FAIRFAX, Va.–Former middleweight champion William Joppy called it a career on Saturday night after defeating Baltimore’s Cory “Black Ice” Cummings in a rematch at the Patriot Center.
Joppy, who weighed in at 173 lbs. for the catchweight bout, took the mic in the ring to announce it would be his last fight after securing the unanimous decision. Afterward he confirmed to your correspondent that he didn’t have it in him to continue.
“I’ll tell you why. I was running to make weight for this fight. I’m tired of making weight,” said the 40-year old.
Joppy’s once illustrious career has taken a detour in recent years; his last true moment in the spotlight was a 10th round KO loss to Lucian Bute in February 2008. Since then he has served as a gatekeeper to the championship level for prospects between 168 and 175 lbs.
Many fans and followers of the sport had hoped this moment would come sooner, but the three-time world champ fought on hoping to re-capture some of his former glory. As recently as January he lost a shot at Beibut Shumenov’s WBA light heavyweight title on short notice.
Joppy enjoyed the fans chanting his name one last time as he and Cummings fought to a furious finish in the 10th round. Doubtless a younger version of Joppy would have had little trouble dispatching the crude if game Cummings, but at this stage he lacks the body ability to carry out the brain’s instructions.
Stiff Jab was ringside for the first encounter between the two last November, which we scored as a draw. Before tonight’s matchup we expressed hope that Joppy would show enough that we needn’t call for him to hang up his gloves. He didn’t, but at least he had enough wisdom to bow out gracefully with his hand raised in victory.