How many more times do fight fans have to watch Roy Jones Jr. get knocked out cold before he finally calls it quits? This time it was cruiserweight Denis Lebedev scoring a KO with just seconds remaining in their scheduled ten rounder in Moscow, Russia. Jones had his moments during the bout, including a combination that briefly stunned Lebedev in round nine, but spent too much time on the ropes.
Finally, in the bout's closing moments, Lebedev landed a series of heavy shots and Jones - clearly out on his feet - bent over at the waist. Lebedev briefly hesitated and looked at referee Steve Smoger to stop the bout. When Smoger did not do his job to protect Jones from further punishment, Lebedev shrugged and landed one more powerful right to the head of his defenseless opponent and Jones fell face first onto the canvas. He was initially unresponsive for a brief - but scary - period before regaining consciousness and being lifted onto his stool.
At 42, Jones has now lost three straight and seven out of 12, including four KOs (three of the scary variety). After regaining his ability to communicate, Jones nevertheless stated "I don't give up easy. I still might come back". Let's hope he watches a tape of himself unconscious on the canvas after this fight ... or his second fight with Antonio Tarver ... or his fight with Glen Johnson ... and reconsiders.
At this point, it's abundantly clear to everyone other than Jones - and unscrupulous promoters still willing to put him in harm's way - that he's at risk of being seriously hurt in the ring. Jones needs to hang up the gloves for good and satisfy himself with being a boxing promoter, trainer and color commentator. Just one more fight like this one and it's possible Jones may no longer possess the cognitive abilities required to pursue any of those career options . . .