Roy Jones Jr. to Return to Ring July 29
Roy Jones Jr., will fight for the first time in nearly 10 months on July 29 when he faces ``Prince″ Badi Ajamu for the NABO’s light heavyweight title at Qwest Arena in Boise, Idaho.
Initially, Jones was to be a part of a ``legends″ card, including former heavyweight champion Evander Holyfield and former light heavyweight and cruiserweight champ Virgil Hill. Promoter Ritch Danner, of Sports and Entertainment Media in Las Vegas, said Monday that Holyfield will not be a part of the card, but that negotiations are continuing with Hill, who would face Boise native Kenny Keene.
The full card is expected to be announced June 1 and will be available on pay-per-view.
``We were looking for an exciting crowd in a live site, and it made sense to match Kenny Keene who fills up the arena every time,″ Danner said.
A number of sites in the United States and Mexico were looked at for the fight, Danner said. The package that Qwest Arena was able to put together pushed Boise to the front.
``They put together a heck of a package, something that rivals what Vegas could do,″ Danner said. ``The combo of the crowd potential, and the package Qwest Arena put together landed them the show.″
Qwest Arena has a capacity of 5,000 and his home to minor-league hockey and basketball.
``It’s exciting to have a pay-per-view in Boise,″ arena general manager Debbie Kling said. ``We’ve got a great arena, that’s tight and intimate, and makes for a great television environment.″
Jones (49-4, 38 KOs), 37, is a former middleweight, super middleweight, light heavyweight and heavyweight champion. For a decade he was considered the best pound-for-pound fighter in the world, but he has lost three straight, including two by knockout.
Jones last fought on Oct. 2, 2005, when he lost an unanimous 12-round decision to Antonio Tarver. His last victory was Nov. 8, 2003, when Jones beat Tarver to win the WBC light heavyweight title.
Ajamu (25-2-1, 14 KOs) is 34, and has won his last six fights. Ajamu beat Galen Brown by technical knockout on Jan. 27 to win the vacant NABO title. Ajamu is ranked as high as fifth by the World Boxing Council.
The card also is expected to include middleweight Cleveland Corder (35-3), another Boise native.