For whatever reason, some MMA fighters love the idea of boxing world-class boxers of the past and present. Anderson Silva has dreamed of boxing Roy Jones Jr. for years, but that doesn't seem to be materializing. But fear not! There is a retired MMA fighter with pro boxing experience who is willing to face RJJ in a boxing ring. On tonight's episode of UFC Tonight, Ariel Helwani reported that ex-UFC welterweight Chris Lytle is "in negotiations" to fight Jones later this year. Lytle spoke to Helwani about this potential match-up:
Chris Lytle to @arielhelwani on potential boxing match with Roy Jones Jr.: "I'd be happy every second that I was in there with him."— Shaun Al-Shatti (@shaunalshatti) May 8, 2014
As of now, these are early negotiation stages, but if this fight does come to life, then it will be scheduled for 10 rounds at light heavyweight (175 lbs). But don't think this came out of left field, as he spoke to our own Steph Daniels about this very subject back in January!
Lytle (31-18-5) retired from MMA following a submission win against Dan Hardy in 2011, capping off a career spanning 12 years, and not once was he ever KO'd or submitted (his two TKOs were a doctor stoppage and a cuts stoppage). His pro boxing record is 13-1-1 (7 KOs), but he hasn't competed in the sport since 2005. Jones (57-8) has been on a massive decline since 2004, and sports just an 8-7 record in the past 10 years, but at the height of his career he was truly one of the best in the sport, and he was an unstoppable force at middleweight (160 lbs) and later light heavyweight. Roy's boxing, timing, speed, power, and defense were all something to behold in his prime, but at 45 years of age it's predictably eroded and the general consensus is that he should not continue to compete. He picked up a decision win at cruiserweight (190 lbs) over Zine Eddine Benmakhlouf in December.
That said, Lytle's boxing record is about as filled with cans as you can get. Aside from Omar Pittman, who stands as his most recent opponent and best one to date, Lytle fought some truly dreadful opposition, including a man who entered the ring with a record of 64-256-15. A shot Roy Jones Jr. would still be demonstrably better than any opposition Lytle has ever faced in boxing.
I'll just let Chael Sonnen's quote from the broadcast sum up my feelings on this one:
"This is not his world. If [Lytle] uses his jab, if he uses his footwork, if he has a perfect night and Roy Jones shows up sick, tired and injured, Roy still wins in the first round."
What do you guys think? Are you pumped for a possible Lytle vs. Jones superfight?