Roy Jones Jr. was once considered the best pound-for-pound fighter in the world. These days, the 47-year-old spends his evenings beating up on fans.
Jones is the centerpiece of an internet pay-per-view show that pits the former “Fighter of the Decade” against anyone who wants to win a prize of $100,000 — all the contestant has to do is defeat Jones. The challenger must have some background in either boxing, MMA, or another style of fighting to get in the ring with Jones. Anyone can watch the show on their computer for $11.99.
On March 20, Jones entered the ring in Phoenix, Arizona, with Vyron Phillips, a 33-year-old with a 6-1 in amateur boxing contest record and a 5-3 professional MMA record. Phillips was selected for the fight after the producers of the show went through more than 1,500 entries. Apparently, most of the hopefuls vying for the $100,000 cash prize had little to no fighting background. Yahoo Sports reported that the Arizona Boxing and MMA Commission made it clear that Jones’ opponent would have to have combat experience, so Phillips’ 15 career fights was enough to fit the bill.
The fight itself was laughable. Both of the men danced around the ring ducking, covering, and hugging until Jones knocked the fan out in the second round with a right-handed counter punch. Phillips was conservative in the first round, throwing mostly jabs at Jones. When he came out in round 2 with an aggressive right hand, Jones flattened the man.
“The $100,000 is safe tonight ladies and gentleman,” one commentator exclaimed after the knockout. “Jones Jr. with the scintillating right hand.”
It may sound like a joke, but it isn’t.
Jones, who is now officially 63-9 with 46 KOs, sounded equally as excited in his post-match interview.
“I wouldn’t challenge Michael Jordan in one-on-one for $100K,” Jones said. “That guy has an amazing heart to just try the feat. He went out and challenged the best.”
“The best” is a far cry for someone who is tainting their Hall of Fame career by participating in a freak show that displays former fighters in wrestling matches, grappling matches, and MMA fights against somebody’s neighbor from down the street.
Jones’ last “real” fight was frightening as well — but for different reasons. In December of 2015, Jones fought in Moscow against former cruiserweight titlist Enzo Maccarinelli. In the fourth round, Jones was knocked out so badly that spectators couldn’t help but parallel the fight to the bout featuring Apollo Creed and Ivan Drago from Rocky IV. Against the advice of many, Jones refused to throw in the towel and retire.
When Phillips finally woke up from Jones’ right-handed stinger, even he expressed his concerns for the aging Jones. (Maybe he thought he had won the fight?)
“I’d like to see Roy go away from this,” Phillips said. “Maybe, coach. I don’t want to see him get hurt.”
Jones’ does not currently have any other fights scheduled, and it’s uncertain whether or not this pay-per-view sideshow will continue. Many fans on Twitter seemed to love the concept, tweeting anything from “America is great again” to “I’m a fan of this.”
Jones is optimistic about fighting in the future.
“I don’t have anything planned,” he said. “You just never know what’s going to happen.”
[Photo by Rick Schultz/Getty Images]