August 7, 1997 was a momentous day for boxing. Roy Jones Jr. was facing off against Montell Griffin in a rematch after he had previously been disqualified on March 21 of the same year.
The disqualification fight saw Jones and Griffin neck and neck with both vying for control. Jones lost the fight when Griffin, after a particularly heavy barrage from Jones, took a knee voluntarily. While Griffin was on his knee, Jones hit him with an illegal right-left combination. Jones was disqualified for the illegal blows, although he initially thought that he was the victor by way of KO. Griffin broke Jones’ undefeated record and became the first person to defeat him.
The rematch between the two men was much less of a back and forth. The fight would go on to last only 151 seconds. In the first 30 seconds of the fight, Jones sent Griffin down to the canvas. Once Griffin rose to his feet, Jones rushed him and hit him with a flurry of power punches. Griffin was unable to keep Jones at bay. With less than a minute remaining, Jones hit Griffin with a leaping left hook that knocked Griffin onto his back. Griffin was unable to find his footing and was counted out at the 2:31 mark of the first round. Jones won by way of KO and once again became the WBC light heavyweight champion.
Looking back on this fight and others like it from Roy Jones Jr. gives some potential perspective on how his fight against Mike Tyson may play out. Tyson and Jones will face off on September 12 in Los Angeles.
Will this fight between two boxing legends be a massive clash between giants, or will it be a sad portrayal of two men beyond their prime?