Kimbo Slice vs Roy Jones in December | Where's P.T. Barnum?Written by Lee Cleveland
Boxing legend and former multi-division champion Roy Jones Jr. (56-8, 40 KO) will participate in an exhibition bout against Kimbo Slice (5-0, 4 KO), the street fighter turned mixed martial artist turned boxer.
The bout will take place in December in Jamaica to mark the country's 50th anniversary celebrations.
Where's P.T. Barnum?
And why in the world would an all-time great like Roy Jones Jr subject himself to this?
As most boxing purists will attest, only casual fights fans who are woefully limited in their understanding of the Sweet Science and its principles think Kimbo Slice, as a professional heavyweight boxer, is a force to be reckoned with or will be sometime soon. Nevertheless, despite his pugilistic limitations, Slice, because of his background, generates more interest than some of today's world-class boxers and many of boxing's champions.
And the 38 year old Kimbo has natural punching power despite being far too slow and unskilled to land effectively on a top-tier heavyweight.
The real question is: Can he find the target against a smaller, shorter but quicker, slicker, more experienced fighter who is light years past his prime?
"He's a big streetfighter with a lot of power, so early in the fight he can be very dangerous," Jones stated at the event press conference on Thursday.
"But as the fight goes on, my mental experience should take over. For the first five rounds he will be very deadly."
In March, the former Internet street-fighting sensation manufactured a stunning come-from-behind, last-second knockout of Brian Green. The smaller, quicker Green was seemingly seconds from an easy decision victory before being pulverized by a hard Kimbo uppercut in the bout's waning seconds.
In his most recent bout in May, Slice knocked out Jesse Porter (previously 3-4), winning his third 1st round knockout in five bouts.
To his credit...
Kimbo Slice is exciting if nothing else. The power-punching Floridian fights in an aggressive, crowd-pleasing style and has produced four eye-catching knockouts in only 5 bouts as a professional boxer. However, his technical abilities, much like the quality of his opposition, remain highly suspect.
Last year Klice's co-promoter, Tony Holden stated his fighter was on his way to becoming the most exciting American heavyweight in years.
"The heavyweight division is searching for a star that can punch like Mike Tyson and fill arenas," Holden commented. "Kimbo is developing quickly as a heavyweight boxer and, when he gets some experience, look out!"
The 43 year-old Jones will have an incredible advantage in the experience department and will use what's left of his speed to attempt to box circles around Slice.
Roy Jones, who last fought in June, appeared to be a far cry from even the "faded" Roy Jones of 2004. And the Roy Jones of the 1990s is simply a distant memory... very distant.
He won a split decision but it was far from convincing against an opponent who was far from dangerous.
The 6'2" Slice will enjoy a three inch height advantage and may outweigh Jones by as much as 30-40 lbs.
Size, strength and brute force versus experience, speed and technique.... Given Jones' weakened state and vulnerabilities, this clash is somewhat intriguing but its a bout that shouldn't happen regardless it being an exhibition.
Roy Jones is risking his legacy by not only by continuing to fight, but by lending himself to this foolishness.
After quitting against Kevin McBride in 2005, an outdated Tyson said in the post-fight interview, "I just don't have the stomach for it anymore. I don't want to disgrace the sport. This is a great sport..."
Roy Jones Jr take heed!
Lee is Managing Editor of FightSaga.com, a student of the Sweet Science and longtime boxing fan.
A gym rat in the 1990s, Lee was trained by 1976 Olympic Silver Medalist Charles Mooney and several retired seasoned pros. He was also a sparring partner for former WBA Super Middleweight Champion Steve Little who upset Michael Nunn for the WBA Super Middleweight Title in '94.
Lee created FightSaga.com to honor and preserve boxing's rich heritage, chronicle the achievements of top fighters, celebrate the legacy of big fights and provide a fun, educational experience for fight fans.