In this weeks fight from the vault we take a look back at the turning point in the career in one of the best fighters ever, and the crowning of a new King at Light Heavyweight.
The highly anticipated rematch between Roy Jones Jr. and Antonio Tarver took place 19 years ago this week, on May 15, 2004, at the Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino in Las Vegas, Nevada. The first encounter between the two fighters, which occurred seven months earlier, had resulted in a controversial decision in favor of Jones. The rematch aimed to settle the score and determine the true superiority between the two.
In their initial meeting, Jones, a boxing legend and multi-division champion, had narrowly defeated Tarver by majority decision. Many believed that Tarver had done enough to win the fight, and the decision sparked debates and controversy in the boxing world. The rematch offered Tarver the opportunity for redemption and to prove himself as the superior fighter.
The build-up to the rematch was filled with tension and animosity. Tarver was determined to prove that the first fight’s outcome was unjust and vowed to leave no doubts this time. He questioned Jones’ legacy and openly criticized his fighting style and career choices. Jones, on the other hand, remained confident and dismissed Tarver’s claims, maintaining that he was the better fighter and would once again emerge victorious.
The fight itself was a dramatic affair. In the second round, Tarver landed a powerful left hook that sent Jones crashing to the canvas, marking the first time Jones had been knocked out in his career. The beautiful shot won Tarver the WBC, and WBA world titles.
Tarver’s victory propelled him to newfound fame and recognition as a legitimate force in the light heavyweight division. He solidified his status as a top-tier fighter and went on to have notable battles with other notable opponents, including Bernard Hopkins and Glen Johnson.
For Jones, the loss to Tarver marked a turning point in his career. He would go on to suffer several more defeats against high-caliber opponents, leading some to question whether he had stayed in the sport for too long. Nevertheless, Jones’ legacy as one of the most talented and accomplished fighters in boxing history remained intact.
The second fight between Roy Jones Jr. and Antonio Tarver provided the closure that fans and critics had sought after their first encounter. It showcased Tarver’s skill and power while raising questions about Jones’ future in the sport. The rematch remains a significant chapter in the careers of both fighters and a memorable moment in the history of boxing.