In February of last year future Hall of Famer Roy Jones scored an eighth round stoppage of former world title challenger and undefeated bare-knuckle fighter Bobby Gunn in Wilmington, DE. The victory for Jones, his sixty-fifth in seventy-four professional fights was more or less an academic outcome as Gunn was unable to provide much resistance as the then forty-eight year old Jones was able to score a lopsided win.
As some readers might recall in this observer’s coverage of that fight, I stated that although Jones looked good against Gunn and had scored victories in eight of his previous twelve bouts that one might wonder what options could be available to Jones coming off of his victory over Gunn, while also continuing to express my long documented concern for Jones’ long-term well-being after also suffering some severe knockout losses throughout his career.
Nearly one year to the day of his last fight, Jones now prepares to enter the ring for what he says will be the final time as he will square off against veteran Scott Sigmon in a scheduled ten round Cruiserweight bout on Thursday night at the Pensacola Civic Center in Jones’ hometown of Pensacola, FL. The fight, which will headline a combined card featuring both Boxing and Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) bouts will be televised worldwide on the Ultimate Fighting Championship’s (UFC) UFC Fight Pass digital network.
Sigmon, a native of Bedford, VA is a veteran of forty-two professional fights and will come into the encounter with Jones off of ten round unanimous decision over Javier Frazier in August of last year. Although the thirty-year old Sigmon (30-11-1, with 16 Knockouts) is nineteen years younger than the forty-nine year old Jones, he has had difficulty when he has stepped up in the caliber of his opposition having suffered defeats to the likes of former world champion Kelly Pavlik, Jessie Nicklow, and current IBF Super-Middleweight world champion Caleb Truax in his career.
The story of this fight in my eyes centers on Roy Jones. Of course, the main storyline in some minds will be about how Jones (65-9, with 46 Knockouts) has said this will be his last fight, but for this observer, the storyline will also be about what the forty-nine year old has left. When this fight was announced thoughts began to come to my mind of possible similarities between Jones’ chosen exit from the sport as a fighter if this will in fact be the last time he steps into the ring and another future Hall of Famer, who was in many ways one of Jones’ rivals throughout his career.
Some might recall Bernard Hopkins, who at fifty-two years old chose to face a rising Light-Heavyweight contender in the form of Joe Smith Jr. in December of 2016. Despite holding his own for most of the bout, the younger Smith eventually caught up with Hopkins, who became the only fighter in Hopkins’ career to score a knockout win over the former multi-division world champion. A difference between Hopkins and Jones is that Jones has suffered five knockout losses throughout his career that have each been severe.
Even though Scott Sigmon is a fighter who with sixteen knockouts in his thirty career wins is not known for his punching power, one should not dismiss the possibility of Jones potentially being caught particularly if one considers the way Jones was knocked out by fighters like Antonio Tarver, Denis Lebedev, Danny Green, and Enzo Maccarinelli where those fights came to sudden conclusions where those fighters, all of whom former world champions where able to end those fights with one punch.
It is important to remember that Roy Jones will go down as one of the all-time greats in the history of the sport, but it is equally important to keep in mind that he is forty-nine years old. Although most are likely expecting Jones to score a victory in this fight, this is the type of scenario where a veteran that some may consider a journeyman could give his career a boost by scoring a victory over a fighter of Jones’ stature.
While most historians of the sport such as yours truly are tempted to discuss the highlights of a legend’s career as a great fighter prepares for what he says will be his last fight, this observer having heard countless fighters say they are calling it a career throughout the many years I have covered the sport will instead take the wait and see approach before sharing my thoughts on Roy Jones’ legacy and what he has meant to Boxing. Regardless of what happens when Jones meets Sigmon that legacy is secure.
“And That’s The Boxing Truth.”
Jones vs. Sigmon takes place Tonight (Thursday, February 8th) at the Pensacola Civic Center in Pensacola, FL. The card, which will feature both Boxing and Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) fights can be seen worldwide on UFC Fight Pass beginning at 7:30PM ET/4:30PM PT and will be available to UFC Fight Pass subscribers. For more information about UFC Fight Pass and to subscribe please vist: www.UFCFightPass.com.
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