WBC light heavweight champion Roy Jones Jr., who has sent conflicting signals about his next move, scored a fourth-round knockout of former IBF and WBA champ Virgil Hill on Saturday night.

The only certainty is that Jones, despite having fought just one competitive round in the previous year, is still one of the best pound-for-pound fighters in the world.About a minute into the fourth round, Jones delivered two hard rights, the second a kidney punch that sent Hill to the canvas in obvious pain. Hill got up, but referee Fred Steinwinder III stopped the bout.

Jones connected on nearly half of the punches he threw (60 of 122) in his first bout since last August. He also connected on 34 power punches, 23 more than Hill.

Jones improved to 36-1 with his 31st knockout. Hill, who lost his second straight bout, is 43-3.

The strategy for Hill, who had gone the distance in 10 of his last 12 fights, was to try to get the fight into the later rounds and wear down Jones. It didn't get to that point. Jones' jab was lightning fast and lethal.

After the fighters spent time feeling each other out in the opening minute of the fight, Jones started moving and jabbing.

He connected with a left to the head but Hill responded with a combination of punches.

Hill was still responding in the second round, but Jones' quickness prevented him from doing much damage. At one point in the third round, after Hill landed a solid shot, Jones just backed up and shrugged his shoulders.

Jones has said that he wanted to pursue a heavyweight fight. The fight against Hill, his largest opponent to date, appeared to be the initial step toward that.