It was 2013 when Anderson Silva and Roy Jones Jr. expressed mutual interest in fighting each other. UFC president Dana White was willing to make it happen when the idea met its expected demise, until talks resurrected in 2017.
As he prepares for his comeback exhibition match against Mike Tyson on September 12, Jones once again brought Silva back to the conversation.
“People have been talking about Roy Jones Jr. vs. Anderson Silva in a boxing match for years, even before the McGregor-Mayweather fight happened,” Jones told MMA Fighting (transcript by BJPenn.com). “We were supposed to happen first. And, unlike that fight, Anderson has professional boxing experience. McGregor didn’t.
“So, this is much more of a competitive fight, especially with us being older. Now, because he has experience it is much easier for him to survive.
“He doesn’t have to deal with the young tiger Roy Jones,” said the 51-year-old former pound-for-pound great. “He gets to deal with the older Roy Jones where he may have a chance to deal with because I’m much older than what I once was. But, that still is a big event and it would’ve been a big event if it happened back then. As Mike shows you now, never say never, the opportunity may come now.”
Jones’ focus is on Tyson at the moment, but he’s already looking forward to the Silva fight some time in the future.
“He is a great friend of mine, he’s a good person,” Jones said of Silva. “Doesn’t speak good English but he always wanted to make a fight with me, they just never allowed him the opportunity to do it, or they never had the right time to do it.
“We both gave our words that if we ever got the opportunity, we would. If the opportunity comes along, I’m sure that maybe one of the other fights I entertain. I did give him my word that if the opportunity came, I would. So if I’m healthy and cool after this fight, he could get it.”
The 45-year-old Silva is currently on a 1-5 run since he returned from his 2013 leg injury. He also tested positive for banned substances twice along the way, which resulted in suspensions.