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22 Jul, 2020 15:21

'How can I say no?' Boxing icon Roy Jones Jr claims he would END his retirement if chosen to face Mike Tyson

'How can I say no?' Boxing icon Roy Jones Jr claims he would END his retirement if chosen to face Mike Tyson

Boxing great Roy Jones Jr has revealed that he would end his retirement from the ring if he was picked as the opponent for Mike Tyson's eagerly-anticipated comeback fight.

Former five-weight boxing world champion Jones Jr admitted that he would not be able to resist an offer from the returning Tyson, who is back in training and looking for an opponent at the age of 51.

Jones Jr last competed at heavyweight when he lost five titles against Antonio Tarver in 2004 and spent nine years at cruiserweight before his title-winning final fight in February 2018, but has been linked to lucrative scraps with fellow decorated veterans including Tyson and Evander Holyfield this year.

“Yes, it's true – Mike is a legend," the 51-year-old, who runs a combat school in Moscow as a dual Russian-American citizen, told sports.ru.

"It would be crazy to receive an offer to enter the ring with him and refuse.

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"I had no intention of going back and fighting again but, for the sake of Mike Tyson, I agree to make an exception.

"For me, this is an opportunity that I cannot refuse. Of all those who wanted to go into the ring with him, he chose me. And since he did that, how can I say no?"

With both men believed to be in intense training, there are rumors that a fight between the pair could take place in the US as early as this September.

Undefeated two-weight champion Andre Ward claimed earlier this year that Jones Jr had turned down a $40 million fight with Tyson in 2003.

"There was a Tyson fight on the table and I believe I’m accurate when I say that it was somewhere around $40 million guaranteed," ward told JRE Clips.

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“There was an upside too. You stay at heavyweight, keep the weight on, and Tyson wasn’t quite Tyson at that time.

“He was still dangerous but he wasn’t quite Tyson. I think they were working towards it. What I heard was Roy wanted more money.

“Roy somehow said, ‘No, the fight will be there down the road,’ and put his attention to Antonio Tarver, and the rest is history.

“I wanted to see him fight Tyson and ride off into the sunset. One more and you’re out."

As well as heavy sparring sessions, Jones Jr has kept himself busy in recent weeks by acting as an ambassador for Russian tourism and heritage, going hunting in Russia for the first time and enjoying a front-row seat at the Moscow Victory Day celebration last month.

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