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Five audacious jumps in weight

Roy Jones Jnr vs John Ruiz
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Roy Jones Jnr vs John Ruiz

Had the peerless light-heavyweight champion retired straight after this win we would be talking about Roy Jones Jnr as one of the greatest of all time. In the opinion of many learned boxing scribes, regardless of the final years of his career, Jones Jnr is right up there with the best boxers of any generation. Unfortunately, like many of the sport’s finest, Floridian Roy went on, and on, and on some more, way past his sell-by date. Whether or not an unnecessarily elongated career (that finally ended as recently as February last year) diminished his standing in the eyes of some, the glittering career he achieved up to the Ruiz fight speaks for itself. Jumping up two weights to take on the WBA king was a fantastic feat, even if the Massachusetts champion was one of the more lumbering heavyweight belt holders in recent years.

Jones pulled out the full assemblage of shots on the night. Feinting, moving in and out of range, popping Ruiz with shots from every conceivable angle, Roy was on another level. Cutting off all of the accumulated mass to return to light-heavyweight was one thing, but after beating Ruiz, many feel Roy simply made the return to his natural weight class far too quickly. Only eight months after the heavyweight masterclass Jones was labouring to a points win over the excellent Antonio Tarver. Knocked out by Tarver in the rematch, and then again by Glen Johnson during a torrid 2004, Jones was never the same fighter despite scoring some reasonable victories in the ensuing 14 years of competition.

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Steve Wellings
Honorary graduate of the Prison Canteen. Covering boxing since 2005 ~ Wolves fan ~ wannabe boxing raconteur.