Preliminary talks are underway for a 2008 boxing match between popular boxer Roy Jones Jr. and current UFC middleweight champion Anderson Silva, according to an NBC Sports report:
Representatives of UFC middleweight champion Anderson Silva and boxing great Roy Jones Jr. are actively engaging in talks that would pit the two in a boxing match, NBCSports.com has learned.
Alan Hopper, director of public relations for Don King Productions confirmed that talks are ongoing, and characterized them as “preliminary.”
“Roy likes the idea and is up for it,” Hopper said. “It’s being discussed. Roy will only agree if the match takes place under the rules of boxing, and UFC would have to clear Silva’s participation.”
The bout, if it does take place, would be an officially sanctioned boxing match, not an exhibition as previously speculated. The fight would take place at a catchweight between 170-pounds and 185-pounds.
Having the UFC sign off on the match might be tough as the promotion is likely to be reluctant to the idea of having their most dominant champion go toe-to-toe with a professional boxer. The UFC would also need to reach an agreement on promoting the fight, which would likely air on pay-per-view.
The risk in the situation lies in the damage Silva’s reputation would take in a loss. MMAFrenzy.com’s advertising partner BodogLife.com currently has the odds highly skewed in Jones Jr.’s favor at -2500, making a loss for Silva highly likely, at least in the eyes of the sports books.