When Is It Time To Say Goodbye?
Lou Dibella has recently severed his ties to Jermain Taylor, hoping that Taylor get the message; it is time to say goodbye. Taylor has suffered his fourth lost in his last five fights, three by knockouts. These last five fights were brutal affairs that shorten careers and the question that remains; how much is left after tough losses?
In his bout against Arthur Abraham, Taylor suffered his worst defeat. From the opening bell, Abraham punished Taylor and with seconds left, Abraham nailed Taylor with the perfect right hand that sent Taylor down for the count. This bout followed his defeat at the hands of English Super Middleweight Carl Froch. Froch was losing the fight going into the last round but over the last half of the fight punished Taylor. He knocked Taylor down twice, the final knockdown coming seconds left in the fight. Had Taylor been able to stay standing, he would have been one of the Super Middleweights champions.
Taylor dilemma is that his participation in the Super Six and his upcoming against Andre Ward means a shot at another championship. His next two schedule fights are against boxer-puncher but not punishers and Taylor wants his last chance of championship glory. What makes this difficult for Taylor is that he is not the oldest fighter in the tournament and is just over 30 years of age. Chronologically speaking, Taylor is not old but five brutal fights can age a fighter and his upcoming fight with Ward will determine how close Taylor is to the end. It is not an easy decision for Taylor for he feels that he still has something left and his next two bouts are against fighters similar to his style.
Taylor has been a good fighter and had a streak of beating champions and former champions including Cory Spinks and Bernard Hopkins twice plus a draw against the slick Winky Wright but his first lost came to Kelly Pavlik in a fight that he was winning. Taylor nearly ended the fight against Pavlik early in the fight but he couldn’t put Pavlik away and this cost him his championship. So does Taylor continue with the Super Six or does he say goodbye?
Juan Diaz lost a close bout to Paulie Malignaggi and this is his third lost in his last five bouts. Even his victory over Malignaggi in their first bout was close and could easily have been a lost. For Diaz, he has other career options with a college degree and goal of becoming a lawyer; so boxing is but one aspect of his life. Diaz has been a champion and fought some of the best fighters in the lightweight division and he is not yet 30 years old. The thing is that he barely beat a fighter who lost decisive bouts to Miguel Cotto and Ricky Hatton. Diaz is very good fighter but he is just short of being a great fighter so why continue to fight? He should have money in the bank and new opportunities. Of course, Diaz could simply say, “I still have something left and there are titles to fight for.” When does a fighter say, it is time to turn a new page; especially when you have options?
Finally for Roy Jones, it is time to say good bye. Diaz and Taylor are still relatively young and can make cases to continue fighting; Jones can’t make the case any longer. In 2003, Jones was at top of the world when he defeated John Ruiz. After winning a portion of the Heavyweight champion, no one would have forgiven Jones for saying good bye nor would they if he had retired after narrowly escaping losing to Antonio Tarver by taking the last two rounds. Instead, he went to the well one time too often and got clocked by Tarver in their rematch in the second round. From that point, he was no longer the same as he followed that lost with a worst lost to Glen Johnson. He defeated another fighter on his down side, Jeff Lacy this past summer to set up a bout with Danny Green. The Jones-Green bout was scheduled to be a prep fight for a Jones-Hopkins but Green slaughtered Jones in one round. Now it is Green who is in line for a bout against Hopkins but for Jones, it simply showed that the end is now. Jones has not been able to beat an elite fighter since his lost to Tarver and he evolved into a top ten fighter but not a championship fighter.
Jones had been a great fighter but he is no longer the Jones of old and he is no longer a championship fighter. Jones has moved into boxing promotional side and is a business man so he is not without options. Like Oscar De La Hoya, he was businessman who fought but now it is time to be a businessman. Oscar De La Hoya realized that after his lost to Pacquiao, his days in the ring were over and Jones career in the ring is also over.