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The anticipation is building for the fight of the summer as Roy Jones, Jr. and Anthony Hanshaw addressed the media in a national teleconference June 28 promoting their July 14 showdown at the Mississippi Gulf Coast Coliseum in Biloxi, Mississippi.
The fight has been billed as the Return of the King as Jones (50-4, 38 KOs) is making his comeback against the undefeated Hanshaw (21-0-1, 14 KOs). He described his motivation as coming back for the love of the sport and the fans.
“I miss my fans, they miss me and we’ll get a chance to reunite in a good way,” Jones said. He added he want give them “a fighter to look at, a show to look at, a performance to look at, and a good opponent to look at.”
That opponent will be Hanshaw, who is hungry to get in the ring and prove himself as the “Tyger” worthy of taking down one of the best of all-time.
“It’s my time, I’m undefeated and I can’t be beat,” said Hanshaw. “I’m in the best shape of my life and July 14, I’m ready to go.
In a prior interview on famed entertainer Stevie Wonder’s radio show, Hanshaw declared that he would knock Jones out by the fourth or fifth round. When asked if he made that comment, he confidently replied, “Absolutely!”
Both fighters also mentioned the high feedback they have received from fans around the country despite several other fights happening that same day.
“Everywhere I go, people are coming up to me talking about me and Roy Jones fighting,” said Hanshaw.
For Jones, he isn’t surprised because he said that he has done plenty of outside work through his public relations firm to spread the word. He has spent the last weeks leading up to the fight in Biloxi so he could get acquainted with the people who will see him.
Murad Muhammad of Murad Productions and Square Ring are promoting the fight in association with IP Casino Resort & SPA. Muhammad stated that the affordable pay-per-view price of $29.95 would give casual fans more than enough incentive to watch this fight.
“Boxing needs fights, real fights. This is a real fight on the 14th,” said Muhammad.
There is plenty riding on the outcome. For Hanshaw, victory means a pay raise and greater national exposure but win, lose or draw; he can advance his career with a solid performance.
Jones, on the other hand, has only one shot to restore his reputation. A victory here and not only will his career be restored, he could be in line for bigger fights on the horizon including a long-awaited match-up with Felix Trinidad
In the bigger picture, the fight will bring exposure for Biloxi and the Gulf Coast, still recovering from the damage of Hurricane Katrina nearly two years ago.
“It’s a wonderful thing that they’re coming back and I’m coming back,” said Jones, “When God put two things together and makes them do bigger things, I think that’s what life is all about.”
Both fighters have a healthy respect for each other and Jones even mentioned that he wants use the fight to help Hanshaw get exposure. All that goodwill is going to disappear in the ring, however, as the two competitors face in what Muhammad called “one of the greatest fights that came to Mississippi.”