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Jones Jr vs Michalczewski - Who is to blame for this never happening?

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Coxy001
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Post by Valero's Conscience Wed 22 Jul 2015, 1:14 pm

I've heard Jones Jr had no interest in fighting him because although Jones would be the undeniable favourite, it was still a risk.

Did Michalczewski chase him or were both simply happy to not face each other, keep winning but publicly blame each other for not making the fight?

It was before my time following boxing so if any of you guys have more knowledge I would be interested to know.

Also, looking back how do people rate Michalczewski?

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Post by Coxy001 Wed 22 Jul 2015, 2:25 pm

Some side with Jones saying he offered him $5m and he refused, others side with DM saying he tried to get RJJ over to Germany and he refused. Some say that DM's manager went AWOL when HBO tried putting together a double header to help gain exposure for DM.

At LHW he has the edge over Jones due to longevity and sheer number of fights going undefeated. Albeit he did a JC and didn't want to leave his own backyard.

I do struggle to rate a drugs cheat as well. Much in the same way I can't say how Lance Armstrong would've done against Eddy Merckx and where he sits in the ATG list.

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Post by AdamT Wed 22 Jul 2015, 3:19 pm

Do you not think most top fighters are drugs cheats??

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Post by Atila Wed 22 Jul 2015, 3:29 pm

Coxy001 wrote:Some side with Jones saying he offered him $5m and he refused, others side with DM saying he tried to get RJJ over to Germany and he refused. Some say that DM's manager went AWOL when HBO tried putting together a double header to help gain exposure for DM.

At LHW he has the edge over Jones due to longevity and sheer number of fights going undefeated. Albeit he did a JC and didn't want to leave his own backyard.

I do struggle to rate a drugs cheat as well. Much in the same way I can't say how Lance Armstrong would've done against Eddy Merckx and where he sits in the ATG list.
Jones didn't want to leave his back yard either.

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Post by 88Chris05 Wed 22 Jul 2015, 3:33 pm

Both have to take a share of the blame, but I think more can be apportioned towards Michalczewski simply because he was the one who needed Jones more than Jones needed him. Jones was considered the best fighter on the planet, irrespective of weight, for a lot of his prime years - Michalczewski was never considered to be anywhere near that level. I certainly have a degree of sympathy with Dariusz for the way he got turfed out by the WBA and the IBF. That was boxing politics at their worst. Belts aside, though, I don't think there's any debate about who the greatest Light-Heavyweight in the world was for those six or seven years that he and Roy both reigned side by side when you look at how they fared against their numerous common opponents.

Jones stated he'd fight Michalczewski on one very obvious condition, that Dariusz came over to the States. Not a totally unreasonable position by any means given that he was the bigger name and draw, what happened in Seoul in '88 and that German boxing at the time was a little on the shady side, what with the total farce in Michalczewski's first fight with Rocchigiani along with the questionable decisions that Ottke and Beyer accumulated between them. But you could (as a lot of people have) counter that with the fact that Jones, as a widely-accepted pound for pound number one in the prime of his life, should have been confident enough to just get on a plane and duly knock ten bells out of Dariusz to such an extent that no judges of officials, no matter how partial they might have been to his opponent, could have denied him the win, if only to hush his critics, who he admitted got under his skin.

I think Jones would have fought Michalczewski without too many concerns if it was on his terms, whereas I don't particularly believe Michalczewski was ever too keen on fighting Jones under any circumstances. Both could and should have forced it to some degree, but only one of them really needed the fight to validate themselves as a great fighter and a star - and that was Michalczewski. That's the difference, for me.

As for him as a fighter, Michalczewski was very good, albeit not in Jones' class. Fit as a fiddle and well-drilled, quite heavy hands, strong jab as well as being very tough and persistent. He had some glaring weaknesses, for me - he was vulnerable against speed and good movement and was a poor inside fighter, who didn't work much there and was massively open to uppercuts.

