Roy Jones Jr. receives Russian citizenship
The four-division champion widely regarded as one of the finest prizefighters of his generation was presented his Russian passport in a ceremony at the Federal Migration Service’s offices in Moscow. “I am Russian,” Jones, 46, said in Russian.
Vladimir Putin had signed a decree to grant citizenship to Jones in September after the boxer announced his intent to apply during an August meeting with the Russian president in Crimea. Putin granted the request on the grounds that Jones “intends to spend a significant part of his life working in Russia”.
“Thank you, Vladimir Putin. I’m really glad to have become a Russian citizen. Russia’s such a welcoming country, and many people in the world want to become her citizens,” Jones said according to the agency’s website. “This is one of the happiest days of my life.”
Also, in an interview with Gazeta.ru, Jones indicated that he was at least partly motivated by a feeling that he would meet with more acceptance in Russia. He said that, “After my arrival in Russia, I saw that there is a large community of boxers. I also felt appreciated in Russia. Maybe even a lot more than I was valued and appreciated in my own country.”