One of the greatest careers in boxing came to an end on Thursday night, when the legendary Roy Jones Jr competed in his final bout as a professional boxer.
Widely considered one of the greatest pound-for-pound fighters the sport has ever produced, Jones – whose record is 65-9 (47 KO’s) – competed at his natural weight of cruiserweight when he took on and beat Scott Sigmon in a convincing decision in Jones’ home town of Pensacola, Florida.
However, as one era ends, another begins. The 10-round affair was the first boxing bout to be shown via live-stream on UFC Fight Pass, the UFC’s digital streaming service.
But just why is Jones held in such high regards amongst the boxing greats?
Having started his career at light middleweight (11st), he is a six-time former world champion in four different weight classes having held titles in middleweight (11st 6lbs), super middleweight (12st), light heavyweight (12st 7lbs) and heavyweight (14st 4lbs+).
That said, he is the only boxer in history to have started his career at light middleweight, and go on to win a heavyweight title. Not a bad argument if you’re talking about the ‘greatest boxers of all time’.
In honour of Jones, Sports Gazette have put together five things about the American boxer you might not have known!
1 – Jones holds dual nationality – in 2015, Jones met with Russian president Vladimir Putin to ask for a dual Russian-American citizenship after explaining that he often visits Russia and a passport would avoid any inconvenience. He was grated Russian citizenship later that year.
2 – Jones is a musician – Jones has released an album entitled “Round one: The Album” back in 2001 which was then released on a major label and since has gone on to release several singles.
3 – Jones represented the United States at the Olympics – controversy struck when Jones went to the 1988 Olympic Games in Seoul because although having never lost a single round en-route to the final, Jones only managed to win a silver medal. However, it wasn’t without debate as Jones seemed to dominate in the final but lost three rounds to two to Korean fighter Park Si-Hun.
4 – Jones’ first professional loss was a disqualification – the first of Jones’ nine losses came as a result of a disqualification back in 1997 when he was disqualified for hitting fellow American Montell Griffin in the back of the head twice, costing Jones the WBC light heavyweight title although being ahead on the judges’ score cards at the time.
5 – Jones has been a commentator – Jones resumed his duties as analyst and commentator for HBO World Championship Boxing in 2005. However, Jones was subsequently let go in 2006 due to his reported lack of commitment to attending network production meetings.
After such an illustrious career, it is time to say goodbye to one of boxing’s greatest. Thursday night was not only a celebration of Jones’ lengthy career, but a salute to all he has accomplished.