Roy Jones Jr has hit back at critics stating his bout with NDO Champ will tarnish his legacy and claims he will assert his dominance over the bodybuilder in their metaverse fight later this evening.
Much to everyone’s surprise, Pettis managed to pull off a majority decision win over Jones Jr in his professional boxing debut with the judges scoring the bout 77-75, 78-74 and 76-76.
The former four-weight boxing champion – who also took part in an eight-round exhibition bout with Mike Tyson in 2020 – will return to the ring later this evening to assert his dominance over NDO Champ.
Jones Jr says he has the ‘upmost respect’ for NDO Champ given the fact the 39-year-old has made himself ‘relevant enough’ to be named as a worthwhile opponent. But, Jones Jr is adamant that boxing is his ‘domain’.
Roy Jones Jr has hit back at critics stating his bout with NDO Champ will tarnish his legacy
Roy Jones Jr (left) pictured with NDO Champ (right) during their weigh-in on Thursday
He told Mail Sport in an exclusive interview: ‘I have the upmost respect of NDO Champ because he’s done a really great job promoting himself to a point where enough people know him to make him relevant as an opponent.
‘He’s done a lot of work and nowadays you have to worry more about social media content, social media acceptance and awareness than actually boxing. That’s why the likes of Jake Paul has come in and gone pretty far.
‘He’s thinking, “Hey, I got an audience and I am good at fighting people so why not catapult myself into the boxing world as I could be pretty good at this”. It makes sense, I totally understand all of that.
‘But, at the same time, boxing is my domain. If you come into my domain I have to defend it. That’s just who I am. I’m not offended though because I understand.
‘Although, at the back of my mind I am going to feel offended so I got to show this guy that all his muscle mean nothing, this is my domain’.
When asked why he took the fight with NDO Champ, Jones Jr said: ‘The process behind taking this fight was the fact it will be the first fight ever on the meteverse and I love being the first when it comes to anything.
‘When I can be the first person to ever do something, that automatically gets my blood boiling. It’s gets my blood going. So, the fact that I could be the first person to complete a metaverse fight was very interesting to me.
‘It gave me an opportunity to get back into shape and it gave me an opportunity to go out and do something for the very first time.’
Jones Jr (left) took part in an eight-round exhibition bout with Mike Tyson (right) in 2020
Jones Jr became a a four-weight-class world champion with a 61.8 per cent KO rate
During the peak of his career, Jones Jr became a a four-weight-class world champion with a 61.8 per cent KO rate.
Having made his professional debut against Ricky Randall on May 6, 1989, Jones Jr went on to win 33 more consecutive fights, which included 28 wins via stoppage.
Jones Jr secured his first world title fight at the age of 24 on May 22, 1993 after 21 professional fights. He took on Bernard Hopkins for the middleweight IBF (vacant) title and won via 12 round unanimous decision to become the middleweight champion of the world.
Jones Jr went on to secure some notable victories over Felix Trinidad, Virgil Hill, Mike McCallum, James Toney, and Bernard Hopkins, Montell Griffin, Reggie Johnson, John Ruiz, and Julio César Gonzalez.
Therefore, fans worry fights like tonight’s celebrity bout will tarnish the 54-year-old’s legacy. However, Jones Jr said he should only be judged on what he achieved in his prime.
He said: ‘It’s a metaverse fight. It’s only one minute rounds. That’s not a true boxing match. It’s different. Secondly, what I have done, I have already done. I was in my prime when I done what I done.
‘You don’t judge Michael Jordan by what he is doing now. You judge Michael Jordan for what he did in his prime. People shouldn’t judge you by what you are doing now, they should judge you by what you did in your prime.
‘We judge Joe Montana, Larry Bird, Magic Johnson, Barry Francis, Emmitt Smith, we judge all these people by what they did in their prime. Not what they did when they got older.
‘Of course they didn’t do as well when they got older as they did in their prime. Duh! Who would expect them to? We don’t judge you by what you do now. We judge you by what happened in your prime.’
When asked what the fans can expect from the metaverse fight, Jones Jr said: ‘It’s very different to normal. It’s almost like it’s animated in a sense but it’s actually reality.
‘We have to go out there and go through the real thing but then the way the make it look is different. They make it look like it’s more of an animation so get the real thing with some animation on top of it.
‘It makes it look so much better. It makes the ceiling look different, the background looks different, everything looks different. The ceiling looks way, way better than it actually is.
‘This new metaverse thing is something different and when I saw the way it works, it shocked me. It’s a beautiful thing and I’m hoping it turns out great this weekend.
‘If it turns out great this weekend and it makes the kind of money we are hoping it’s going to make, then people can get the opportunity to do more of them. That would be really good.’