JEFF PEARLMAN

Coming October 2022: "The Last Folk Hero: The Life and Myth of Bo Jackson"

I never saw this coming

In case you missed it, over the weekend Roy Jones, Jr., age 42, got knocked out by someone named Denis Lebedev.

Sigh.

I used to be an extremely big boxing fan, and of all the fighters two stood out as my favorites: Sugar Ray Leonard and Jones.

Leonard ended his career at age 40, getting his ass kicked by a conga line of stiffs. Now Jones is going out the exact same way—and I never saw it coming. I know … I know—this is boxing, where stars die out the hard way. Yet, for some inexplicable reason, I assumed Jones was different. He just seemed so smart and savvy; the kind of guy who’d do a Lennox Lewis and go out at—or at least near—the top. He’d enter business; do some commentating; maybe represent athletes.

Instead, he’s here—on the mat of a ring in the middle of nowhere, watching his Best Ever argument go poof.

Sad.