Roy Jones Jr may face aging MMA star Quinton "Rampage" Jackson in a boxing match late this year on pay-per-view, according to a report at MMA Junkie. This is a story that has just flown out of left field today, but this is what has been reported so far:
An unveiling of Bellator fighter Quinton "Rampage" Jackson's plans with the promotion will likely include a pay-per-view boxing match with former multi-division boxing champ Roy Jones Jr.
The fight is expected to take place at the end of the year, though a date and weight class for the bout could not immediately be confirmed. It's also unclear how the event will be branded given Bellator and parent company Viacom's focus on MMA.
Jackson (32-11 MMA) recently signed with Bellator after a pretty notable decline in the UFC, losing three straight fights to Jon Jones, Ryan Bader, and Glover Teixeira. He hasn't won a fight since beating Matt Hamill at UFC 130 in May 2011. At 35, Jackson isn't particularly old, but he's definitely not the fighter he used to be.
Jackson did mention boxing when he announced his signing with Bellator, but almost nobody took it seriously. Jones (56-8, 40 KO) is, as everyone knows, long removed from his better days -- in fact, he's a decade removed from his better days -- but he's still a professional boxer, which Jackson is not. The reason Jones' name keeps coming up for "sideshow" fights like this is that he's got no marketability left in the United States. Neither HBO nor Showtime are going to broadcast his fights, and he wants too much money to do something degrading like go from being the best fighter in the world 15 years ago to doing and ESPN2 fight at age 44.
In recent years, Jones has become a world traveler, fighting in Australia, Russia, and Poland, along with two U.S. fights, which were a financial bomb PPV rematch against Bernard Hopkins and a depressingly sparsely-attended fight with Max Alexander in Atlanta in December 2011.
There are a lot of reasons this fight might happen, in other words. Jones wants to fight on, and his ability to do so for any decent money in the United States is now centered on a curiosity or novelty like this fight would be. For Jackson, it's a chance to further branch out in his professional career and do something different. I doubt he has any great fear of losing or whatever, and he can say that he boxed Roy Jones Jr no matter what happens.
Personally, I don't have any real problem with the fight, if it happens. What's the difference, really? It's a fight that shouldn't be taken particularly seriously, but worse things happen all the time in both sports.