Friday, November 7, 2008

Predicting the Calzaghe-Jones Winner


And the winner is ...

With Roy Jones, Jr. at retirement's door and Joe Calzaghe ringing its doorbell, tomorrow's fight will mean more for one than the other; Jones' legacy will suffer more if he loses.

For the Welshman, a victory will make his plaque at Canastota, NY, shine brighter. A loss for Jones will add a few more kinks of rust. Calzaghe has yet to taste defeat, while Jones has tasted sleep, twice in a row.

But Jones has looked dominant in his last bout against worn trial horse and future, fellow hall of fame, Felix Trinidad. But this was not the same electric Trinidad who sported an undefeated record* (*Oscar De La Hoya was robbed--see the fight) and aside from that 1999 superbout mishap, has decimated all fighters he faced prior to being kayoed by Bernard Hopkins.

Calzaghe also looked mortally average against the age-defying Hopkins last time out. He was knocked out in the first round, and consequently rocked every time he was hit flush. Unfortunately for Hopkins, his work ratio was unlike that which he displayed against middleweight champion Kelly Pavlik, and Calzaghe escaped with a narrow win.

Tomorrow, however, Calzaghe will finally face a fighter he's been wanting for the past five years. Jones will also get his wish .... and he will not have to cross the Atlantic to achieve his goal.

On the latest installment of the wildly popular 24/7 HBO Series, Calzaghe acknowledged that he would need to put more oomph on his punches and not just throw punches in bunches. How he will do that when it has helped him amass a 45-0 record remains to be seen. Jones, on the other hand, already knows he must prevent those rapid-fire punches from Calzaghe and deliver his own, even if his speed is a tad slow.

But when it's all said and done, a slower Jones is still a good speed for a competent Calzaghe. And a 175-lb. Calzaghe does not seem to have the punching power to duplicate what Antonio Tarver and Glen Johnson so infamously did to Jones chin and psyche. The guess here is that even a tad over the hill Jones will be slightly better than a great and also weathered Calzaghe. Call it Jones by a close, well-earned decision.

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