It’s been confirmed this morning [Weds], that long faded, 46 year old Roy Jones Jr (62-8, 45ko), will square off against former world cruiserweight champion, Enzo Maccarinelli (40-7, 32ko) in Moscow, on December 12.
Despite neither man being in the latest WBA 200 lb rankings, they will contest the organization’s top tier, ‘super’ belt, much to the bemusement of many fans across social media this morning.
The news follows on from Jones’ recent glad-handing trips to the Russian Federation, which culminated in him applying for – and being granted – citizenship by president Vladimir Putin; and the recent rumours that swirled about him fighting the-now-35 year old Maccarinelli for an elusive 200 lb strap, have bizarrely proved to be true.
It’s also worth noting that the winner of December’s dust-up will leapfrog 2nd tier titlist, WBA (reg) cruiserweight champion, Denis Lebedev (27-2, 20ko), who fights unbeaten Lateef Kayode, (21-0, 16ko) in Russia on Nov. 4 – something that is sure not to escape the notice of either man, who will in effect become the mandatory challenger to the Jones/Enzo winner. Laughably, the Russian has also beaten both men in the past, stopping Maccarinelli in the UK in 2009 and knocking Jones out in Russia 2 years later.
“Jones was a great fighter, certainly one of the best of his era,” Maccarinelli said. “But that has to be put to one side as I have my job to do and that’s to knock him out and win the world title.
“It’s incredible how the Russia people have taken to Jones, he’s like a superstar here, with the media following his every move. It takes the pressure off me as I’m just seen as an opponent for him,” the Welshman added. “But I’m going to pull off a huge shock over here on December 12 and bring the world title back to Wales.”
“Big Mac” had been intending to continue campaigning at 175, where he challenged 2nd tier WBA titlist Juergen Braehmer last April, losing after a horrific eye injury forced a 5th round retirement. He last boxed 18 days ago, knocking out Czech journeyman, Jiri Svacinca (12-17, 1ko) in Newport.
Jones has boxed three times this year against unheralded opposition, beating limited club fighter Eric Watkins by 6th round TKO in August. A scheduled fight on UK shores in September was scrapped in favour of pursuing Russian citizenship, though he ended up cornering WBA (reg) 168 lb champion Fedor Chudinov in last months win over Frank Buglioni in London.
The Jones/Maccarinelli bout will be screened by Boxnation in the UK.