2009 in the Taillights: A look back at the year in boxing.
Never has there been a more appropriately named pay per view event than Roy Jones’ comeback spectacular on March 21st.
March Badness was put together with the best of intentions and meant to appeal to all demographics. It was a boxing/mma show with young boxers, established mma names, a former pro-wrestler-turned mma contender and, of course, a showcase for a rejuvinated Roy Jones jr. It covered all bases, except one…it was pathetically awful.
Boxing and mma can co-exist in the same universe, but it was doubtful whether both sets of fans could exist in the same auditorium, on the same card. But on this date, the impossible happened- boxing fans and mma fans united in their dislike for a truly horrible undercard. Boos, thick as the Pensacola humidity, buzzed the air as both groups of fans showed their distaste for the whole set of events.
The exact order of events is thankfully lost in my mind now, but the show alternated between boxing and mma. We saw a bit of everything that night: Sloppy club fights, obese mixed martial artists dry humping, a ‘roided up pro-wrestler prison raping some strip mall karate student, a boring Cruiserweight pecking his way to a win over a fringe journeyman, and, of course, there was the main event.
Somehow, Omar Sheika found his boxing license and defied all odds by actually making it through the ring ropes without falling face-first to the canvas.
Jones came out next and proceeded to rip apart a hapless Sheika, going through all the motions of a prime Jones and bringing the partisan hometown crowd to its feet. This was Roy Jones jr. on a sliding fee scale; a Jones at 50% walking all over a Sheika at 40%.
The dancing and juking and jiving of a 40-year old Jones seemed almost pathetic when you take into consideration that he was doing it against a shell of a fighter in Sheika who, even in his prime, was no match for 50% of Roy Jones.
After Sheika was stopped in the fifth, the Pensacola crowd erupted and the previous hours of torture were forgiven. But what about those outside of hardcore Jones fans and Pensacola natives?
We would forever be bonded together as survivors of the worst pay per view in boxing history. Let us never forget the horror.