Roy Jones Jr. Plays with Fire

By Robert Ecksel on October 22, 2011
Roy Jones Jr. Plays with Fire
Jones believes he’s invincible. But belief, much like invincibility, will take one only so far.


I’m not sure how many times one has to write the same thing over and over again, but it may depend on how many times Roy Jones Jr. (or Evander Holyfield for that matter) decides to climb through the ropes to fight another time.

On Dec. 10 in Atlanta, Jones (54-8, 40 KOs), still fighting at cruiserweight, will take on journeyman Max Alexander (14-5-2, with 2 KOs).

This fight, unlike his last three fights, looks like a bout Jones should win. But one never knows. The clock is ticking, and sooner or later the chimes will sound at midnight.

The 42-year-old former pound-for-pounder, who missed the opportunity of a lifetime to retire after he defeated John Ruiz in 2003 to win the WBA heavyweight title, believes he’s invincible. But belief, much like invincibility, will take one only so far. That reality hasn’t intruded on Jones is a mystery wrapped in an enigma and delivered by two fists bent on destroying him.

Jones has accomplished more in his four decades than most of us could ever dream. But our dream and Jones’ dream have coalesced and become one and the same; namely, a dangerous illusion.

Roy Jones isn’t done with boxing, and when that happens is anyone’s guess, but boxing is done with him. It’s not that we won’t report whether he won or lost. That’s no less of an obligation than advising Roy to call it a day.

That he can no longer compete at the highest level and now risks, life, limb, and coherence if he doesn’t get some sense knocked into him seems obvious. Jones needs to be reminded that he’s playing with fire. He’s not made of asbestos, but of vulnerable flesh and blood.

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  1. mikecasey 07:54am, 10/23/2011

    Long time gone, this fella. He can only be chasing his pride and that’s dangerous. He just seems to go all at once when he gets tagged - and it’s been like that for some time now. Years ago the great Del Flanagan was retired by his local commission after a worrying streak of bad form. It’s never a pleasant thing, but some guys do need to be protected from themselves.

  2. Lee Seaman 05:00pm, 10/22/2011

    love you Roy ...you’re my hometown boy…but you should have retired undefeated and stick to doing commentary.

  3. The Thresher 04:51pm, 10/22/2011

    The damage may already be done. We will know in about 10 years.

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