Thirteen years past his last title fight once pound-for-pound champion Roy Jones Jr. (65-9-0) is officially retiring from boxing. Jones who held titles in five different weight classes, will fight his 75th and reportedly last fight on Feb 8 against Scott Sigmon (30-11-1, 16 KOs) in his hometown of Pensacola, Florida.
The former Olympic silver medalist will headline Island Fights 46 at cruiserweight.
"You should call it my last day at the Bay. It's my last one for the Bayfront, Civic Center, Pensacola, Bayfront Arena, whatever you want to call it. So, if you want to come to see my last day in Pensacola, be there February 8. That's my last one there," - Jones said on a Facebook video.
Up through the weights
This isn’t a last hurrah by a man who almost made it to the pinnacle of the sport. Roy Jones Jr. has nothing left to prove to promotors or spectators.
The fighter who refers to himself as “Superman” became the first middleweight champion to win a heavyweight title in 106 years. His storied career included being the undisputed light heavyweight champion in 1999, unifying the WBA, WBC, and IBF titles.
Jones chose his words carefully in his announcement calling the bout his final boxing match. This fight is as much a final punctuation on a for sure Hall of Fame career as it is an audition for a brand-new opportunity. The card will have a mix of MMA and boxing matches and is scheduled to be viewed on UFC Fight Pass. At 49-years-old, Jones has sparked new conversation around a crossover fight with former UFC champ Anderson Silva in Russia.
Given his unique friendship with Russia's President Vladimir Putin, his connection to Dana White could open the door for UFC Russia of all things. Jones has won his last three fights since a brutal knockout from Enzo Maccarinelli in December 2015 in that country.
He’s won 11 of his last 12 fights, albeit those wins came against Rodney Moore, a part-time MMA fighter, and Vyron Phillips, who was making his boxing debut.
For boxers of Jones’ caliber, retirement is a juxtaposition of ego and finances. A longtime commentator alongside HBO’s Max Kellerman and Jim Lampley, Jones has a day job. Still, it could be a combination of both need and desire.
Recently he told TMZ sports he considers himself the Tom Brady of boxing. "You have to be able to rate people by how they perform under pressure, when things don't go their way.”Roy Jones Jr. is far past his prime. Some fighters catch the retirement window wide open and are able to walk upright through it. Others slide through while lithely slumped over the ledge. Let’s hope it’s the former for Roy Jones Jr.
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