Thanks to Russian president Vladimir Putin, former world heavyweight boxing champion, Roy Jones Jr., is now a Russian citizen.
According to a decree published on the Kremlin’s website, Vladimir Putin has granted Russian citizenship to Jones, a professional boxer, rapper and actor.
It has been reported by ABC that in August this year, Roy Jones Jr. asked Vladimir Putin to grant him citizenship when the boxer and the Russian president met over tea in Crimea.
Putin, according to the report, told Roy Jones Jr. that he could become a Russian citizen if he’s thinking of spending significant time on Russian soil.
Now that he’s a Russian citizen, Roy Jones Jr. plans to learn the Russian language. The boxer taled about his plan.
“I want to speak so well in Russian that people understand me without any problems. I think that’ll take about a year. I hope that next year I’ll already be speaking like a Russian.”
The 1990s Fighter of the Decade also bared his goal of earning “two or three billion dollars.” And since his being a Russian citizen would make doing business in the country a lot easier, Jones also wants to open boxing schools and work on developing his career as a rapper.
The 46-year-old Russian professional boxer has no plans to retire from his 26-year professional boxing career just yet and still wants to win another world boxing title.
Roy Jones Jr., now a Russian citizen, has also begun training Russian boxers. Two Russian fighters he has taken under his wing are Fedor Chudinov, WBA super middleweight champion, and his brother Dmitry Chudinov, a former WBA interim middleweight champion.
Before he became a Russian citizen, Roy Jones Jr., had competed several times in Russia. Last year, in a fight held in the Russian city of Krasnodar, he knocked out Egyptian boxer Hany Atiyo. He fought two other matches in the country in the last five years.
In an interview with Gazeta.ru, the former world boxing champion revealed that he feels appreciated in Russia.
“After my arrival in Russia, I saw that there is a large community of boxers. I also felt appreciated in Russia. Maybe even a lot more that I was valued and appreciated in my own country.”
Roy Jones Jr. is not the only celebrity who has been granted Russian citizenship. Gerard Depardieu, French actor and filmmaker, is also a Russian citizen and is now residing in the city of Saransk.
Fred Durst of the US band Limp Bizkit has also revealed his desire to become a Russian citizen and buy a house in the country. Durst is now touring in Russia with his band.
[Image via RT]