Text by Edward Chaykovsky, Interview by Chris Robinson
44-year-old former champion Roy Jones Jr. (57-8, 40KOs) explained why a fight with UFC veteran Nick Diaz (26-9 in MMA), 30-years-old. Jones initially wanted to face former UFC middleweight champion Anderson Silva (33-5 in MMA, 16-2 in the UFC), but last year Silva suffered two stoppage defeats to Chris Weidman (11-0), and a broken leg in last month's rematch will keep Silva out for most of 2014. With Silva out, Jones approached UFC President Dana White to pitch the idea of facing Diaz.
"Anderson wanted to fight me, and now Nick Diaz says he wants to fight me. Anderson and Nick, because they are in another sport and the sport is growing so fast right now - to cross it with boxing does good for both sports. I think it's a shot in the arm for boxing and MMA, because it makes the fans of both [sports] excited to see what happens," Jones said.
"When James Toney did MMA, he didn't have any MMA background and it didn't really look like he did any training in MMA to prepare for it. Well, we don't need to know MMA to fight in boxing. But they have to know other sports [for MMA] - like wrestling, grapping and they have to know boxing to perform in MMA. So they have to take a form of our sport, we don't have to take a form of theirs. It makes it much more of a challenge for them to come to our side than for us to come to theirs."