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Danny Green KOs Roy Jones Jr in Round 1! December 3, 2009

Posted by pacejmiller in Boxing.
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I was all pumped to watch the highly anticipated showdown (in Australia anyway) between Danny Green and the ‘legendary’ Roy Jones Jr in Sydney on the night of 2 December 2009.  Unfortunately I was stuck at work until midnight, though fortunately I managed to find a forum that was providing live updates.

So I see a post about Roy’s gay ring entrance.  Great, I say, the fight’s about to start.  Next upload a couple of minutes later…WTF?  Roy Jones Jr just got KNOCKED OUT!  Round 1.  By Danny Green.  The Danny Green that was supposedly too slow, too methodical, too dumb.  It was the most shocking result I never expected to see.  A Danny Green win I could see.  A KO win, perhaps.  But Round 1?  You’re a liar if you say you saw that coming.

I felt terrible for the fans who waited on the edge of their seat all night through the crappy undercards and delays, and blah, all over in 122 seconds.  Great value for money.  On the other hand, I felt relieved that I didn’t make the trek down to watch the fight on the big screen, not when the fight was available on YouTube in its entirety shortly after it was all over.

Since then I have watched the fight about half a dozen times.  Here, you can too, thanks to YouTube.  It’ll only take a couple of minutes.

Is there much point in recapping or analysing?  Contrary to the opinion of Jones groupies who refuse to realise this is a 40-year-old man who has been brutally knocked out twice (and has never been the same since), Roy Jones Jr did not throw the fight.  He was, as always, cautious in the first round, but I think it was clear he wasn’t prepared for Green’s pressure.  In the 122 seconds the fight lasted, Jones only threw left jabs.  Not a single right hand, not a single left-handed power shot.  All he did was back up and jab.  It only took Green 30 seconds to corner him for the first time and land some decent punches.

And the overhand right that knocked Jones down (74 seconds in) and effectively ended the fight landed in virtually the exact same way and the exact same spot as Glen Johnson did back in September 2004 – right in the temple – except back then, Jones didn’t get up for more than 3 minutes.  They say once you get knocked out like that, you’re never the same, and that was Roy’s second consecutive brutal KO (the first coming in his previous fight against Antonio Tarver some 4 months earlier).  Maybe Jones has a glass head (ala his mate Anthony Mundine), but he has always dropped his left hand low.  Back in the day when he had unparalleled reflexes, he could get away with that, but at 40 years old, it became a massive opportunity for Danny Green.

The fight probably should have been stopped earlier when Green pounced on Jones immediately after the knockdown, where Jones was fed a steady diet of ripping shots without throwing back or even attempting to tie up his opponent.  But the referee allowed things to go on (perhaps not wanting to be criticised for ending things too quickly), and for a while, it almost looked like Jones was going to last the round.  So I suppose there is some merit in arguing that the referee stopped the fight prematurely, but when a fighter doesn’t do anything except get pounded against the ropes for almost a full minute and with 40 seconds still to go in the round, you can’t fault the referee for stepping in.

To be honest, few people around the world cared about this fight (which is why it happened in Australia, where the time zone ousted the majority of boxing fans in the US and Europe).  The people that did were probably already looking forward to the now-in-tatters, 17-years-in-the-making fight between Jones and Bernard Hopkins.  However, this didn’t stop the Australian media from billing this as the biggest fight the country had ever seen.  Sadly, it may have been true.

Jones got paid a reported $10 million for making the trip down under.  That’s $5 million per minute in the ring.  I’m sure he wanted to win, but I think he’s more disappointed about the fight with Hopkins going down the drain (as Hopkins won his ‘tune-up’ fight) than losing to Danny Green.

Where to now for both fighters?  I think there is a chance they Jones-Hopkins II could still go ahead.  When mega money is involved, anything can happen, and Hopkins has already been trying to talk down the loss.

Of course, Danny Green and his team think (erroneously) that they are now going to get the big bucks.  I don’t think so.  Yes, Jones will go down in history as one of the greatest of his era, but the win won’t open up the type of lucrative deals they think will start flooding in.  Not to say Green isn’t a solid fighter capable of beating the top fighters, but let’s put things in perspective.  Green was relatively unknown outside Australia before the fight, Jones was way past his prime, the fight took place in Australia, and most of all – Green just doesn’t have the requisite charisma or flashy style to be a superstar.  They are already talking about possibly going up to heavyweight to take on 147-year-old Evander Holyfield.  Seriously.

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