Isaac Brekken/Associated Press
Six-time former world boxing champion Roy Jones Jr. ended his career in the ring by beating Scott Sigmon 98-92 in a 10-round cruiserweight fight at Pensacola Bay Center, Florida, but he left the door open to a return should MMA fighter Anderson Silva accept his challenge, per Alex Richards for the Mirror.
Jones Jr., who has held world titles in four different weight classes, “entertained the crowd with smiles” during a relatively straightforward victory, per Husmukh Kerai for Sky Sports, and did so despite carrying an injury.
“I love each and every fan that came out to support me tonight,” he said, per Richards. “I knew Scott was tough, I knew Scott was game, and I knew Scott was gonna keep coming. I don’t make excuses, but last week I tore my biceps in my left arm again. But because it was my last fight in Pensacola, I refused to pull out.”
Jones Jr. was comfortable throughout, “toying” with his opponent before “exploding with combinations to the body and head.” in front of a joyous hometown crowd in Florida, according to a match report by Brian Mazique for Forbes.
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The final round… of the final fight… of a legendary career! @RealRoyJonesJr https://t.co/PJiStXEtGd
Few boxers can boast a career as successful, or as long, as Jones Jr.’s. He won 66 of his 75 bouts, and the victory over Sigmon came some 25 years after the American-Russian won his first world title.
However, this might not be the end. Speaking to reporters after the fight and directly addressing UFC president Dana White, Jones Jr. reiterated his desire to fight Silva, who could face a lengthy ban from competition following a failed drugs test, per Marc Raimondi for MMAfighting.com.
“Dana, I know you’re listening,” he said. “I know Anderson’s suspended. But that’s the only other fight Roy Jones will return to the ring for. Other than that, chapter’s closed.”
A bout between these two has long been mooted, resurfacing in May 2017 when Jones Jr. confirmed on the Ask Gary Vee Show that talks were under way, and a boxing MMA crossover had been their idea.
“I’m still trying to fight Anderson Silva right now,” he said, per Jed Meshew for MMAfighting.com. “Me and Anderson Silva have been trying to fight way before Floyd Mayweather and [Conor] McGregor ever thought about this.”
But with Silva facing a lengthy ban, Jones Jr. has almost certainly had his final fight in a long and illustrious career. In front of his hometown fans, it was certainly a fitting way to bow out.