5/07/2009 12:41pm, #1
Roy Jones Junior agrees to fight Silva in Octagon - Dana White Says No
Courtesy of CBSSports.com
Roy Jones, who enjoyed a long run as the best pound-for-pound boxer in the world in the 1990s, has issued a challenge to the best mixed martial artist in the world, Anderson Silva.
The 40-year-old Jones, who is coming off a win against game but faded vet Omar Sheika last month, is willing to battle the 34-year-old Silva in the UFC Octagon, adhering to regular UFC rules.
CBSSports.com spoke to Silva's manager, Ed Soares, who told us that Silva (24-4, 14 KOs) is keen on meeting Jones (53-5, 39 KOs) in the Octagon, or even in a boxing ring. So, will the first mega-crossover boxing/MMA battle take place?
"That's a question you have to ask Dana White," Soares told us. "We'd love to fight Roy Jones. Anderson wants to challenge himself, he wants legendary fights."
So, how about it, Dana? Should fans of both disciplines get geared up for the crossover clash?
"You won't see a Silva versus Jones fight while Silva is under contract with me," White said Tuesday. "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 fifteen years ago. He's not anywhere near the best boxer in the world. He must've spent all his money."
Silva is still seemingly at his earning peak; he will step up to light heavyweight to beef with fan favorite Forrest Griffin at UFC 101 in August, a challenge he is embracing after a run of less than dramatic title defenses against sub-superstar level athletes. Silva has four fights remaining on his UFC deal, White told CBSSports.com which should have him fighting under the UFC banner for another year-and-a-half or so.
The fighter could then decide to jump ship, and do the Jones scrap, or re-sign with White and company, and likely shelve the Jones contest concept once and for all.
Fans of both sports have expressed interest in a crossover match that didn't feature a faded boxer, like former heavyweight titlist Ray Mercer, against a younger mixed martial artist, like Kimbo Slice, looking to add a recognizable name to his resume. Boxers like former welterweight crown holder Kermit Cintron, and Floyd Mayweather have contemplated learning a ground game to go with their standup skills to compete in MMA. But so far, it's been a case of all talk, next to no follow through. Jones, though, is ready to match the walk with the talk -- he is willing to train in MMA for a several months and tangle with Silva in late 2009 or early 2010.
Last year, Silva expressed heavy interest in testing his standup game; the Brazilian technician, nicknamed "The Spider" for his long limbs, which can turn a foe into a pretzel quicker than White can drop an F-bomb, said he'd love to box Jones after he choked out Dan Henderson at UFC 82 in March 2008.
Talks between the Jones and Silva camps lost steam, though, as Silva was booked into three UFC events in 2008. White spoke up and said that he didn't want Silva to box Jones. An impasse loomed.
So Jones' manager, McGee Wright, approached Jones a few weeks ago, and asked him if he'd consider fighting Silva on his turf, in an Octagon.
Jones agreed, McGee told CBSSports.com. So a pumped-up McGee reached out to Silva's manager, Soares, and Soares was excited as well.
"He said Silva would do it, fight Roy in an MMA fight," Wright said.
Soares then contacted White, and from there, Wright says, the plan for a boxing/MMA crossover megafight was derailed. Late last week, Wright says, he and Soares touched base and Soares reported that White wasn't keen on a Silva vs. Jones MMA tussle.
Wright is slightly perplexed. "I would've though Dana would've been happy to do it, after last year he said he wanted Sean Sherk to fight Floyd Mayweather," Wright said. "The pay per view of Jones against Silva would be in line with the results from the [May 2008] De La Hoya/Floyd Mayweather fight," he says of the showdown which broke buys and revenue records.
Jones, a Florida resident, is tentatively slated to take on fellow Floridian Jeff Lacy in July, as he tries to make it two wins in a row after his disappointing loss to Scot Joe Calzaghe in November. Jones scintillated fight fans with his blinding hand speed and footwork when he gobbled up titles at middleweight, super middleweight, light heavyweight an even at heavyweight, in 2002. His reflexes have diminished some, but his status as a lockdown Hall of Famer would still speak to fight fans. White even concedes that he could make money with the crossover event.
"I could do it, make it huge, make money, but I could have done a fight like this when we were bleeding money [in the early 2000s]," White said. "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 matchup. It's not what we do."
That sound you hear? That's cold water, splashing.
For now, those lusting for a boxer/MMAer clash will have to make do with a June 13 faceoff between the 48-year-old Mercer and former UFC heavyweight champion Tim Sylvia. They'll get in on, using the unified rules of boxing, in Alabama.
5/07/2009 1:21pm, #2
- Join Date
- Jul 2006
- West coast
5/07/2009 1:25pm, #3
- Join Date
- Dec 2005
- W. Yorks, UK
Dana White is a twat, who knew?
Also, Calzaghe is Welsh.
5/07/2009 1:29pm, #4
Calzaghe is welsh.. not scottish
*EDIT.. damn someone got there first! there goes my chance of being the pedantic one who reads things only to point out their flaws
Last edited by MMAMickey; 5/07/2009 1:32pm at .
5/07/2009 2:22pm, #5
Yeah, Dana, we definitely don't want athletes from other sports crossing over into MMA. We don't want the PPV money, we don't want the publicity, we don't want the fans, and we definitely--holy hell--we definitely don't want to challenge our fighters.
That would be awful, y'know, if Anderson Silva were challenged.What a disgrace it is for a man to grow old without ever seeing the beauty and strength of which his body is capable. -Xenophon's Socrates
5/07/2009 2:27pm, #6
5/07/2009 2:32pm, #7
It's not retarded for Dana White. Bad things happen to his whole empire if Jones wins, and Jones can still put a fella to sleep with one punch if he gets lucky.
It just sucks for the rest of us, and sucks because it shows how much power the UFC has to protect it's own interests.
5/07/2009 2:37pm, #8
I am not (yet) convinced that the MMA empire will crumble if Roy Jones KOs Silva or anyone else. The UFC will still be the premier place where such things are decided, and it could trigger an influx of boxers into MMA.
I just don't see a scenario where all of North America says "OMG a boxer beat a UFC heavyweight champ in the UFC, I guess I won't watch anymore." No way, they'll want to see it again! And they'll want to see the next boxer try his luck! Hell, that was half the fun of the early style-vs-style UFCs. Or is that just me and other MA nerds who liked that aspect?What a disgrace it is for a man to grow old without ever seeing the beauty and strength of which his body is capable. -Xenophon's Socrates
5/07/2009 2:41pm, #9
5/07/2009 2:42pm, #10For now, those lusting for a boxer/MMAer clash will have to make do with a June 13 faceoff between the 48-year-old Mercer and former UFC heavyweight champion Tim Sylvia. They'll get in on, using the unified rules of boxing, in Alabama.