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Oscar De La Hoya Blog: Jones should retire

02
Dec

Oscar De La Hoya was stunned by Roy Jones Jr.’s first-round knockout loss to Danny Green on Wednesday in Australia and saddened by the fate of a once-great fighter who has continued to fight with diminished skills. De La Hoya gives his take on the fight and Jones in this week’s blog entry.

This is one of those cases you see all the time, a great fighter who doesn’t know when to call it a day. And it wouldn’t shock me if Roy Jones fights again. He probably will because of his stubbornness and competitiveness.

In my case, I recognized that my skills were diminishing. It wasn’t that my desire for the sport wasn’t there. If I had the skills and reflexes, I’d get in the ring tomorrow. I just recognized that I don’t have it any more; I’m not the same as I was. I was very lucky to find that out and then stand firm on my decision to retire.

It’s not easy. When you’ve fought at the highest level and you sit at ringside for a big fight, you want to be up there and perform. I miss the stage. I’m not a prime Oscar De La Hoya, though. The fact I can’t compete at the highest level eats at me.

At the same time, I realize that it’s over. In Jones’ case, his decline started when he was first knocked out by Antonio Tarver in 2004. When he was knocked a second time, by Glen Johnson, he probably should’ve said to himself: “Enough is enough.” Now we’re talking about a third time. I think he should consider retirement very carefully.

My advice, as a former fighter and person who doesn’t want to see one of the greats of our era get hurt, would be for him to retire. You’ve done it all. You demonstrated who you are. There’s no need for you to keep fighting.

I watched the fight on YouTube. It didn’t even look like one of those shots that would take you out, one of those solid, solid shots. He just get hit right on the temple and didn’t recover. It looks to me that he’s very vulnerable, which is why I say he should seriously consider retiring.

It might be different if he were younger. If you’re young, it’s OK. You can come back. If he were younger, we might’ve been able to salvage the fight with Bernard Hopkins. When you’re at the end of your career and lose, though, there’s no turning back.

I feel bad because he’s such a legend. You can see that he’s not the same. It’s kind of like when Joe Louis and Sugar Ray Robinson, these type of fighters, fought toward the end of their careers. They lost to guys they would’ve easily beaten in their primes. It’s just sad. And it shouldn’t be that way.

I don’t know Roy Jones on a personal level but I do know that he’s loved and respected by many. Just hang ’em up now – please.

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