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Newz Forum: BOXING: Jones Blames Boredom

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posted on May, 17 2004 @ 11:49 AM
(NY Post) LAS VEGAS - It was a scene as stunning as it was once inconceivable: Roy Jones flat on his back, staring at the roof of the Mandalay Bay Events Center and wondering what was that tank that just crashed into his jaw.

An overhand left from Antonio Tarver, a punch powered by the anger of feeling disrespected, exploded on Jones' jaw in the second round of their fight here Saturday night. It was only Tarver's seventh punch of the night, but it sent Jones crashing to the canvas near Tarver's corner, much of his body sliding under the ropes.

Jones had been down only once before in his brilliant career, and never significantly hurt. Certainly, he had never endured the fury that was behind Tarver's punch.

LeBron James, Eddie Griffin, Amani Toomer and the great Jim Brown were among the packed crowd that stood in stunned disbelief. Jones had the same glazed look Mike Tyson wore after being hit by Buster Douglas in 1990. Widely regarded as the best pound-for-pound fighter of his generation, Jones tried to pull himself up as referee Jay Nady's count reached six. But he stumbled again at seven and eight, prompting Nady to wave off the bout at 1:41 of the second round.

"He got me with a good shot," Jones would later say. "It can happen to the best of them."

What was more stunning? The punch? Or how Tarver did exactly what he said he was going to do: destroy Roy Jones? Vowing to win Jones' WBC and IBO light-heavyweight championships, Tarver talked trash up until the opening bell when he told Jones during pre-fight instructions, "What is your excuse going to be tonight, Roy?"

After it was over, Jones offered one: boredom.

"These fights don't motivate me; the heavyweight fights do," he said. "I don't know what I'm going to do yet. If I don't have any more interest than I do now, I might as well just give it up."

Take nothing away from Tarver. In the first round, Jones looked to have the faster hand speed, offering quick jabs and hooks to the body, while working in the center of the ring. Tarver, a lanky southpaw, was content to stalk. The second round began much the same way until Jones missed a right cross and Tarver countered with a overhand left that is now part of boxing history.

"He came out and tried to dictate the fight, but I just kept my composure," Tarver said.

Tarver (22-2, 18 KO's) should enjoy some immediate prosperity, easing the burden of having to recently file for Chapter 11 bankruptcy. He earned $2 million Saturday night, while Jones earned $6 million.

"I stayed with my dream and it came true," Tarver said. "That was a perfect punch, a beautifully executed punch. This means everything to me because for so long, people said I couldn't do it, wouldn't do it. Roy Jones is a great fighter. I want to thank him for setting the bar so high. But now it is my bar."

Jones, 35, could fight a heavyweight or perhaps Felix Trinidad, who returns to the ring against Ricardo Mayorga on Oct. 2. Somehow, the thought of him ending his career being knocked out doesn't quite fit.

"I don't feel good about this," Jones said.

* Brooklyn's Zab Judah fought as if he was bored in earning a lackluster spilt decision over Rafael Pineda in a WBO wel- terweight elimination bout. Judah was so pleased with himself for dropping Pineda in the seventh that he lost most of the last five rounds on the judges' cards. He did barely enough win: 114-113 and 115-12 on two cards, and behind 115-112 on the other. Judah was fighting only six weeks after losing a tough brawl with Cory Spinks.

Copyright 2004 NYP Holdings, Inc. All rights reserved.


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