If anyone knew what Roy Jones Jr. was going through, it is former cruiserweight titlist Enzo Maccarinelli.
On Saturday in Moscow, Maccarinelli annihilated Jones, knocking him out cold in the fourth round with a massive right hand to the head that came moments after a clean right uppercut did major damage and dropped Jones for the first time in the fight.
The knockout, which planted Jones face-first on the canvas, was about as scary a knockout as you will ever see. But it is not the first time Jones, who is 46 and probably should have been retired a decade ago, has been ruined like that.
He has suffered sick knockouts to Denis Lebedev, Antonio Tarver and Glen Johnson among his KO defeats.
Maccarinelli (41-7, 33 KOs), a huge puncher, knows what it feels like because he has never been able to take a big shot either, having been stopped in all seven of his losses, some as wildly violent as what he did to Jones.
So after he erased Jones (62-9, 45 KOs), who was out cold while his leg involuntarily twitched, Maccarinelli showed the utmost class. He wasn’t wildly celebrating his victory. He was more concerned about Jones.
"First of all, I'd like to say it was an honor to share the ring with Roy, who in my eyes is still a ring legend and I hope that he recovers fully from this,” Maccarinelli said.
Jones, a former four-division titleholder and a true all-time great who spent nearly 10 years atop the pound-for-pound list, has not openly discussed his future yet, but when asked by ESPN.com via text how he was doing Monday, he responded with simply, “I’m good.”
While the loss hopefully sends Jones into retirement, Maccarinelli, 35, of Wales, surely will fight on after such a spectacular knockout.
“I'm over the moon with the performance and it showed that I’ve got the power to hurt anybody,” he said. “This fight was at cruiserweight, where I’ve held a world title and I’ve also dropped down to light heavyweight, where I fought Juergen Braehmer for a world title. I’m comfortable at either, and wherever the best opportunities are, I’ll take them.”
Maccarinelli said he felt pressure fighting Jones in Russia, where Jones recently became a citizen with the help of President Vladimir Putin and was the crowd favorite.
“I said before the fight that I fight best when the pressure is on, and coming out to Russia where Roy has become a favorite certainly put the pressure on me to perform and I did that,” he said. “I knew that the opening rounds might be a bit cagey, but I knew that once I sized him up and got my range that it was only a matter of time before I would take him out.
“My jab was good and I clipped Roy with a right hand early on which he brushed off, but I knew that it hurt him. Then in the fourth, I started to connect with uppercuts and he was starting to go so I knew I’d got him and then I landed the hard right to finish him off. That ends the year nicely, and now I want to keep busy in 2016 and get another world title shot to become a two-time world champion.”