Monday, September 25, 2023  |



Roy Jones Jr. shines in his farewell fight, outpoints Scott Sigmon

Is it an American bias to think that Roy Jones Jr. was unstoppable at 168 pounds? Not really. He was amazing in his prime. Photo from the Ring/Getty collection
Fighters Network

Roy Jones Jr. said farewell to the sport he’s loved for nearly three decades with a dominant performance against Scott Sigmon on Thursday in the main event of Island Fights 46 at the Bay Center in Pensacola, Florida.

The unanimous decision victory, which was broadcast on UFC Fight Pass, was the perfect swan song for a fighter who electrified crowds with his extraordinary athleticism during the early part of his career while claiming world titles at middleweight, super middleweight, light heavyweight and heavyweight (the only fighter to accomplish the feat). He hasn’t been the same since a stunning knockout loss to Antonio Tarver in 2004 — and suffered several other devastating knockouts since then — but continued to press on with his career despite his advanced age and diminishing skills.

His opponent for his final fight would be Scott Sigmon (30-12), who has faced (and lost to) the likes of Ronald Gavril, J’Leon Love, Caleb Truax, Kelly Pavlik, Luis Arias and Matt Korobov. Regardless of his average record, the 30-year-old figured he would be able to keep up with the future hall of famer and make a name for himself at his expense.

He couldn’t have been more wrong.

Sigmon tried to pressure the 49-year-old early and work on the inside. However, Jones showcased flashes of what made him the BWAA’s Fighter of the Decade in the 1990s with wicked uppercuts on the inside, punctuated by his patented head and body hook. Sigmon did his best to grind on Jones, but the four-division champ simply smiled and shredded his opponent in the opening round.

It was evident that Sigmon underestimated what Jones had left in the tank and paid dearly for it as Jones dominated every aspect of the fight. Whenever Sigmon closed the distance, Jones throttled him with body shots. And when there was distance between the two, Jones showcased impressive speed and reflexes for a man pushing 50.

Jones nearly put Sigmon away in the 4th as the deposits to the body began to pile up. With Sigmon backing off, Jones sprang to action and walloped his overmatched opponent with slicing lead hooks and blistering combinations.

Try as he might, Sigmon had nothing for Jones on this night as the Olympic silver medalist mugged for the crowd and painted his opponent with combinations.

Jones again attempted to make a highlight reel out of Sigmon in the ninth round as he kept his back on the ropes and ripped his opponent with body shots and hooks. The trademark walk away lead scored toward the end of the round as Jones smiled.

The final three minutes of Jones’ career saw him create space and rock Sigmon with hard combinations. But he wouldn’t be able to score the knockout that he sought and instead had to settle for three scores of 98-92.

Afterward, Jones revealed that he had a torn bicep but refused to pull out of the fight. He also had a message for UFC president Dana White regarding the only fight he would come out of retirement for.

“Dana, I know you’re listening. I know Anderson Silva is suspended but that’s the only fight I’ll return for,” Jones said. It’s a fight that he has been pursuing for the better part of a decade and one he holds out hope that it could eventually come to fruition. “Other than that, this chapter is closed.”

Jones ends his career with a 66-9 record with 47 knockouts. He may not be the greatest of all-time, but he certainly has made a lasting impression on the sport of boxing with a career that spanned three decades and is littered with spectacular highlights.