By Alexey Sukachev
A fight between Roy Jones Jr. (54-7, 40 KOs), 42, a former world champion in four weight divisions, and Denis Lebedev (21-1, 16 KOs), 31, one of the best active Russian fighters regardless any weight class, was discussed by Lebedev's side via a specifically designated press release. The event will be labeled the “Battle of Two Empires”, will be held on May 22 at Dynamo Arena in Krylatskoe, western Moscow.
The entire event will become one of the soundest fight cards in the history of Russian prizefighting and will be promoted by 2006 Russian promoter of the year Vladimir Hryunov, who also manages Lebedev, Alexander Povetkin and Alexander Bakhtin. Hryunov was also the man, who put up the first ever championship fight on Russian soil with a Russian boxer (Oleg Maskaev).
Roy Jones Jr., a 1988 Seoul silver medalist, is widely regarded as one of the most accomplished pugilists in the history of boxing, although his better days are obviously far behind him. Jones is “The Ring” 1994 Fighter of the year. He was IBF middleweight champ (1993-1994); IBF super middleweight (1994-1996); two-time WBC (1996-1997 and 1997-2004) light heavyweight; WBA light heavyweight (1998-2004); IBF light heavyweight (1999-2003) and WBA heavyweight (2003) champion of the world. Jones also held IBO, WBF, IBA and NBA trinkets around his waist at different times in his illustrious career. The Pensacola native will undeniably be the biggest star to fight in Russia to date.
Denis Lebedev, a versatile southpaw boxer-puncher with a knockout power in both hands, who was earlier trained by top Soviet coaches Artiom Lavrov and Valery Belov and is now guided by Hall-of-Famer Kostya Tszyu. Lebdev is a 2001/2004 Russian light heavyweight champion and 2009 Russian Fighter of the years (by the Professional Boxing Federation of Russia). He is also ranked as the WBO #1 cruiserweight in the world, following his much disputed split decision loss to Marco Huck in December 2010. Lebedev represents “Vityaz” sport club and is supported by “Nasledie” foundation.
“I’m sure he beat Huck in Germany but was robbed there”, says John Wirt, the head of Roy Jones’ Square Ring Promotions, in the press release. “He is a legitimate cruiserweight world champion and one of the most dangerous fighters in his weight class”.
He was further quoted saying, “We had multiple choices from around the world; we had an offer from Canada; there were plans to fight in the United States, but this opportunity is unique. How many fights of such significance have ever been in Russia before? This is an intriguing moment which has immediately popped up. We have no reasons for worry. There will be a fair referee and competent judges. We are going there for a win”!
The presser will be held on April 7. The exact time and place of the press-conference will be announced later.