Originally Posted by cross_trainer
This is one of your first posts I wholeheartedly agree with. Jones was often uncannily accurate in assessing fights, and his own instinctive fighting ability was about as un-robotic as it gets. He managed to maintain a high level of performance even after his blazing reflexes began eroding.
Definitely a thinker in the ring.
I could not disagree more.
"Un-robotic" is not a measure of mental prowess. Arguello, Monzon, and Ortiz could look pretty robotic in there and no one would question their genius. Louis was the original "killer robot"... Jones' was an athletic marvel and every bit of his strategy revolved around his physical gifts. He was beautiful with making a man miss by timing the incoming shots and then slamming home a return, but that isn't mental fortitude.
Jones still has above average athleticism in the ring. During his prime, his speed, reflexes, and timing were so far beyond the average fighter that the faintest slippage had people believing he was "shot". When has Jones ever been outgunned? He has never met a fighter faster than him and I'm not sure that even Ruiz would match the force of Jones' shots due to the speed and leverage that he showed. He stunned Ruiz early.
The point is that I'm not sure that you can really measure superior mental prowess if he was not forced to make adjustments because he was out-maneuvered or outsped. Jones did in fact have strategic problems with Futch's puppet strings on Griffin -and he had no effective answers -and he hit him when he was down out of frustration. I saw nothing that you would call tactical adjustments. McCallum was his techical superior and Jones never dueled with him for any length of time inside. He did what he does -outspeeded him and potshoted him.
Jones eaked by against Tarver the first time (although I thought he safely won), got wrecked in the rematch, and lost the rubber match handily. What adjustments did he make?
Genious is best measured A.) when a man is outgunned and has no business winning and B.) when the gifts of youth have deteriorated...the fighter is forced in these situations to rely on guile and strategy and we can isolate these from other things. Think Duran-Barkley, not Jones-Pazienza.
Jones doesn't fit here with the likes of Moore, Duran, Ali, either of the great Leonards, or even Hopkins (though I think he'd beat Hopkins always, prime for prime).