Liverpool cruiserweight Courtney Fry has been handed the fight of a lifetime against American legend Roy Jones Jr, The Liverpool Echo reports.
The two are set to face off in Riga, Latvia on July 26 for the WBU world cruiserweight title, which Jones Jnr won with a points victory over Zine Eddine Benmakhlouf at the back-end of 2013.
Fry appeared to be handed a career-ending defeat last month, losing a four-round decision to 13-22 Welshman Nathan King at Deeside Leisure Centre.
But the ex-British title challenger’s career has taken an unlikely twist as he gets a shot at one of boxing’s most recognisable stars.
The American, still fighting at the age of 45, has fought some of the great modern-day stars in a fledgling career encompassing world championships in four different weight categories.
Bernard Hopkins, Felix Trinidad and Antonio Tarver are just a few of the stellar names to share a ring with Jones Jnr.
It isn’t the first British fighter he has ever shared a ring with either. Jones Jr lost a comprehensive unanimous decision against Welsh legend Joe Calzaghe, a fight which signalled the end of Calzaghe’s undefeated career.
Jones Jr took the Benmakhlouf bout in Russia as he attempts to gain citizenship in the country. His camp were hopeful of tempting UFC star Anderson Silva for a crossover bout, but the Brazilian suffered a horrific leg break against Chris Weidman in his last fight.
Despite being involved in both British and Commonwealth title clashes, this will be by far the biggest fight of Fry’s career.
The 39-year-old lost to world title challenger Enzo Maccarinelli in December last year and also suffered a defeat to ex-WBO champion Nathan Cleverly in 2009.
It is something of a minor miracle that Fry’s manager Neil Marsh secured the bout, with the defeat against King only over the four-round distance.
Although the winner will receive the WBU ‘world’ crown, that governing body is not recognised by boxing officials and so is not a true world championship.
The undercard features another American legend in James Toney, who carries on his quest to become a heavyweight champion of the world.
Toney was last seen stumbling around in Matchroom’s Prizefighter tournament and has defied calls from many boxing fanatics to call time on an illustrious career, with his health deteriorating.
Up to 10,000 spectators are expected to be in attendance at the Skonto Stadium.
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