President Vladimir Putin has granted Russian citizenship to former four division world champion Roy Jones Jr.
The former four-division champion asked the president for a passport when they had tea in Crimea recently.
The Kremlin on Saturday released a decree granting citizenship to Jones, who had met Putin in August while visiting the Crimean city of Sevastopol.
The 46-year-old Jones won “world” titles in four weight categories before branching out into music and acting.
At his meeting with Putin, Jones told the president he loved Russia and a passport would make it easier for him to visit regularly.
Putin replied he would be glad to fulfil his request "if you intend to link a significant part of your life with activities in Russia."
Promoter Vladimir Hryunov, who works with Jones in Russia, later said his protégé would not renounce US citizenship.
Russia has a history of granting citizenship to flamboyant Westerners, including French actor Gerard Depardieu, who was handed a Russian passport in 2013 after he lambasted France's tax laws.
"I feel very popular in this country, like Michael Jackson in America," Jones said after asking Putin for a passport. "Russians' attitudes inspire love. That's why I want to be with these people."