By Bryanna Fissori
A small bit of history has been made. Boxing legend Roy Jones Jr. has fought his last bout, and UFC Fight Pass has aired its first boxing card.
Island Fights 46 hosted the farewell match for Roy Jones Jr. (65-9) on February 8th against Scott Sigmon (30-11-1). At the age of 49, Jones has had quite a career. He still contends that he can keep up with the young boxers, but has opted to give them a break.
To the surprise of many, the bout lasted all ten rounds. Jones spent much of that time conversing with his cornermen, proving that this really was just another day at the office for this veteran of the ring.
Sigmon worked hard to close the distance and pressure Jones against the ropes. He was actually fairly successful in burying his head in the chest of Jones and throwing repeated strikes from the inside. The problem was one of quality versus quantity. Jones still landed clean shots from the inside, leaving Sigmon visibly worn down. Jones was much more successful than Sigmon at landing when there was any sort of space available.
At one point a commentator stated, “If Roy Jones could use his thumbs he would probably be texting during this fight.”
Jones won by unanimous decision.
As the inaugural card for boxing on UFC Fight Pass, there were several similarities to UFC organized productions. The “tale of the tape” was very similar to that of UFC or other MMA productions. This is when the two competitor’s statistics are compared side by side. The introduction of the fighters was also very similar to the presentation in a UFC main card.
UFC Fight Pass is a content streaming service that currently works with MMA organizations from around the world as well as kickboxing, Muay Thai and submission grappling. Plus subscribers have VOD access to over 16,000 historical fights from 37 promotions, documentaries and the UFC’s TV archive.
The UFC Fight Pass production crew does have some say in how the event is conducted, but the promotions are not required to mimic the UFC format.
“This is the first live boxing on UFC FIGHT PASS. I love being the first to do something, so to be the first boxing event on UFC FIGHT PASS is cool. When I turned pro back in 1989, I said I wanted to bring new audiences boxing and that’s what I tried to do. By having my last night as a fighter on the UFC’s (streaming service) I’m bringing new eyeballs to boxing and I’m throwing a spotlight on the boxing and MMA fighters who are on the event,” said Jones.
“I’m been a fan of the UFC for years. Me and (UFC President) Dana White have been friends for a long time, since before he even got started with the UFC. We’ve talked about FIGHT PASS showing a fight (of mine) and it has come about perfectly.”
Another interesting mention was in round five when the commentators discussed this bout being the last for Jones. Apparently he is still interested in a potential superfight with UFC star Anderson Silva. They seem to believe it is a possibility.
This would not be the first MMA/Boxing crossover, though it would be an interesting one. The UFC intends to start their own boxing promotion under the name “Zuffa Boxing,” opening up more opportunities for boxing competitors and fans.
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