|Date||September 25, 2004|
|Venue||FedExForum, Memphis, Tennessee, US|
|Title(s) on the line||IBF light heavyweight title|
|Tale of the tape|
|Johnson wins via 2nd-round KO|
In his previous fight, then-WBA and WBC Roy Jones Jr. was soundly defeated for the first time in his professional career after being knocked out in the second round of his rematch with Antonio Tarver on May 15, 2004 (his only other loss had been by disqualification in 1997). Hoping to quickly rebound from his defeat, Jones secured a match with IBF light heavyweight champion Glen Johnson in an effort to regain the IBF title he had held from 1999 to 2003. Johnson had been a journeyman fighter through most of his professional career and though he had nine losses on his record, he nevertheless was able to land an IBF light heavyweight title match against Clinton Woods. The two fighters fought to a draw in their first fight on November 7, 2003, but Johnson was able to pick up the unanimous decision victory in the second. Despite his status as champion, Johnson came into the fight as an overwhelming underdog with Jones being a 6–1 favorite by the time of the fight.
Johnson would dominate Jones for much of the fight, serving as the aggressor for the duration of the fight and constantly having Jones on the defensive against the ropes. Johnson would connect with 118 of his 437 thrown punches while Jones, though landing at a slightly higher percentage (28% to Johnson's 27%), only threw 270 punches, 75 of which landed. The fight would come to an end 48 seconds into round nine. Johnson connected with a strong overhand right followed by a short left hook that dropped Jones to the canvas where the back of his head hit the canvas hard. Jones was knocked out cold and was counted out by the referee. He would remain on his back for nearly 15 minutes before finally exiting the ring with help from his trainers.
Johnson's upset victory over Jones propelled the previously little-known fighter into the national spotlight and talks of a unification bout with Tarver began almost immediately after his fight with Jones. The two agreed to a match set for December 18, 2004, but both the WBC and IBF refused to sanction the bout as each man was contractually bound to face mandatory challengers, Paul Briggs and Rico Hoye respectively. As a result, both Tarver and Johnson forfeited their titles and proceeded on with their scheduled match, with only Tarver's IBO and The Ring light heavyweight titles on the line. For the second straight match, Johnson would pull off an upset victory, defeating Tarver by split decision to become the new The Ring light heavyweight champion. Tarver, however, would regain the titles after defeating Johnson by unanimous decision in their rematch on June 18, 2005.
After two consecutive knockout losses, some, including the two men responsible for his defeats, Johnson and Tarver, called for Jones to retire. Jones, however, decided against retirement and returned after a year–long absence to challenge Tarver in a third match on October 1, 2005. Though Jones would fare better than his previous two fights, he nevertheless lost his third consecutive fight after Tarver was rewarded with the unanimous decision victory.
- Living Up to His Own Hype, Tarver Knocks Out Jones, N.Y. Times article, 2004-04-16, Retrieved on 2014-01-07
- Johnson knocks out Roy Jones in ninth, USA Today article, 2004-09-26, Retrieved on 2014-01-07
- Tarver and Johnson forfeit titles, BBC article, 2004-11-10, Retrieved on 2014-01-07
- Johnson earns split decision over Tarver, Baltimore Sun article, 2004-12-19, Retrieved on 2014-01-07
- Tarver avenges loss with unanimous decision, USA Today article, 2005-06-19, Retrieved on 2014-01-07
- Johnson thinks Jones should retire, ESPN article, 2004-09-26, Retrieved on 2014-01-07
- Tarver hands Jones third straight loss, ESPN article, 2005-10-01, Retrieved on 2014-01-07
- R. Thomas Umstead (September 12, 2004). "HBO Going All-HD for Boxing". Multichannel News. Retrieved May 11, 2020.