Jones takes loss

Posted: Sunday, September 26, 2004

MEMPHIS, Tenn. Glen Johnson knocked out Roy Jones Jr. in the ninth round Saturday night to retain his IBF light heavyweight title and cast more doubt on the future of one of boxing's most storied fighters.

Jones lay on his back moving only slightly for almost four minutes after he was felled by an overhand right, followed by a short left. Trainers filled a towel with ice and slid it under Jones' head as he lay on the canvas, but he had trouble opening his eyes.

Jones, 35, finally walked out of the ring with help from his trainers. Jones left the arena in an ambulance and was taken to the Regional Medical Center at Memphis for a checkup. He walked to the ambulance without comment.

He got into the ambulance in a backstage hallway just a few yards from Johnson's victory news conference.

''Listen, I'm not claiming I'm the best this or the best that. I'm the guy who is willing to fight the self-claimed best,'' Johnson said.

The defeat left Jones' once-impressive career in tatters.

Jones turned pro after the 1988 Olympics, where it was widely perceived he was robbed of the gold medal. He has won titles at classes ranging from middleweight to heavyweight last March he won a piece of the heavyweight title by taking the WBA crown from John Ruiz.

Last November, he captured the light heavyweight crown from Antonio Tarver in the first of their two fights. But he was defeated by a crashing left from Tarver in their rematch in May.

Tarver joined Johnson at his news conference, saying he regarded Jones' career as over.

''I want to see the man go on and enjoy his life after boxing,'' Tarver said. ''We don't need to see Roy Jones go through the things he went through tonight, the things he went through on May 15. Let the man ride off into the sunset.''

Tarver said he was ready to fight Johnson for the IBF light heavyweight title, and Johnson was open to the idea.

Johnson, 41-9-2, with 28 knockouts, came out the aggressor from the opening bell Saturday night. He threw a total of 437 punches to 270 for Jones and kept the challenger against the ropes for most of the fight.

By the seventh round, the crowd was booing and calling for more action from Jones.

''I beat him at his own game,'' said Johnson, a native of Jamaica who makes his home in Miami. ''A lot of guys try to fight Roy from the outside, but I wanted to stay in on him.''

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