Thursday, June 08, 2023  |


Jones stops Sheika in five

Fighters Network

Roy Jones Jr. had no problem finding his target against Omar Sheika on Saturday in Pensacola, Fla. Photo / Scott

Not much can be said about Roy Jones Jr.'s fifth-round stoppage of Omar Sheika Saturday night at the Civic Center in Pensacola, Fla., but here are two observations from one of the unlucky folks who had to watch the dreadful pay-per-view broadcast:

1. Jones (53-5, 39 knockouts) looked sharp as ever out-classing Sheika for four and a half rounds before referee Tommy Kimmons prematurely stopped the bout on a cut. After nearly 60 pro bouts and 20 years in the fight game, the 40-year-old version of Jones hasn't slowed down very much. And even if he had, he would still be too quick for Sheika (27-9, 18 KOs), who looked dumpy and fought rusty after 17 months of inactivity.

2. Anyone who watched the live broadcast had to sit through one of the worst pay-per-view undercards in recent years. The card, which featured mixed-martial-arts bouts and boxing matches, was marred by boring fights and bad officiating.

Boxing fans who don't like MMA but ordered Jones-Sheika probably hate MMA after watching Saturday's card. MMA fans who don't care for boxing but ordered the pay-per-view card probably have a renewed reason for ignoring the Sweet Science.

On the MMA side, musclebound Bobby Lashley, a former WWE performer, won a unanimous three-round decision over journeyman Jason Guida in an uneventful 15 minutes of holding and grappling. Heavily tattooed MMA veteran Jeff Monson won an undeserving unanimous three-round decision over flabby, but seemingly more effective Ron Nelson.

On the boxing side, cruiserweight fringe contender B.J. Flores stayed busy and unbeaten, winning a boring 10-round unanimous decision over undersized journeyman Jose Luis Herrera.

Flores (23-0-1, 14 KOs) was too big, too fast and too mobile for the heavy-handed but limited Herrera (16-6, 16 KOs) to handle, however the likable boxer seldom pressed the issue against an opponent who has lost four of his last six bouts by knockout.

Perhaps that's because Herrera's last two victories were upset KOs of prospects. Flores, who sported bruising around his left eye after the fight, finally tried to impose himself on Herrera in the last 30 seconds of the 10th round and got rocked by a right hand for his efforts.

Flores played it safe and got the “W,” the way Jones often fought against much-better opposition than Herrera during his long light heavyweight title reign in the late 1990s and early part of this decade.

However, Jones has become more bold in his old age. Like Flores, he had the perfect opponent in front of him, but unlike Flores, the old man let his hands go and tried to put on a show for his hometown fans.

For four and half rounds Jones did a pretty good job of exciting the crowd, teeing off on Sheika with an assortment jabs, hooks, body shots and one-two combinations in a dominating first round. A lead left hook landed near the end of the opening round buckled poor Sheika's legs.

Sheika just couldn't compete with the blinding speed of his tormentor. Jones toyed with him in the second round, mugging and playing to the crowd even when his back was to the ropes.

However, Sheika, who has never lacked heart, kept plodding forward and plugging away until he finally caught Jones with a few left hooks in the third round. Jones, still clowning and showboating, happily returned fire – landing a few left hooks of his own.

Whatever momentum Sheika may have gained in the third round, Jones took away in the fourth by establishing a hard, quick jab that totally controlled the 32-year-old veteran.

Still, Sheika would not give up. Jones, relaxed and confident, continued to pot shot his bold opponent with power punches in the fifth round. After landing a flashy, head-twisting lead hook, one of these shots opened a cut over Sheika's right eye. Kimmons took a half-second to look at it and immediately waved the bout off.

Kimmons didn't have a ringside physician look at the cut. He didn't ask the fighter if his sight was impaired in any way. He didn't give Sheika a chance to try to finish the round or his corner the opportunity to work on the cut between rounds and try to control the bleeding.

He just abruptly stopped what was no doubt a one-sided fight, but by far the most entertaining bout of the evening.

In the final analysis, the stoppage was probably for the best.

But it was an unsatisfying ending to a very unsatisfying night of fights.

Doug Fischer can be reached at [email protected]