Roy Jones Jr., 54, came up short in his comeback fight.
The Hall of Famer, taking part in a sanctioned bout for the first time in more than five years, lost a majority decision to 36-year-old former UFC champion Anthony Pettis in an eight-round cruiserweight fight Saturday in Milwaukee.
The official scores were 78-74 and 77-75 for Pettis, and 76-76.
The fight was competitive throughout and Jones fought with urgency in the final few rounds but he was outworked overall by Pettis, who was making his boxing debut.
“For me, I like to come in and entertain the fans,” Jones said afterward. “My job is to come in and make sure that the fans get what they paid for, and I’m all good with that.
“I think it was a good fight. He did a great job and fought a very smart fight. I think I educated him and taught him a lot in this fight. So I think if I fought him again it would be even better because he knows a lot more now.
“I think it would be a really good rematch.”
Jones was coming off an exhibition with Mike Tyson in 2020. Why take part in sanctioned bouts as opposed to exhibitions when you’re in your mid-50s?
“I don’t do exhibitions, I fight real fights,” Jones said. “I’m not an exhibition guy, I’m a real guy. I want to win, or I want to lose. But I’m going to go out on my shield.
“And I want to be able to do it again as many times as I want to. At 54 years old, that’s a beautiful thing, and he already said he’d do it again because one judge had it even. So that’s what I love.”
Meanwhile, Pettis was impressed with the old man. And he’s thrilled to have embarked on a new journey.
“Man, he’s 54 years old, but you’ve got to give it up for this guy,” Pettis said. “He’s a legend in the sport, a GOAT (Greatest of All Time). Praise God for allowing me to get this opportunity. Give it up for Roy Jones Jr., man.
“I’m going to take it one fight at a time, take it day by day,” continued Pettis. “I’m 1-0 as a pro and I’m excited for what the future holds.”
What about a rematch with Jones?
“I would love to do it again,” Pettis said. “Let’s go. It would be an honor, bro.”