Anderson Silva vs Roy Jones Jr | Will it Ever Happen?
In 2009, Anderson Silva (31-4 in MMA), UFC's Middleweight Champion and top pound-for-pound mixed martial artist, announced his plans to leave UFC, retire from MMA and pursue a high profile boxing match with the legendary Roy Jones Jr (55-8, 40 KO) once the former's UFC contract expired.
At the time, Anderson Silva had four fights left with famed MMA organization. But since then, he's participated in seven fights and recently agreed to a rematch with rival Chael Sonnen at UFC 148 on July 7th.
Prospects for Jones vs Silva was a hot topic three years ago and contracts were purportedly signed.
In April 2009, Roy Jones himself confirmed he was extremely interested in fighting Silva:
"I'm going to try and make it happen. He's saying he wants to fight me, so, OK, I'm ready. Let's brawl," said Roy Jones who was on hand at UFC 101 to witness Anderson Silva steamroll Forrest Griffin.
And according to Five Ounces of Pain, Anderson Silva confirmed in July 2009 negotiations for Jones vs Silva had progressed:
"It is undoubted that I will face Roy Jones," revealed Anderson Silva. "We have talked too much, have signed some contracts and we want to make it the sooner the better. It's not for money or spotlight, it's for my desire.
"I watch Roy Jones since he competed as an amateur and in the Olympic Games. I'm looking forward to this fight to put in the ring everything I know, to show my students in the future that I understand what I may say over this or that and don't seem a pirate parrot," said the Brazilian.
But since both fighters initially announced their strong intentions to fight one another, Anderson Silva has gone 7-0 in UFC while Jones has struggled in boxing, winning only one of his last four bouts. Nevertheless, the 37 year old Silva is still on top on in the MMA arena and is apparently not quite ready to give up the Octagon for a dust-up in the ring with boxing's legendary Roy Jones Jr.
Courtesy of HBO Sports
As late as last year, Silva was still talking about his desire to rumble with Roy, stating he wanted to box his idol in "maybe five more years."
"It's my dream -- is to fight Roy Jones," echoed the MMA legend on MMAFighting's 'MMA Hour' in April 2011."
Perhaps uncomfortable with the possibility of seeing UFC's best fighter lying helplessly unconscious compliments of an over-the-hill boxer, UFC president Dana White emphatically maintained he would not allow Anderson Silva to box Roy Jones Jr as long as Silva was fighting under the UFC banner.
Anderson Silva vs Roy Jones in MMA?
After White's decry, a zealous Roy Jones Jr allegedly sent UFC President Dana White a proposal to fight Silva in an MMA bout but White rejected the idea. In 2009, the UFC president told CBS Sports:
"You won't see a Silva versus Jones fight while Silva is under contract with me, I don't want to say anything bad about Roy Jones, I like Roy Jones and was a fan of his, but he mattered like 15 years ago.... He must've spent all his money. I could do it, make it huge, make money, but I could have done a fight like this when we were bleeding money. The fight would make some money, but it hurts MMA in the long term. We don't do that because we love the sport. That's a Pride or K-1 match up. It's not what we do."
Some would argue White's comments about Jones are hypocritical considering he allowed a shopworn, badly out of shape Jones Toney to fight under the UFC banner in 2010. Toney is the lesser accomplished of the two fighters and entered his MMA debut having won only three of his previous seven boxing matches (3-2-1, 1 NC) with two of his three wins coming via split decision.
"Needless to say, "Lights Out," who appeared to be carrying a keg around his mid-section, was far from a force in boxing when he entered UFC.
Recently called "the best fighter ever made in MMA" by Dana White, questions still linger about how MMA's best fighter would fair against the faded boxing legend in a boxing match.
One could argue the potential boxing match, Jones vs Silva, has lost a bit of its luster as a result of Jones' subsequent losses but Roy had only won four of his previous eight bouts when he started negotiating with Silva.
Courtesy of Sherdog
A boxing match featuring Anderson Silva and Roy Jones with both fighters in their respective primes would have been, by all accounts, a mismatch.
But can MMA's best fighter compete in the boxing ring against a pugilistic legend who's well past his prime but still capable of occasional flashes of brilliance?
Unbeknownst to many, Anderson Silva, also considered one of MMA's top strikers of all time, has two professional boxing fights on his ledger. Silva was knocked out in his pro debut in 1998 but registered a stoppage in his next boxing match seven years later.
Roy Jones Jr vs Anderson Silva: The Reality
Even if both men become available in the next two or three years, what's the likelihood of the two legends meeting in a boxing match?
What state commission would sanction a boxing match between a former multi-division world champion with over 60 boxing fights and an MMA star with only two professional bouts as a pugilist?
Even against a faded Roy Jones, Jr, Anderson Silva would arguably be risking his teeth and, more importantly, his overall health and well-being by stepping into the ring with the boxing legend and it remains doubtful any state commission would sanction what many in boxing believe would be an obvious mismatch.
Always a shrewd businessman, Roy Jones Jr, now 43, seemingly knows a boxing match against UFC's top fighter would sell a lot of tickets among fans of both sports as many would be interested in watching the two fight legends engage out of sheer curiosity.
Anderson Silva's profile on UFC.com
(Main pic of Anderson Silva is courtesy of Sherdog)