Roy Jones Jr. accepts Anderson Silva's fight challenge: ‘I would love to do it'

Ethan Miller

Could a fight between Anderson Silva and Roy Jones Jr. --two of the greatest combat sports athletes in history-- actually take place? Jones Jr. says he would "love to do it," but it would have to be sooner than later.

It was years ago when Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) middleweight titleholder Anderson Silva first expressed interest in crossing over to the boxing ring to challenge former world champion Roy Jones Jr.

"The Spider" has a couple of professional boxing fights under his belt and despite his one-of-a-kind accomplishments in mixed martial arts (MMA), jumping over to face one of the best boxers ever was viewed as a pipedream.

Silva's interest in fighting Jones Jr. --at least in the public eye-- died down over the next few years. That is until the Brazilian rehashed the subject in a recent interview with the New York Post.

""I think everyone's got something they're focused on and that's my own desire, something I'd like to do," said Silva. "Maybe one day when I'm done my UFC career, I will box Roy Jones."

Having recently signed a new 10-fight contract with the UFC, exactly when Silva will be "done" with his UFC career is a mystery.

Unfortunately, though, with Jones Jr. currently sitting at the tender age of 44, time isn't his friend. And while he would "love" to make the fight with Silva happen, he knows that if it's going to take place, it has to be in short order.

"I don't like wasting time. I don't want to talk about something that's not going to happen so if you want to do it, I would love to do it," Jones Jr. told TMZ. "Of course if we're going to do it shortly, if it's two, three years down the line I can't make no promise. But if we're going to do it immediately right away like after the next fight, then it can happen."

Many wonder why the 38-year-old Silva, who is still capable of handily defeating the elite in his own sport, would want to jump into a boxing ring against one of the best to ever lace up a pair of gloves.

Jones Jr. has his own take on that, and believes it's simply because Silva wants to challenge himself and put his skills to the test in a new element.

"He might not necessarily think he can get me but he might want to find out can he get me," Jones Jr. explained. "He might not 100 percent think that but he might want to see how good he could do. Could he get me? So he knows he's good enough because he's been getting everybody over there, so he feel like, ‘If I'm that good why don't I try the best at that?' You got to respect him for that but the best at that don't run from nothing."

Historically the MMA vs. boxing feud has consisted almost entirely of professional boxers crossing over to the MMA ring or cage, but very few MMA fighters have crossed over to boxing against an elite or formerly elite competitor.

While Jones Jr. would welcome Silva to a boxing ring with open arms, he isn't so sure if he would be willing to make the same jump.

"I'm not really sure about the Octagon because I haven't tried it yet but I'm thinking about it now," he said. "But I don't know that I would be the best at that because there's a lot of other things that come along with that, but I know in that square that they all beware."

At the end of the day it's highly unlikely a fight between Silva and Jones Jr. would actually come to fruition in any capacity. But regardless of that Jones Jr. respects Silva's willingness to fight outside his comfort zone and thinks it would be a can't-miss fight.

"I love Anderson Silva, I think he's a great fighter especially in the Octagon, I know it would be a very interesting fight because I know it's about styles and we have very similar fighting styles but his is in the Octagon and mine's in the square."

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