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Putin signed decree to grant Roy Jones Jr. Russian citizenship

Longtime Russian president Vladimir Putin has signed a decree granting Roy Jones Jr. Russian citizenship.

Dennis Grombkowski/Getty Images

On August 20, 2015, American boxing legend Roy Jones Jr. visited Sevastopol, where he had the opportunity to drink tea with Russian president Vladimir Putin. The retired boxer also had another interest in mind apart from meeting Putin: he wanted to become a Russian citizen.

During their meeting, Roy explained to the Russian president why he believed he was a valuable asset to the Russian economy and wanted to start a business there. The explanation must have been satisfactory, as the it was announced a few weeks later on the official Kremlin website that Putin had signed a decree to grant Roy Jones Russian citizenship.

According to, Roy Jones plans to buy a dacha in the Crimea and will also record songs with Russian rappers Dzhiganom and Bastia. The five-division boxing champion also added that he feels he may be more appreciated on Russian soil.

"After my arrival in Russia, I saw that there is a large community of boxers," Roy Jones Jr. told "I also felt appreciated in Russia. Maybe even a lot more than I was valued and appreciated in my own country."

Boxing promoter Vladimir Hryunov even revealed that Roy Jones wept with joy when he learned about the special decree from Putin.

"The decree from the Russian President was signed today but we will get the passport itself later. Roy Jones told me that he cried for a minute, because it is a great honor for him. He has many plans for the future.

"On 26 September, he will fly to London with our champion Fedor Chudinov and will help him to prepare for the battle with Briton Frank Baglioni. On October 3, he will be assisted with Habib Allahverdiyev in Cincinnati. Then, on December 2, Roy Jones will be a championship fight in Moscow, at the Palace of Sports "Olympic"