Roy Jones Jr. reveals the reason why he became a Russian citizen

It’s fair to say the all-time great raised a few eyebrows with this move.

In 2015, Roy Jones Jr officially became a Russian citizen after President Vladimir Putin accepted his request but many wonder why he was so keen for it to go through.

The boxing icon - seen by many as the greatest fighter of the 90s - fought in Russia on four occasions towards the back-end of his illustrious career and picked up wins against Zine Eddine Benmakhlouf and Hany Atiyo.

In a 2018 interview with Kevin Iole, Jones revealed it was partly down to help build future American-Russian relations.

"I go there a lot," said the former four division king. "When I was offered the opportunity to see the Russian citizenship they said 95% of the population knows me.

"I'm like, 'you know what, here's the opportunity to where not on a political level but on a lower you can kind of merge these two countries together and stop some of all the crazies that goes on, all the angle and hostility, all of the cold wars'.

"You know you may be able to start at a lower scale and may work yourself up," Jones continued. 

"I was simply looking at it as a way to become an ambassador to show that 'hey, you can be part of both of these countries - we don't have to be against each other, we can all work together here'.

"That's how that started and with that being said people sit back and they talk about Disney and talk about that but we get angered by people being cruel to animals.

"Yet if we have beef with another country they draft our kids to go out to war at 18 years old.

"So could I really have cruelty to an animal or to my kid?"With that being said, it makes sense for me to do all I can to make amends with these people so we get along.

"After my arrival in Russia, I saw that there is a large community of boxers. I also felt appreciated in Russia.

"Maybe even a lot more than I was valued and appreciated in my own country," Jones added in a separate interview with

Jones most recently laced up the gloves to take on Mike Tyson in an eight-round exhibition fight in November.

"Captain Hook" has refused to rule out another exhibition and could very well be in line to take on Carl Froch or Joe Calzaghe next.

The American is currently the trainer of Chris Eubank Jr., who has been offered a deal to fight Demetrius Andrade for the WBO middleweight title.

Latest news