How many belts does Roy Jones have?EXTRA! EXTRA! Stop the presses! Roy Jones dismantles Clinton Woods in six rounds!

In one of the least-anticipated fights of the year, light heavyweight scrooge Roy Jones easily tamed no-hoper Clinton Woods over six rounds of one-sided sparring while a boxing-starved crowd from Portland, Oregon watched on in awe. It was the umpteenth such performance from Jones, the self-proclaimed pound-for-pound best and self-inflicted most protected fighter under HBO contract. As with Roy's other fights against the bottom of the barrel, all the talk from Jones was about other opponents, this time John Ruiz and Antonio Tarver. We've heard it all before. Remember when he was going to fight Buster Douglas and Hasim Rahman? Or when he was definitely, absolutely going to fight Dariusz Michalczewski and Vasilly Jirov? What about one of the many times he claimed a deal to fight Bernard Hopkins was done? Let's face it folks: it's all hype.

The most frustrating thing about Roy Jones, Jr. is that he could probably beat all of the guys he calls out but refuses to fight. Easily. Instead he faces off against sanctioning body stiffs like Woods, who talk a good game, land a few body shots in the first round, and then back off once Jones gets his game going. Such was the case when the Sheffield, England mandatory contender bulled into Jones at the opening bell and clipped a couple short left hooks off his gloves. Jones responded immediately, landing an uppercut, a left hook and a right hand in such quick succession that it's unclear which blow came first. So much for Clinton Woods.

Stunned by Jones' speed, Clinton Woods could do little more than catch. Sure, he tried to come forward, cut off the ring on Roy and land shots in the corners... but it was futile. Jones simply slipped out of every trap, firing off hard snapping punches as he effortlessly glided away from harm. For a brief moment in round two, Jones opted to fight Woods from the ropes instead of moving back to center ring. During this one-minute "exchange," one of Wood's improbable swings caught a portion of Jones' face. The semi-punch raised a minor swelling over Jones' right eyelid, perhaps the only facial mark Jones has ever received as a fighter, pro or amateur.

If Jones' contusion inspired Woods, it was not evident. The one-dimensional British Commonwealth champion had already been punched into passivity by a steady stream of Jones pot shots, all of which started coming in harder and faster as the seconds ticked away. Unwilling to take it easy on a man who punched him in the eye, Jones upped the velocity of his punches in rounds three, four and five. Woods' ambitious aggression melted under the heat of Jones' handspeed, and after only several minutes of official action, Woods' footwork started heading in reverse, his punch output dropped to nil and his head began snapping this way and that. Another opponent turned back.

Now unopposed, Jones began his usual tricks: bolo punches, Ali shuffles, and body punches that hurt just to watch. This last weapon sapped Woods even further; several times Jones' shots to the liver twisted his face in pain. Midway through the sixth round, with Jones' sweeping hooks picking up intensity every stanza, Woods' corner mercifully threw in the towel. At the time of the stoppage, Woods was actually motioning to his chin, enticing Jones to hit it again. At least the man wanted to earn his record $1 million purse.

Clinton Woods makes his money the hard wayWhat's next for Jones? Mark our words: no one. The chances of him fighting for a heavyweight title are almost nil. His chances of facing one of the opponents boxing fans want to see him against aren't much better. His likely next foe is Antonio Tarver. Big deal. Sure, Tarver gets major brownie points with the fans for risking his mandatory shot against Eric Harding... but except for the knockout punch, did Tarver show anything in that bout? For the first several rounds, he stared at Harding in a combination of fear and anxiety, his gloves too tentative to move. Roy Jones will have a field day with him.

We're often asked at Boxing Chronicle who we think the #1 pound-for-pound fighter is. Because the pound-for-pound list was created to measure pure talent (i.e. If Jones and Mayweahter could magically be the same weight, who would win?), we've always felt that activity level, talent of opposition, and willingness to face the best were irrelevant factors in determining which puglist owned a style and technique superior to all others... but that view is beginning to change. How long can we grandfather Jones into the pound-for-pound list when he refuses to do little more than hold public workouts against Everlast heavy bags disguised as #1 contenders? At some point, Jones is going to have to find an opponent that the boxing public thinks is a challenge. Even if victories over guys like Hopkins or Jirov would be no more taxing on Jones than his victory over Clinton Woods, he must eventually make such a fight. His legacy depends on it.

.....Chris Bushnell
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