Speaking after his retirement from the ring at the age of 49, boxing legend Roy Jones Jr. has revealed his first attempt at securing a world heavyweight title didn’t go so well.
Speaking after his retirement at the age of 49, boxing legend Roy Jones Jr. has revealed his first attempt at securing a heavyweight title shot.
The Pensacola man says at the height of his powers in the early 2000’s, he first got the idea of moving up two divisions from light-heavyweight to challenge for the sport’s biggest prize.
Upon putting the wheels in motion, Evander Holyfield was targeted for the contest, whom Jones Jr. explained turned down the opportunity to face him.
.@RealRoyJonesJr reveals that he and @holyfield once spoke about fighting each other for the Holyfield’s HW title and that Evander turned down the fight! @CommishRandyG @gerrycooney #boxing #JonesSigmon pic.twitter.com/tKyoUNoTZR
— SiriusXM Boxing (@SiriusXMBoxing) February 10, 2018
“I woke up one morning and thought, ‘I should probably fight for the heavyweight championship of the world,” he told Sirius XM Boxing Radio.
“Evander Holyfield was the champion at that current time so I went down to meet him, but when I asked him he said, ‘No because I got everything to lose and nothing to gain’.
“I said, ‘I’ll pay you good money for it’ – but said, ‘That’s not good enough for me.'”
Judging by the timing, Jones would have been talking about the year 2000. Just before Holyfield met John Ruiz for a trilogy of contests.
By 2001 when their feud was over, Ruiz had emerged with the title and had one more defense against Kirk Johnson before setting up a clash with Jones Jr. himself.
We all know how that went down as Jones Jr. made his legacy immortal with a superb victory.
Furthermore, many believe it could have secured the ex-Olympian a place as the best fighter of all time had he walked away from the sport with the top division belt around his waist.