Just in case there wasn't already enough on the line at UFC 168's Middleweight title rematch between ex-champ Anderson Silva and Chris Weidman, the man who took his belt, aging boxer Roy Jones, Jr. just upped the ante. Jones is telling ESPN he's taking a "warm up" bout in Moscow to be ready for Anderson Silva:
Jones, who turns 45 in January and has not fought since June 2012, was scheduled to face Bobby Gunn in a 12-round cruiserweight fight on Dec. 18 in Bethlehem, Pa., but that fight is off and Jones will instead head to Moscow to face Zine Eddine Benmakhlouf of France, Jones announced on Tuesday.
Many have called for Jones to retire. He is years past his prime and has suffered four brutal knockout losses in his past seven defeats, but he has ignored those calls. Instead, his main goal is secure a victory against the obscure and untested 36-year-old Eddine Benmakhlouf (17-3-1, 8 KOs), while shaking off the rust of his long layoff in order to be ready for the fight he hopes will be made next -- a showdown with UFC star Anderson Silva in a boxing match in the first half of 2014.
"I want to be ready for Anderson Silva in case he beats [Chris] Weidman," Jones told ESPN.com in October. "Silva has made it clear that if he wins, he wants me next. I'm here for him. That's a fight that intrigues a lot of people, but I can't fight Anderson Silva coming off such a long layoff. So I needed to get a fight first. If it wasn't for Anderson Silva calling me out, I wouldn't be fighting this fight."
Silva, who has long been talking about his dream of boxing Jones, lost his UFC title to Chris Weidman at UFC 162.
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