By Paul Magno | February 12, 2018

This past Thursday, future Hall of Famer Roy Jones Jr. had his supposed final fight-- a unanimous decision win over journeyman Scott Sigmon in Pensacola, Florida. Here’s hoping that he keeps his word and stays retired. 

In his prime, Jones was an untouchable virtuoso. Maybe the most dominant fighter I’ve ever seen. He was almost otherworldly, like he was operating from another dimension or, at the very least, an entirely different speed than his opponents. Think about it-- he made near-prime James Toney and pre-prime Bernard Hopkins look absolutely regular. Crazy. 

But, man, enough’s enough. 

It’s hard to fathom, but Jones has stuck around 18 years past his prime. And, although he will be rated among the greats as the fighter he was as a young man, each and every beating he took or lackluster win he registered since then is another bit of distance between the here and now and what fans should remember about him. 

Nobody fell from dominant to regular as fast as Jones did and by 2008, he was already a mere shell of what he once was. To see him be “out-Roy Jonesed” by Joe Calzaghe-- a fighter he would’ve toyed with in his prime-- or knocked senseless by a Danny Green who wouldn’t have even been a good sparring partner back in the day, well, it was sad and, even though it shouldn’t have, it made me forget a bit about just how special he once was. 

Again, here’s hoping he stays retired and is not tempted to come back against another journeyman or, worse yet, Anderson Silva. Even Jones’ legacy may not be strong enough to hold up if he happened to get KO’d by Silva.

Quick (S)hits:

-- Hank Lundy pretty much went through the motions Saturday night in beating 43-year-old DeMarcus “Chop Chop" Corley. He then confused everyone who was paying attention by calling out WBA lightweight champ Jorge Linares and insisting that he would not take step aside money for Linares to meet Vasyl Lomachenko. 

“He’s talking about fighting [Vasyl] Lomachenko,” Lundy told his hometown Philadelphia crowd, “but you’ve gotta talk some big bucks, man, because I ain’t stepping aside. You gotta fight me.”

Lundy, however, is not ranked anywhere in the WBA’s top 15. 

I have to admit, the odd declaration sent me straight to the WBA’s website and Boxrec to make sure I wasn’t missing something.

-- Speaking of Vasyl Lomachenko vs. Jorge Linares, depending on who you talk to, a bout between the two may or may not be in negotiations at the moment. Lomachenko promoter Bob Arum has told media that talks are underway for his fighter’s move up to lightweight against WBA champ Linares. Eric Gomez, president of Golden Boy Promotions, who promotes Linares, however, says that Arum has never reached out to him to discuss the fight. Gomez insists that Lomachenko’s next opponent is already determined and it’s going to be the winner of the upcoming Ray Beltran-Paulus Moses fight for the vacant WBO lightweight title. Arum, for his part, did say that the winner of Beltran-Moses would be the fall-back opponent if talks with Linares (that GBP says aren’t happening) didn’t pan out. Hmmmmm.

-- With Keith Thurman looking for a tune up or two after returning from elbow surgery, Shawn Porter waiting on a Thurman return bout as the WBC’s top contender, and Errol Spence tied up with an IBF mandatory against unheralded Carlos Ocampo, the PBC welterweight contingent is pretty well stuck in place for the time being. Expect Saturday’s Devon Alexander-Victor Ortiz on Fox and Showtime’s Danny Garcia-Brandon Rios later on to be a playoff of sorts, with the winner of each bout squaring off this summer in a PBC 147 time-filler. You would think that the preferred match-ups would be Garcia-Ortiz or Rios-Ortiz with the winner of THAT one to move on to an Errol Spence bout in late fall or early winter. Hell, even if Ortiz and Rios both lose on Saturday, it would be smart to wring one last interesting fight from each by matching them against one another and rekindling a heated rivalry that goes way back. There are options for the Haymon welters, but things would be a lot better if we could get the big three in some interesting fights ASAP.

-- People are going way overboard on Billy Joe Saunders, talking up the possibility of him moving on to unify middleweight titles against the winner of Canelo-Golovkin 2. Okay, yeah, he put on a real clinic against David Lemieux in a bout everyone had as a pick ‘em coming in. But it was only a pick ‘em because Saunders has been so erratic as a pro, both in terms of his ring performances and his ability to stay focused and in shape outside the ring. As things turned out, the one-dimensional Lemieux looked to be the one in subpar shape and lacking focus that night. Saunders did his thing and looked damn good, but how much of that was due to him being reborn as a fighter and how much was because of Lemieux being sloppy as fuck? Likely, a little of both. The big question with Saunders, though, is whether he can keep going in the right direction-- and there’s nothing in his history that suggests he can. Adding a new trainer and changing scenery can nudge a fighter back on track for a bit, but a man will almost always return to being the man he is inside. Saunders should be able to handle upcoming challenger Martin Murray fairly well, but the Canelos and Golovkins (or Charlos, Jacobs, Andrades) of the world are an entirely different matter. He has the skills to be great, but only time will tell if he can maintain the discipline to match those skills.  

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