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Old 01-22-2013, 06:35 AM   #95
Loudon
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Default Re: I see Roy Jones hanging past his prime is hurtin his legacy more than Ali hurt hi

Part 2.

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He also had a chance to beat a HW long before he eventually did, when he reportedly signed to fight Douglas but later backed out. Had he followed through on that fight at that time, he would've had ample time to either pursue a career at HW or come back down to LHW and fight guys like Tarver, Dariusz, Calzaghe, etc. while he was still under 30.
I discussed this the other week. There were a few reasons it never came off, the biggest one being his Dad stepping in. Roy and Big Roy hadn't spoken for years and it tore his family apart. It really upset Roy's sister who he's extremely close to. Big Roy didn't want him to go through with it. The other factors were, he still had unfinished business at 175, and he was only young back then, and he knew he'd get another shot further down the line. So he agreed with Big Roy and took the olive branch. Just a year after the Douglas fight fell through, he unified against Reggie Johnson. History tells us that he couldn't have come back for Calzaghe and DM.

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To put it simply, he shouldn't have waited until he was in his early 30s to start taking the kinds of risks or making the kinds of concessions that he had previously refused to make.
What concessions had he refused though that we haven't already discussed?

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I fully understand the reasons he turned down or didn't pursue certain fights, but the thread topic specifically asked to evaluate Jones' legacy, not his pride or business sense. Jones made a conscious decision to give greater priority to issues other than his legacy. He reaped the rewards of that decision, but now he has to suffer the consequences as well.
This is a common misconception though, people saying he was reluctant.

How would his resume have looked with Benn, DM, a Hop rematch, and Tyson and Lewis on it? King blocked the Benn fight by wanting a 3 fight option. Roy was willing to do a deal just for the fight. Jacobs and HBO tried to get the DM one, and Murad tried to get the others. It wasn't a conscious decision.

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From purely the standpoint of legacy, it does hurt him that he was ultimately dominated in overdue fights against longtime rivals.
Give me an example. Calzaghe? He fought Roy 4 years after Johnson had knocked him cold, 9 weeks from his 40th birthday, and he'd dismissed him as a challenge twice leading up to the fight. That fight harms Joe's legacy.

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And as I've said before, I don't hold Jones solely responsible for the Dariusz fight failing to happen. But at the same time, Jones did have genuine chances to make that fight happen prior to the series of events you described above, and he didn't follow through on them. Once again, even if you believe Jones was justified in declining those opportunities, the fact still remains that he made a conscious choice to leave a gap in his legacy.
He unified in 99. He had a few mandatories, then fought the winner of Harding and Tarver. In 2001, HBO, Jacobs and Murad, went all out to get the fight. It's clear that DM wasn't interested. We know what he did afterwards. How did he make a conscious choice to leave a gap? He sent Jacobs to meet with HBO execs to make the fight. When the fights with Hop and DM couldn't be made, that's when he decided to move to heavy, because there was nothing else to accomplish.

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If Jones had simply shown the same readiness to travel overseas to fight Dariusz as he did for Green and Lebedev, then he could've settled matters right there and then.
Once again, his circumstances were different back then. He was the best fighter in the world, the unified champ, and he was 32. The champ doesn't go to you, you go to him. As discussed, he's now in his 40's, and he's now got to go to other people's back yards. Why? Because they've got something that he wants.

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Ali solidified his legacy by actively pursuing and making the biggest fights available (i.e: Liston, Foreman, Frazier, Norton, Foster, etc.), settling matters with upstart rivals (Terrell), and beating opponents on their home turfs (Cooper, Chuvalo, Mildenberger) and in hellish conditions (Manila). Those are things that Jones largely declined to do until he was over 30, and his legacy correspondingly suffers for it.
They were different era's. The 90's were a lot different to the 60's and 70's. I agree though that Ali would fight anyone. There's no disagreeing with that. But fighters fought each other back then, and there were less belts, and less promoters, and the politics that go with them. Manila was neutral territory, but I get your point. Again, your being a little harsh on Roy. It's not as simple as just saying that he declined. Ali also had great rivals in Frazier and Foreman etc.

Roy's Frazier and Foreman was Toney. Tarver became his rival in the end, but he was in his mid 30's by then. Roy never really had an opportunity to have a Manilla or a Jungle. It's the same with the Fab Four. They all fought each other in great fights. But again, Roy never had those opportunites that they had.

Ali is a hero of mine, but I think that it's very unfair to compare a heavyweight that was born in 1942, to a middleweight that was born in 1969.

Great debate, I'm really enjoying it.


Regards, Loudon.

Last edited by Loudon; 01-31-2013 at 06:44 AM.
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