When Roy Jones Jr. brought up the idea of a boxing match between himself and Anderson Silva taking place as a co-main event to the potential Conor McGregor-Floyd Mayweather bout, needless to say, it got fans excited.
But — despite boxing versus MMA talk hitting increased levels lately — if you’ve been a fan for a few years, you’ll know that this is not the first time Silva and Jones Jr. have discussed the idea.
“Me and Anderson have, for five or six years now, been trying to get a boxing match between us,” Jones Jr. said, speaking with TheMacLife. “We’re two great icons of our sport, two legends, and it’s not often you get to see two legends get in the ring together. That’s been going on for the last five or six years, and if Conor and Floyd does fight, [our addition] would make it a big event.
“I mean to put us on the undercard as the co-main would be a really, really big event. Not only us fighting but people want to see a boxer versus a MMA guy.”
Roy Jones vs Anderson Silva and Mayweather vs McGregor double headline card UFC invasion. Would be biggest event of all time period
— Roy Jones Jr. (@RealRoyJonesJr) February 23, 2017
Together, the pair have pushed for a boxing contest for years. The two are personal friends, and often have cited wanting to test their abilities against one and other. As such, they have repeatedly made public calls for the UFC to allow the two to step through the ropes and duke it out.
Hell, at one point in 2013, when Anderson Silva had seemingly defeated all middleweight contenders around him, it looked as if the UFC were starting to consider it, and UFC president Dana White even began publicly discussing the possibility.
However, Silva went on to lose his middleweight title to Chris Weidman and the talks of a Jones Jr. fight ceased. Silva went on to compete in mixed martial arts, while Jones Jr. continued boxing, and the bout seemed to disappear from the public’s eye — until now.
Later this week, Jones Jr. is scheduled to meet with UFC bosses, where they’re set to discuss “several things, and we’ll see what happens.”
One of those ‘several things’ is likely the Silva fight. With both men nearing the end of their respective careers, the two believe that there is an an opportunity to put the contest on in a context that perhaps makes more sense than it ever has.
“ was the closest [we got to it],” Jones Jr. said. “Had he not have lost to Weidman, I think it would have happened. … Anderson still wants it, he’s about 40 years old, he’s reaching the end of his career, he’s reaching the end of his prime zone. I’m reaching the end of my primal age, so if we’re gonna make it happen, there’s no better time than now.
— Anderson Silva (@SpiderAnderson) February 23, 2017
“I’m thinking he’s feeling the way I’m feeling, and I know he’s been wanting to do it, because as soon as I [mentioned it] he came back and said ‘why should a man not be allowed to achieve his dream?’ and his dream is mine, it’s a great situation for both of us that we both want.”
It’s certainly caught the attention of the public.
For the two legends to finally step into the ring together would be a fantasy fight realised, and with Jones Jr. and McGregor long time fans of one and other, for Jones Jr. to be a part of this potential historic McGregor/Mayweather card would be exceptional.
“[McGregor’s a] wonderful person, smart person, wonderful fighter,” Jones Jr. said. “Love watching him in action, he’s one of my favourite fighters. His vision to use the sport to push him into superstar status, I think he’s a wonderful person.
“It’s a tough situation for McGregor, because McGregor is a MMA guy, not necessarily a boxer first. Floyd’s one of the best — if not the best, he’s one of the best — pound for pound boxers to ever live.
“To come off another sport, when the top guys in the sport can’t really beat him, then it’s hard to see a guy whose not in the sport necessarily to beat him, unless he can land one big shot. [Conor’s] gonna be looking to land the big shot, trying to knock him out, and we’ll see what happens.”
So. Will fans see Jones Jr. and Anderson Silva box this year — and will it be on the undercard of McGregor/Mayweather?
“I think so,” Jones Jr. said. “If that fight happens this year, probably.”