What Roy Jones Jr. proved Saturday night at the Staples Center in Los Angeles was that he is certainly one of the best light heavyweight champions in a long time and that he is deserving of being called one of the, if not the, best pound-for-pound fighters out there today.
What he also proved is he is a hard-sell when it comes to pay-per-view TV fights.
Jones, (45-1, 36 KOs) did a number on Julio Gonzalez (27-1, 17 KOs), who foolishly challenged Jones for all his championship belts. Unfortunately, the fight, while better than most of Jones' previous fights, lacked any excitement or any doubt as to who would win after the first bell rang. It didn't take long, either, because Jones dropped Gonzalez in the opening round.
Jones, who had a chance to make an impression on fans and end the fight in round five after he knocked down Gonzalez hard in the opening moments of the round, instead took his time and let Gonzalez off the hook. Roy simply toyed with him and didn't finish the job.
Oh sure, Jones knocked Julio down again in round 12, but that was academic as the challenger - who never won a round in my opinion and the judges were close to that opinion, too - was a well beaten fighter by then.
There were scattered boos from the fans throughout the fight, mainly from rounds six through 12, as the fighters posed an awful lot, threw punches sparingly or not at all during some rounds and made what could have been a sensational knockout win for Jones into another semi-boring Roy Jones victory.
It was not all Roy's fault. Gonzalez didn't fight like he said he would beforehand. He didn't make the fight into a brawl and a battle. He was very cautious and instead helped make the fight dull, except for when he got knocked down.
Maybe that first-round knockdown - more of a surprise knockdown than a serious one like in round five - made Gonzalez more cautious, but he didn't fight much of a fight. Nor did Jones take advantage of what was in front of him.
Jones had the chance to look better than he did and let that opportunity slip away. To his credit, Jones did what a fighter is supposed to do in theory, hit and not get hit. Either he is so good, all his fights will be like that, or he is just too good for today's crop of fighters.
It's probably the latter, but if Roy wants to make those "big bucks" available only on PPV TV, he needs to be able to get the casual fan to buy his fights. As it stands now, I believe he loses a few more potential future buyers than he gains with each fight. By the way, HBO will show the Jones fight Saturday night at 10 .m. as part of its Boxing After Dark Series.
Maybe if Felix Trinidad beats Bernard Hopkins on Sept. 15, he and Jones will fight a mega-fight. That will sell, but more because of Trinidad than Jones.
Also on the PPV live telecast, Erik Morales (41-0, 31 KOs) defended his WBC featherweight title by taking a 12-round unanimous decision win over Injin Chi (24-2, 14 KOs) in a fight that had more action than the Jones fight.
They also showed Andrew "Six-Heads" Lewis, the WBA welterweight champ, fighting against Ricardo Mayorga. The fight ended seven seconds into round two when an accidental head butt opened a nasty cut on Lewis' left eye, forcing the fight to be stopped and declared a technical draw. That looked like it might have been the best fight of the night. Mayorga won the first round, but the butt ended all that.
-- The Carson City Boxing Club hosted an invitational amateur fight card at the Nevada National Guard Armory gym Saturday afternoon that was a huge success. Not only did more than 230 fans come out, they saw 12 fights that were all good. Everyone seemed well pleased with the fights and how smooth things went.
That's not always the case for amateur cards, but the local club did well and kept the show rolling. All things considered, they did an excellent job and put on a great show!
-- The ESPN2 live Friday night fights came from the Soaring Eagle Casino in Mt. Pleasant, Mich. The main event had former heavyweight champion Michael Moorer, now 33 years old, taking on Dale Crowe in a scheduled 10-rounder.
Moorer (42-2, 34 KOs) and Crowe clashed heads in round one that opened a cut over Crowe's right eye and when the cut worsened, the ringside doctor stopped the fight in round five and even though Crowe was taking a pounding from Moorer, they called the fight a technical draw because it didn't go five full rounds.
They showed five fights on the telecast, including hot lightweight prospect Juan Diaz - He's only 17 years old - stop inept Scott Buck at the 2:27 mark of round one. Diaz improved to 12-0 with 8 KOs while Buck fell to 13-11-1 with 9 KOs.
ESPN2 also showed highlights of the heavyweight fight between Bert Cooper and Joe Mesi that saw Mesi score a seventh round TKO win over Cooper.
This Friday the main event on ESPN2 has Angel Manfredy (37-5-1, 20 KOs) fighting Lamar Murphy (26-5, 18 KOs). It all begins live at 6 p.m.
-- Tonight on ESPN2 Tony Ayala (27-1, 24 KOs) takes on Santos Cardona (39-9, 26 KOs) in the main event from San Antonio. This show also begins at 6 p.m.
Last Tuesday, Mark "Too Sharp" Johnson (40-1, 27 KOs) was too sharp for outclassed Arturo Valenzuela (18-4-1, 16 KOs). "Too Sharp" stomped on him until the referee stopped the one-sided massacre 21-seconds into round six of their main event fight.
-- Don King has done it again! The flamboyant promoter got his fighter, John Ruiz, to say he had a "neck injury" so he could postpone his scheduled Aug. 5 fight in China against Evander Holyfield.
The only injury here would have been to King's wallet because the fight wasn't selling on PPV TV. King, who has done this many times before, seemingly got lucky when Ruiz came down with his so-called injury.
Anytime a King fight is not selling, suddenly a fighter becomes injured and the fight is postponed or called off all together. I just want to mention that a couple of years ago, King fighter Henry Akinwande, suddenly was discovered to have hepatitis the day before he was due to fight Holyfield. That poor selling fight was called off and never took place even though Henry made a miraculous recovery and is still fighting today.
-- I want to close by telling you the New York State Athletic Commission did something that surprised everyone. Remember a few weeks ago when Hector Camacho Jr. fought Jesse James Leija?
The fight ended in round five when Camacho claimed he "couldn't see" due to a dinky eye cut. Hector lied about it on HBO, saying he wanted the fight to continue when he actually told the referee and doctor he "could not see" out of the eye and did not want to continue.
Anyway, they went to the scorecards and Camacho was given the gift decision.
Well, New York reversed that call and declared the fight a technical draw instead, removing the win from Camacho's record and taking the loss off of Leija's record.
A good call by the New York commissioners, I might add ...
Alan Rogers is the Nevada Appeal boxing writer.