By Greg Stiller: 44-year-old Roy Jones Jr. (56-8, 40 KO’s) will be returning to the ring this month on December 21st to fight at the Dynamo Palace of Sports in Krylatskoye, Moscow, Russia. While Zine Eddine Benmakhlouf (17-3-1, 8 KO’s) has been listed as Jones Jr’s opponent for that date, it’s still possible that he could wind up facing someone else in a 12 round bout for the WBC cruiserweight title.
Jones Jr. hasn’t fought in a year and a half since defeating Pawel Glazewski by a 10 round split decision in Poland. Jones Jr. looked decent against a weak opponent that he would have wiped out years ago. Let’s be clear about this; the light heavyweight Glazewski likely wouldn’t last one round against champions like Adonis Stevenson and Sergey Kovalev. The fact that Jones had to go 10 rounds to beat him by a split decision reflects on how over-the-hill Jones Jr. is at his late stage in his career.
It’s not a good thing that Jones is returning to the ring after nearly 2 years being out of it. He still had some of his once blazing speed in his last fight against Glazewski, but the reflexes to avoid incoming shots wasn’t there, he was hit way too much in this fight than he should have. That’s no issue if Jones Jr. is matched against a weak opponent for his December 21st fight, because than he’ll have a better chance of taking their best shots. But if it’s anyone with a little bit of power, Jones could find himself in a dangerous spot in this fight. He’s lost 3 out of his last 5 fights, with two of them coming by knockout. That’s a good sign that Jones Jr. is way over the hill and he needs to be thinking of retiring rather than fighting on.
Jones Jr. works for HBO as analyst and he’s doing a pretty good job. Hopefully that’s something that will become his main focus in the years to come so that he doesn’t need to keep fighting into his late 40s.