jamal collierESPN2:02 a.m. Eastern Time2 minute read
In their first fight in more than three years, boxing Hall of Famer Roy Jones Jr. was defeated by majority decision by former UFC champion Anthony Pettis on Saturday night in Milwaukee.
Two judges scored the fight 77-75 and Pettis 78-74, while a third judge scored it a 76-76 tie.
Jones, 54, was competing in his first fight since a no-score exhibition fight against Mike Tyson in 2020. He seemed much more agile and landed more punches Saturday night compared to his fight against Tyson three years ago, but still couldn’t. to get past Pettis, who was the busier fighter and put together more combinations than Jones.
Pettis, who was making his professional boxing debut, and Jones embraced in the ring as the final bell rang after their eight-round main event of Fiserv Forum’s Gamebred Boxing 4.
The two men showed respect for each other despite their differing backgrounds during the week leading up to the fight, which continued after the bell on Saturday. Pettis, the 36-year-old former UFC lightweight champion, called Jones one of the greatest of all time and said it was an honor to be in the ring with him.
“He’s a legend of the sport,” Pettis said of Jones. “I’m going to take one fight at a time. I’m 1-0 as a pro so I’m excited to see what the future holds. I had a great team behind me and I wanted this.”
Jones said he was proud of the dedication it took to get down to 200 pounds for this fight. He used the fact that a judge scored the match a draw as fuel to think about a possible rematch with Pettis down the road.
“I want to go out with my shield and be able to do it again as many times as I want,” Jones said ringside during a post-match interview. “So at 54, that’s a beautiful thing.”
In the co-main events, the rematch between José Aldo and Jeremy Stephens was declared a draw by majority and Vitor Belfort defeated Ronaldo Souza via unanimous decision after Belfort dropped Souza twice during the third round.