Jorge Masvidal’s Gamebred Boxing promotions is off to the races with a surprising card that has left the MMA and boxing world scratching their heads. Anthon Pettis will face off against 54-year-old Roy Jones Jr. on a card that will also feature Jose Aldo vs. Jeremy Stephens and Vitor Belfort vs. Ronaldo Souza.
The April 1 card is not a joke, though it’s honestly hard to believe it.
Masvidal spoke to The MMA Hour about the Miluawaukee card, hyping the event and its inclusion of Jones Jr. as the 38-year-old prepares for his UFC 287 grudge match with Gilbert Burns:
“I’ve always been a fan of Jones. Always wanted to work with Roy Jones in some capacity. He’s going to be fighting someone that inspired me in my career numerous times. WEC champion, UFC champion, I think both his wins for the UFC title were finishes. This guy has knockouts and finishes at 145, 155, 170, it’s crazy what this guy has done in his career in MMA. Great striker. He agreed to fight the walking, living legend, the pound-for-pound king, one of the best fighters, athletes, I’ve ever seen in combat sports, period, vs. Pettis.”
Apart from Jones, the card is full of past-prime and really past-prime MMA fighters looking to secure another payday. Though Masvidal’s name is all over this, he hasn’t mentioned that he’ll be trading in MMA for boxing in an effort to support his brand.
Gamebred boxing card is a freak show
This bizarre card looks like it’s one part freak show, and the other part a handout for faded fighters needing another payday. Belfort, Aldo, Pettis, and even Jones, are relics from another age.
Pettis began his career 9-0, then went 16-14 and has lost his last two fights competing in PFL. Jones initially retired with a boxing record of 66-9 and is regarded as an all-time great, but had to constantly face calls to retire as the once seemingly invincible Jones was on the wrong side of multiple highlight-reel knockouts on the back nine of his career.
While Jones did step into a boxing ring to face “Iron” Mike Tyson in 2020, that was an exhibition fight that wasn’t treated as a legitimate fight. It does go to show the fight is taking place in Milwaukee as no major state athletic commission would sanction the fight or clear Jones for a boxing match.
As much as we hate to say it, we’ll be watching the card with a morbid curiosity come April 1.