June 5th, 2013 By Zak "Attack" Young
FEW FIGHTERS WALK AWAY CHAMPION
San Francisco, CA- In combat sports, fighters who have built great legacies often carry on their careers a bit too long. Looking back, one can pinpoint the moment when they should have retired and kept their legacies completely intact rather than tarnishing them by taking too many beatings once they passed their primes. Not everyone gets to go out on top like
ROY JONES JR.
One of the best fighters of the 1990s, Roy Jones (56-8, 40 KOs) was simply electrifying in the ring. He made world class opponents look like complete amateurs with his blinding hand speed and quick reflexes. Unfortunately for Roy, speed and reflexes are the first things to go in a boxer. After taking the WBA heavyweight title from John Ruiz in 2003, Jones should have hung up the gloves for good. He accomplished a feat no middleweight had in a century, and it would have been the perfect end to a sterling professional career. Jones was never the same after dropping back down to light heavyweight, which showed in his next fight against Antonio Tarver (29-6, 20 KOs).
FIRST TARVER FIGHT CLEAR INDICATOR
Though Jones earned a unanimous decision victory, he clearly looked like he was past his prime. He was knocked out for the first time in his career in a rematch with Tarver, and has been stopped three other times since. Jones has now lost 7 of his last 16 bouts since defeating Ruiz, after compiling a record of 47-1 prior to fighting for the heavyweight belt. Four of those losses have been stoppages, with 3 of them being brutal knockouts that no fighter should ever experience. Roy Jones should have, and could have, retired with an impressive record of 48-1 with his lone loss coming by disqualification in a fight he was winning. Jones will likely be remembered as an all-time-great, but he will also be remembered for his tepid performances over the last ten years that have featured a mere shell of the formerly invincible pugilist.
“SUGARLESS” SHANE MOSLEY
Though Shane Mosley (47-8-1) was able to pick up a decent win over ham & egger Pablo Cesar Cano (26-3-1) recently, he has been on the decline for years. Many people feel he should have retired after back-to-back losses to Ronald “Winky” Wright (51-6-1, 25 KOs) back in 2004, but I disagree. Shane simply did not match up well against Wright. The same was true of the late Vernon Forrest (41-3, 29 KOs), who was a stylistic nightmare for Mosley. They say every great fighter has that one last amazing performance in them even after they reach the point where they are clearly past it. I believe that for Shane, that performance came in 2009 against Antonio Margarito (38-8, 27 KOs).
NIGHT MARGARITO CAUGHT “LOADING” GLOVES
Shane was a huge underdog in that fight, and many questioned his decision to step into the ring with the relentless Mexican. Mosley certainly gained a boost from that fight in the form of an illegal substance being discovered in Antonio’s gloves prior to the bout, but Shane took full advantage of this discovery. He gave Margarito arguably the worst beating of his career, becoming the first to stop him. Since pulling off the upset, Mosley is just 1-3-1 in his last 5 fights. Though he has fought mainly elite competition in Floyd Mayweather Jr. (44-0, 26 KO), Manny Pacquiao (54-5-2, 38 KO) and Saul Alvarez (42-0-1, 31 KO), Mosley has shown he is just not quite elite anymore.
MOSLEY HEADED TO RUMMY VILLE!
Shane is beginning to slur his speech and has a son who boxes now. There is no need for him to continue taking damaging blows at 41 years of age after accomplishing so much in his career. Though his legacy will always be tainted as a steroid cheat, Mosley is only causing more harm to his name by continuing to compete.
JUAN MANUEL MARQUEZ
This one will be controversial to a lot of you out there, but I truly believe the time has come for Juan Manuel Marquez (55-6-2) to ride off into the sunset. Unlike the other two fighters I listed, Marquez can still compete at an elite level. He would give any fighter from 130-147 a run for their money. Marquez is one of the best counter punchers in the sport, and is as tough as they come. The reason why I believe he should retire is because I do not see any way he can top his last performance.
MANNY PACQUIAO STILL SNORING?
Marquez left Manny Pacquiao horizontal on the canvas for several minutes after a beautifully placed right hand counter dropped the Filipino icon in the 6th round of their 4th clash last December. This devastating knockout is no doubt the highlight of Marquez’ illustrious career, and is a result that is nearly impossible to duplicate. I feel that Marquez has the perfect opportunity to call it a career and go out on an extremely high note. Unfortunately, it looks like Juan will fight on, with a match against fellow Pacquiao conqueror Tim “Desert Storm” Bradley (30-0, 12 KOs) looming in the fall. Though it is undoubtedly a hard decision to make, I feel Marquez has nothing to prove in the ring at this point. He has beaten the best and been defeated by some of the best. After 3 close fights against a man widely seen as one of the greatest of this generation in Pacquiao, Marquez was able to earn a shockingly definitive result in their last meeting. There truly is no way to properly follow a performance like that, and at 39, his chances only become slimmer. Why not go out on top, Juan?