By many, he was considered unbeatable. But on Friday night, in the tiny convention hall at the Taj Mahal, Roy Jones Jr. beat himself.
Ahead on two of the three judges' scorecards, almost certain to go up on all three after knocking Montell Griffin down for the second time in the fight, Jones lost his cool.
And lost for the first time in his professional career because of it.
With Griffin down on one knee late in the ninth round of the World Boxing Council light heavyweight title bout, Jones did the unthinkable: He hit Griffin with a right, then a left.
Griffin went down to the canvas facefirst, then rolled over on his back as referee Tony Perez inexplicably counted him out.
Confusion reigned as Jones first raised his arms in celebration, then was told _ after New Jersey's boxing chairman, Larry Hazzard, had jumped into the ring _ that he was being disqualified for hitting a man when he was down, at 2 minutes, 27 seconds of the ninth round.
Some people thought Hazzard indicated to Perez to disqualify Jones. Hazzard said it was Perez's decision, but he agreed with it.
Whoever made it, it was the correct decision.
"I'm not angry," said Jones, who fell to 34-1 with 29 knockouts. "Why should I be angry at the referee? This could be the best thing that ever happened to me. Now everybody wants to see a rematch."
When Griffin (27-0, 18 KOs) was asked whether Jones deserved to be disqualified, he said: "Of course. I took a knee, I look up at the ref and I get hit two times. It's as clear as day. So if he was the greatest man on the planet, why did he have to hit a guy that was knocked down?"
Jones did not disagree with the verdict.
"Yeah, after looking at the tape, I would have disqualified myself," he said. "But the referee should never have told me that there was no standing 8-count and then not do his job. He knew the guy was in trouble. If the guy comes up and takes a shot at me and knocks me out, he's going to count me out. So, I've got to keep fighting. I'm not a dirty fighter."