It was boxing, which has given him inspiration to write rap songs, multiple champion Roy Jones Jr. told RT ahead of his Russian musical tour.
When it comes to picking the best pound-for-pound boxer of all time, Roy Jones Jr. is one of the hot favorites.
The American is the ten-time belt holder in four divisions, named fighter of the decade in the 1990's and also an all-round entertainer and successful music artist.
Jones made his debut in Moscow at the age of 42, when he lost by knock-out to current WBA ‘regular’ cruiserweight champion Denis Lebedev.
But despite the defeat, he earned himself many followers in the country.
“I love the fans and I love the support I get in Russia,” Jones told RT. “Having the support that I get… there are so many people that love me here and all that I do. So I try to share all of myself with them. I do basketball; I do the music; I do boxing. I try to share everything that I do with the Russian public, because they are so receptive of me."
Roy returned to a warm reception from the Russian crowd as he began his tour of the country in Moscow, performing his rap songs, making guest appearances, spending time with fans and talking about the sport that inspired his lyrics.
“I got most of my inspiration from when I would be getting ready for a fight,” he explained. “Certain songs would motivate me to win, to want to fight. So then I started coming up with these ideas about the people I was fighting. And that would make me want to think of a song to write to just get my mind right coming into the fight, and that’s what kind of got me started.”
It's safe to say that no one in Russia will forget about Jones any time soon, either as a singer or as a boxer, while there could be fewer fighters from his own country that could soon fill his shoes.
“The decline [in American] boxing starts from the amateur level because more guys are doing mixed martial arts now than just regular boxing,” the 43-year-old stressed. “So you don’t get the kids in the gym learning to box, like they did back in the old days. In the old days … I started at ten years old and came up boxing. It’s hard to beat me at boxing because that’s what I did my whole life.”
During his impressive career, Jones has held 63 bouts, winning 55 of them and collecting 40 knockouts.