Weekend Review: Jones’ big night
Jeff Lacy (left) had no answers for Roy Jones Jr. on Saturday night in Biloxi, Miss. Photo / Scott Foster-FightWireImages.com
Roy Jones Jr.: Don’t read too much into Jones’ lopsided victory over Lacy on Saturday in Biloxi, Miss. Jones looked good primarily because Lacy was so bad. Still, Jones, 40, gave us glimpses of the old master and certainly set himself up for another decent payday. He confirmed after the fight that he’ll face Danny Green on Nov. 21 in Australia. It seems Jones’ strategy in old age is to fight a mediocre opponent, win impressively, make some money and then do it again. That could keep him going for years, although he won’t be doing his legacy any good.
Jeff Lacy: The former Olympian and one-time super middleweight titleholder seemed to try as hard he could on Saturday. He just has nothing left, if he ever really had anything of substance. He simply plowed forward and threw slow, ineffective punches as Jones – sometimes talking the crowd – toyed with him from beginning to end. It was painful to watch. Lacy said after the fight that he planned to continue fighting. Let’s hope he comes to his senses. What’s he going to do? Fight in club shows for a few thousand dollars? That might be the position he’s in after that performance.
BIGGEST WINNER II
Danny Green: The Aussie didn’t earn this distinction because of his performance against Julio Cesar Dominguez on the Jones-Lacy undercard. He looked ordinary. He’s a winner because both he and Jones won, meaning the slugger from Perth will have the opportunity to fight a ring legend on his home turf down under. Green won’t beat a still-capable Jones, at least not the Green who stopped Dominguez. However, he’ll undoubtedly get a good-sized payday and be the center of attention in front of a large crowd somewhere in his home country. He must be one happy man.
Nonito Donaire: Donaire didn’t look great against Rafael Concepcion on Saturday in Las Vegas but deserves some credit. He fought a rugged, very aggressive guy who outweighed him by a good 10 pounds and found a way to win fairly easily. He used his athleticism and skills to keep the Panamanian at a distance for almost the entire fight, engaging him only enough to score points and win a clear decision. Donaire wanted a knockout but, all in all, it wasn’t a bad night. And I applaud him for going through with the fight in light of the weight difference. That was a gamble.
Bernabe Concepcion: There are late punches and there are late punches. Concepcion flattened Steven Luevano a good two seconds after the bell to end the seventh round, immediately earning himself a disqualification on the Donaire undercard. Freddie Roach, his trainer, probably was right when he said that Concepcion blew it because he got excited after seemingly hurting Luevano a moment earlier. However, it doesn’t matter whether you hear the bell or whether you intentionally land a late punch; it’s still a foul. And that was a bad one.
Vivian Harris: The former junior welterweight titleholder was very upbeat about his future and had hoped to make a big impression in his first fight for Golden Boy Promotions on Friday night in Tucson, Ariz. Instead, a freak accident spoiled his night. Harris was hit in the temple when his head collided with that of Noe Bolanos, which sent him to one knee. Moments later, when the ring doctor was examining him the corner, he collapsed and was taken out of the ring on a stretcher and transported to a hospital. This probably won’t be a significant setback for the Brooklyn, N.Y., resident but it had to be tremendously disappointing.
Nick Charles: The well-liked veteran broadcaster, Showtime’s blow-by-blow announcer for Shobox, is facing a serious battle with cancer but you wouldn’t know it by his demeanor. He was cheerful when he answered the phone from his hospital room and, because he’s unselfish, began peppering me with questions about the Web site and telling me how much he liked it. He talked about his condition openly and honestly but was optimistic that treatment would be effective. To say he had a positive attitude under these circumstances would be an understatement. In other words, he’s handling this with as much grace as anyone could.
Vitali Klitschko: The gigantic Ukrainian was as lovable as a puppy at a news conference to promote his fight against Chris Arreola on Sept. 26 in Los Angeles. He was warm (who rubs their opponent’s shoulders at a news conference as he did?), engaging (even though he’s still learning English), self-deprecating (in a calculated way), funny (see quote below), always smiling and genuinely giddy to be fighting in L.A. again. The man is a true professional who carries himself with a great deal of grace and class. He’s a pleasure to be around. And, oh yeah, he’s not a bad fighter.
Women’s boxing added to Olympics: Some of the most-entertaining fights I’ve seen live were women’s bouts. And they’re just as passionate about what they do as the men. I remember talking to Lucia Rijker once. I asked her opinion of the opposition to women’s boxing. Her measured response was that she feels this is what she was born to do. Or in her words, “This is my essence, this is who I am.” That’s hard to argue with. Bottom line: The women deserve the same opportunities as the men. And this is good for boxing in general because it will increase the number of participants and probably the number of fans.
Vitali Klitschko, to Chris Arreola: “You have respect for all people. Please don’t hit me so hard. I’m 10 years older than you.”
Michael Rosenthal can be reached at [email protected]