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By David A. Avila
Five years have passed since the new millennium, and the cracks of the old guard fading into the sunset were never louder than seeing Roy Jones Jr. sink below stellar status in his last three fights.
The former pound-for-pound king was revealed to be mere mortal against boyhood nemesis Antonio Tarver, who nearly beat him a year ago then sent him to unconsciousness in their rematch in June 2004. A subsequent knockout loss to Glencoffe Johnson last September ended Jones' era and a chance to be compared to all-time great Sugar Ray Robinson.
It was Jones' legs that denied him.
Other icons of the '90s, Oscar De La Hoya and his nemesis Sugar Shane Mosley, both endured defeats in attempts to ply their talents against bigger foes. Though gallant in their attempts, both succumbed to defeat opposite heavier but not more skillful opponents.
Bigger is better.
But Bernard Hopkins, despite his 40 years, continued to prove his thirst for recognition prods him forward in a madman's mission for recognition. His wins over De La Hoya and against No. 1 challenger Robert Allen thrust him to the top as boxing's true pinnacle pugilist, bar none.