Roy Jones Jr has labelled last year's high-profile bout between Floyd Mayweather Jr and Conor McGregor as "an event not a boxing match" and claimed that the former was the best pugilist of all-time for accumulating wealth - but not a match for him in terms of talent.
Future Hall of Famer Jones takes on American journeyman Scott Sigmon at the Bay Center in his hometown of Pensacola, Florida on Thursday night (8 February) in what is expected to be the final chapter of an illustrious 29-year, 75-fight career that saw the near-quinquagenarian win world titles across four different weight divisions. The Island Fights 46 undercard will include a mix of boxing and mixed martial arts (MMA) contests.
Jones has been quizzed on a range of different topics this week as he approaches his likely swansong, including the lucrative - some might say farcical - August 2017 meeting between Mayweather and McGregor, which could be repeated in a different discipline at some point in the future as rumours continue to abound over a shock temporary switch to the Octagon for the initial victor.
While he gives his compatriot credit for his money-making abilities, Jones, who wanted to fight Anderson Silva on the undercard in Las Vegas and previously claimed to have been chasing his own crossover bout with the former long-reigning UFC middleweight champion for nine years, evidently disputes the notion that the undefeated Mayweather deserves to go down as arguably the greatest in-ring technician of them all.
"It was a beautiful event [Mayweather vs McGregor]," he was quoted as saying by The Telegraph. "An event not a boxing match. Floyd is great at creating beautiful events. He did what he was supposed to do at the event and it turned out marvellous.
"Mayweather was TBE - The Best Ever - at making money, but look at his highlights and look at mine. You can't pretend it's the same. People say 'oh he was the most talented boxer ever'. Bull crap"
The first ex-middleweight champion to go on and win a world heavyweight title for 106 years with his victory over John Ruiz in 2003, a prime Jones, an Olympic silver medalist who turned professional in 1989 and also amassed belts at super middleweight and light heavyweight level, certainly deserves to be in the conversation for the most talented boxer of his generation.
"Money" Mayweather, by contrast, surpassed Rocky Marciano's record to retire for the second time at 50-0 with that 10th-round stoppage of an overmatched if not completely overwhelmed McGregor and previously held world titles in five different classes - super featherweight, lightweight, light welterweight, welterweight and light middleweight.