But a very interesting fighter to watch, I find, as he seemed to have a poor start in just about every fight but found a way to get through by hook or crook right up until the very tail end of his career. It was remarkable how many guys he stopped having been outboxed and while behind on the cards; Griffin (albeit the stoppage there was a bit ropey), Harmon, Prince etc. He might not have stopped Hill, but it looked for all the world he'd be outsped and outslicked in that one for the first couple of rounds, too - very impressive that he was able to reset and stamp his authority on that one to pull out a very impressive decision as the underdog. Threatened to do the same against Gonzalez when past his best, too, but just ran out of rounds.

I can't see him beating Roy at all, mind you, and I suspect that if / when Jones had dominated him via a twelve-round shutout or knocked him out, we'd be hearing the same old lines from Jones' critics that Michalczewski was just another media-hyped bum who feasted off Euro stiffs. But I do think Michalczewski is a bit of an underrated or underappreciated fighter, and it's a shame that he's often remembered as 'that guy who Jones didn't fight for some reason' instead of being remembered for the very good fighter he was.
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Post by Mr Bounce Wed 22 Jul 2015, 5:17 pm

Very good analogy Chris. I too thought quite highly of Michalczewski but he clearly wasn't in Jones' class.

I think it would have been a similar fight to Calzaghe/Lacy had the fight gone ahead. I think Jones would've made Dariusz look very ordinary. However, it's all speculation as they never fought. I think both were just as much to blame for not wishing to fight away from home, but as stated above Michalczewski needed the fight far more than Jones. Roy didn't really care that much it seemed.

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Post by Atila Thu 23 Jul 2015, 4:45 am

Considering that this fight is sometimes brought up as something to bash Jones with, he needed the fight too. I think Jones would have won, but then again, I thought he would have beaten Glen Johnson also, but he didn't.

Also, wasn't Michalczewski the linear champ?

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Post by 88Chris05 Thu 23 Jul 2015, 11:59 am

Depends on your take on it, Atila. For over a decade after Spinks left the division nobody held more than one belt at a time or really showed themselves to be a clear front-runner at 175. Ring Magazine stopped awarding belts to who they considered the 'true' champion in each weight class in the nineties, too, so fans didn't have that to go on either as they did before / do now.

One day after Jones made his debut as a Light-Heavyweight for the interim WBC belt (he was upgraded to full champion soon after) Hill decisioned Maske to unify the WBA and IBF ones. Does that make Hill a linear, clear number one champion, or does the fact that nobody would really have given him a sniff against this other guy in his own weight class, considered widely as the best from any weight, make that an unrealistic position?

If you go with the first one, then yep, you can certainly make a case for Michalczewski being the legitimate champion once he'd beaten Hill, particularly as that win the next year threw yet another belt (WBO) in to the bargain and came at a time when Jones held no title at all, having just lost his WBC title on that disqualification against Griffin. Jones' credentials purely at 175 at that point in mid-1997, if you think past exploits at lower weights should have no bearing, didn't read all that impressively.

I think Michalczewski's problem (along with being stripped soon after by the WBA and IBF) was that he just didn't kick on from that win over Hill. Ring didn't reintroduce their belts for who they considered the true champions at each weight until 2002. I think they were right in giving it  Jones at that point as any serious thought about Dariusz being the best 175 pounder in the world should have been well and truly extinguished by then, but if they'd reintroduced them in 1997 or so Dariusz would have been the fair choice. But after Hill his record just contained too many underwhelming opponents and performances, whereas Jones was now the one unifying belts (rightly or wrongly), looking a million dollars and dominant in just about every fight and consistently being regarded as the best fighter in the sport, beating all of their mutual opponents more impressively than Dariusz managed to do - and aside from Hill, beating them before Michalczewski did, too.

You can say that Jones stayed in his backyard just as much as Michalczewski did, which is true by the letter of the law, but it's a bit of a straw man argument, for me. Jones' backyard was more lucrative, had a better crop of fighters and more powerful TV networks than Dariusz's. There's blame on both sides, but Jones was the bigger name of the pair by a distance and generally thought to be a much higher class of fighter throughout their careers, too. Which is why I'd still always say that Michalczewski needed Jones more than Jones needed him. Any time after 1998 or so Michalczewski didn't really have anything that Jones badly needed or wanted.
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