Last Sunday night, future hall-of-famer Roy Jones Jr. emerged victorious in probably one of the most bizarre PPV fight cards in combat sports history. For those catching up, Jones fought MMA fighter Vyron Phillips in a 6-round boxing affair in which Phillips was given a chance at $100,000 to beat the boxing legend. As expected, that outcome never came close to fruition as Jones had Phillips in trouble as early as the first round, and put him down for the count via a right hand counter with 45 seconds left in the 2nd.
Originally, the proposition was for Jones to fight a “random fan” who submitted the most convincing 90-sec video describing why they deserved a chance at a $100k payday until the Arizona State Athletic Commission stepped in and said that Jones had to fight a license professional in order for the bout to take place. According to an interview with the executive of the network, the ruling had no bearing on their final decision of Vyron Phillips.
Roy Jones boxed a fan on a sanctioned PPV. The fan got knocked out pic.twitter.com/bWmVBPrfAJ— Timothy Burke (@bubbaprog) March 21, 2016
Phillips was chosen amongst a pool of over 1,000 video submissions, and depending on source, holds either a 5-3 or 6-3 record in MMA bouts as well as a 6-1 record as an amateur boxer. While these type of credentials would not normally qualify someone to step into the ring of Jones’s boxing caliber, the justification from the network was that given both Phillips’s 14-year advantage in age as well as his physical dimensions, there would be a chance the MMA fighter could legitimately win. What of course happened showed that Phillips had no business in the ring with even this version of Roy Jones Jr., and perhaps more troubling, the win has appeared to instill some confidence into the former champ’s future plans. While Jones made no official statement of continuing his fighting career, he also has not made one indicating that he’d stop.
“I don’t have anything planned,’’ Jones said during the show. “You just never know what’s going to happen.”
Jones last appeared in the squared circle against Enzo Maccarinelli, his first step up against legitimate competition after a four-year campaign of taking on soft touches. Maccarinelli went on to win the bout in devastating KO fashion and showed that Jones no longer held the capabilities to contend with the elite divisions of the sport. Though Jones won easily this past weekend, it should be in no way an indication of how he would fare against the legitimate fighters in boxing. His opponent on Sunday felt similarly.
“I’d like to see Roy go away from this,’’ Phillips said in post-fight interview. “Maybe, coach. I don’t want to see him get hurt.’’
For those interested in the results of the other bouts on the card, Michael Bisping and Chael Sonnen fought to a draw in a grappling-only match, Shannon Ritch submitted Mavrick Harvey via rear-naked choke in an MMA bout that replaced Dan Severn fighting Tank Abbott who replaced Ken Shamrock shortly before that, and finally Rey Mysterio defeated Kurt Angle via pinfall in a WWE-style match. And if you’re just hearing about this card now, yes that did all really happen.
Check out these related stories:
The Mixed Martial Arts of Victorian London
Before BJJ, there was Bartitsu.
Jonathan Maicelo: The Last Inca
Peru's up-and-coming boxing star.
Kron Gracie on Jiu-Jitsu, Skateboarding, Older Brothers, and Famous Fathers
The ties that bind are strong.
Joel Tudor on the Art of Surfing, Fighting, and Style
A surf icon helps MMA keep its sense of tradition.
Japan's Karate Kid: Kyoji Horiguchi
Japan's brightest MMA prospect.