturday October 1st, Showtime is scheduled to air a very interesting and potentially exciting fight card. A card potent enough to even spoil Roy Jones' welcome back party. Ok, lets weigh our options; you have three potentially entertaining fights. Lets say for argument's sake that all three fights are boring, but you have three of the biggest stars in boxing fighting that night. Rafael Marquez? This guy has dynamite in his hands. Chris Byrd? Arguably the best heavyweight in boxing right now. If not the best heavyweight, then he is the best boxing heavyweight. And last but not least, we have "Lights Out" in the house on the night of the first. At 68-4-2-1, what more can you say about James Toney? By far one of the better boxers this generation has seen. The man is the total package; he can do it all. You want to box? He can box. You want to slug? He can slug. You want to counter punch? He can do that to. And oh, he has the defense too, plus a beard and a half. In 75 pro fights he has only been down twice, and they were just flash knockdowns. That speaks volumes considering that he's fought in five different weight divisions. Adding the fact that Byrd and Toney are fighting on the same night makes for some interesting television. The scenario of the two meeting in the squared circle is now much closer to materializing.
IBF Heavyweight Champion Chris Byrd (38-2-1, 20 KOs) will make the fourth defense of his title against mandatory challenger DaVarryl Williamson (22-3, 18 KOs). In the heavyweight co-feature, James “Lights Out’’ Toney (68-4-2, 43 KOs) will make his eagerly awaited return to the ring since being sidelined by the steroid suspension following the Ruiz fight. Toney defends his IBA crown against Dominick “The Southern Disaster’’ Guinn (25-2-1, 18 KOs). And the IBF bantamweight champion Rafael Marquez (34-3, 30 KOs) defends his title for a sixth time when he takes on IBO 118 pound champion Silence “African Spice” Mabuza (18-0, 15 KOs).
Now the other fight on the table for October 1st is the Tarver-Jones rubber match. The fight will be televised live on HBO PPV, with the asking price of $49.95. If the fight were worth it, I'd say order it. But I wouldn't be doing my job if I did that.
This fight means nothing. If Roy beats Tarver, Tarver would look foolish. And within the blink of an eye, the "Magic Man" would disappear. Everything he worked so hard for to achieve would vanish because he lost to a shot fighter. Now if Tarver beats Jones again, then big deal. Wasn't he supposed to do that? Now for argument's sake yet again, I will play the devil's advocate and give some possible scenarios that could materialize if Roy wins. It's actually quite simple, he would move down to 168 and fight Bernard Hopkins again. Who would want to see Jones against Clinton Woods again, or Jones versus Gonzalez? The Hopkins fight would be the only fight that would make sense.
I've got a question for the boxing public. If Roy couldn't deal with the weight loss from heavyweight to light heavyweight when he was on top of his game, how is he going to handle dropping from light heavyweight to super middleweight after being knocked out unconscious not once, but twice? There is a slight of a risk for both fighters, but more so for Jones in regards to his health. But what's the reward? Please don't misconstrue what I am saying. I don't take anything from Antonio Tarver but beating Roy Jones again isn't going to have the same effect it did when it happened last May. And where would he go from there? Will he stay at light heavy and fight Paul Briggs or Fabrice Tiozzo? Who cares! These are not the fights we want to see. Maybe a smarter move for Tarver would involve moving to cruiserweight. That would be a lot more interesting than a third Jones bout. Maybe a fight with Mormeck or "Big Truck" Braithwaite would catch the public's eye?
Again, I take nothing away from Roy Jones. Roy is my favorite athlete of all time; he was the Michael Jordan of boxing. It gets me very upset to hear these 'so-called' experts not giving this man the respect that he deserves. We should all be grateful that we had a chance to see this man fight. If James Toney is one of the better boxers of this generation than Roy was the best. Remember he beat Toney. Not only did he beat him, he completely clowned him. Roy is the best fighter this generation has seen since "Sugar" Ray Robinson. But like all of us, Roy is human. Father time catches up with everyone. As you get older your reflexes erode and your instincts vanish. And that's the case with Roy. His legacy has been cemented, so whatever happens from now on means nothing.
Now you're probably saying to yourself right now as we speak that you will catch the HBO replay on the following week, on October 8th. But let me remind you that Chico Corrales and Jose Luis Castillo are scheduled to get it popping again that night on pay-per-view. Now what do you do? I'll tell what you what you do you have a big party in your home and you order the fight. As well as giving Showtime the credit they deserve for televising the fighters that we want to see.
Smarten up my people, save your dough for the following week. If you're going to make a fight on pay-per-view, then make sure its interesting and make sure its fighters that the public have an interest in seeing. If you're going to pay fifty or sixty bucks, you want to make sure you're getting your money's worth. You want to Morales versus Pacquiao. You want to see Jorge Arce versus Hussein Hussein. You don't want to see a one hit wonder who just happened to catch a past his prime fighter at the right time. If Roy would have continued winning after his knockout loss to Tarver, then I say his stock went up. But he didn't, which means that he caught him at the right time.
You can fool some of the people some of the time but you can't fool them all the time.
Till next time 'Stay Up!' Thanks...