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  • Caesar Cliffius

    My name is Cliff Eastham. I live in West Virginia with my wife Debbie, the loveliest lady in the world, and my youngest daughter, Holly who is equally as lovely as her mother.

    I enjoy writing about sports, and love a good healthy debate. My favorite teams are the Cincinnati Reds and the Washington Redskins.

    There are only a couple of sports that I don't write about, Hockey and Soccer specifically. My favorite sports are Baseball, Boxing, NFL, NCAA Basketball, MMA.

    Feel free to look around, and your comments are most welcome. Subscribe via email if you wish.

    It is decreed.....Caesar Cliffius
    this 8th day of December, in the Year of our Lord 2009.

Roy Jones, Jr: It is Time to Walk Away

There is a time in every athlete’s life when he must face the man in the mirror and hear the sad sweet song.  “It’s over. Don’t look back. It has been a good ride, but this is the end of the road.”

Either some people don’t have that conversation with the man he watches shave every day, or he fails to pay attention to the warning, or plea as it were.

That discussion should have taken place the morning after Roy Jones, Jr. was embarrassed by Danny Green in Australia. While watching this fight it appeared to me that Jones didn’t want to be there. It was the first time he was fighting outside the limits of the “land of the free”, and he clearly looked misplaced to me.

The right hand that began the end looked far from impressive to me. It looked like he was hit on the top of the head and just went down. No disrespect to the power of Green, but that punch did not measure up to the one thrown by Antonio Tarver which sent Junior to his first KO loss. Was this just another payday for the former eight time world champion?

Until his invincibility was discovered by the Magic Man in the second round in 2004, he was perhaps the best fighter in the world. Until then was the ridiculous disqualification loss to Montell Griffin in 1997. Jones didn’t just beat people, he dominated them.

Roy had some famous fights during his 20-year professional career. He fought as a middle-weight for his first 18 fights, fought several at super middle-weight and in 1993 won his first world title, an unanimous win over Bernard Hopkins for the vacant IBF Middle-weight Championship. Hopkins would not lose again for 12 years when he lost a split-decision to Jermain Taylor.

In 1994 Jones beat James “Lights Out” Toney (undefeated at the time) like a drum en route to an unanimous decision for the IBF Super Middle-weight Championship.

He won the WBC Light Heavy-weight Championship in 1996 with a shutout of Mike McCallum.

In 2003 Jones stepped up to the heavy-weight ranks and won the WBA Heavy-weight Championship with a decision over John Ruiz.

Jones had three fights with Tarver, the first one he was given a gift in a majority decision. The second fight was the two round shellacking administered by the Magic Man, and the third was an unanimous decision won by Tarver.

Sandwiched between the last two Tarver fights was a 9th round KO at the hands of Glen Johnson.

In 2008 Jones had a mega fight with Felix Trinidad who man thought was washed up from being inactive for nearly three years. Roy won a lopsided decision over Tito and then lost big to Joe Calzaghe (who Jones would have easily beaten in his prime) notwithstanding a first-round knockdown of the undefeated Calzaghe.

He knocked out Omar Sheika and forced Jeff Lacy to quit prior to the whipping he just took this week.

So, Roy, it has been great to know you, my good man. You have given us highlight reels we will cherish forever. It is not a shame to walk away from boxing. The only shame is not knowing when it is time.


Cliff Eastham is a Featured Columnist at Bleacher Report where this article was first published.

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Is Floyd Mayweather, Jr the Best Boxer of All Time ?

That may be a foolish question to some boxing fans, experts, and enthusiasts.

There have been scores of great fighters, hundreds of very good fighters, and thousands of good fighters.

It is impossible to accurately say that one fighter would beat another fighter from a different era. It is, however, one of the things that makes boxing one of the most debatable and colorful sports there is.

There are obviously fighters in the past, and even currently, who possess(ed) more power than Floyd. Some would be willing to get hit seven or eight times to be able to launch one bomb.

Floyd is virtually unmarked as a fighter, hence the moniker Pretty Boy Floyd. He looks more like a movie star than a pugilist.

While drinking a pint in a tavern, nothing whiles away the time better than a good old fashioned discussion about how Ali could have knocked out Marciano, or how Willie Pep could have given a boxing lesson to Manny Pacquiao (when he was a featherweight).

Thus, we have two factions warring against one another. Old school fans and experts tend to want to give the edge to the guys that they grew up idolizing or following closely.

Secondly, we have the new age fans, who can’t seem to imagine how anybody could be better than the current field. Advanced training methods with bigger, stronger, and faster fighters make today’s competition much more fierce than in days gone by.

I suppose I would be called old school because of my age, however, I am making a case today for the current best in the world, Floyd Mayweather, Jr.

I have thought about it for some time, and have finally pushed myself to a decision. I believe Pretty Boy is the best “boxer” in the history of the sport.

I said boxer, not fighter. Let me illustrate. When you look up the word “boxer” in the dictionary, Wikipedia, or whatever, you should see an image of him right there on the page. He epitomizes the word.

I have seen boxers since the late fifties and there have been some dandies. Cassius Clay (the caterpillar who turned into the butterfly Muhammad Ali), Floyd Patterson, Archie Moore, Emile Griffith, Joe Frazier, George Foreman (twice), Sugar Ray Leonard, Sugar Ray Robinson, Tommy Hearns, Julio Caesar Chavez, Salvador Sanchez, Alexis Arguello, Aaron Pryor, Bobby Foster, Roberto Duran, and Larry Holmes, just to name a few.

I watched those fighters while they were still active and I saw films of most of the other great ones.

There is not one, in my opinion, who is or was superior to Floyd Mayweather. If there ever was a complete package in one boxer, he would be it.

His defense is beyond description, he is as hard to hit as a bat flying in front of you at night.

He has the fastest hands I believe I ever saw. His punch placement is as good or better than Ali’s. He wastes no gas. He is as effective with his punches as anyone ever has been. He has developed a respectful portion of power over the years.

It is a joy to watch him as he commands the ring, dictating how the fight goes. His stinging jabs keep the brawlers off balance and measures them for a strong right hand.

Do I think he could have beaten fighters of other eras? Yes, I do. I think he could have won decisions over Robinson, Leonard, and any other fighters who were in his weight classes.

Pound for pound, he is the best ever. I realize this is speculative at best, and everybody has their own opinions, but I believe he is the one.

There have been other fighters who have retired undefeated. The great Rocky Marciano and even more recent than he, Joe Calzaghe (who quit just in time considering he was down in round one and barely won a split decision over Bernard Hopkins).

Money has beaten everyone who had the stones to throw with him. Some of today’s best have witnessed his hand being raised at the end of their bout with him; Oscar De Le Hoya, Ricky Hatton, Zab Judah, Diego Corrales, Arturo Gatti, Jose Luis Castillo, Chop Chop Corley, Sharmba Mitchell, and Juan Manuel Marquez.

He is in fact, the best boxer in the history of the sport.