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Anthony Pettis on beating Roy Jones Jr.: ‘It’s crazy to even say it out loud’

Anthony Pettis is still in awe of what he accomplished this past weekend.

On Saturday, Pettis won a majority decision victory over Roy Jones Jr. in the main event of Gamebred Boxing 4. Though Jones is substantially older than Pettis, he is still one of the greatest boxers of all-time. So a few days removed from his monumental win, “Showtime” is still basking in the glow of his shocking upset.

“It’s crazy,” Pettis said Monday on The MMA Hour. “Even the day after, I woke up, like, did that really just happen? It’s Roy Jones. I grew up watching this guy. What he’s done in his career is amazing, so it’s crazy to even say it out loud. It’s insane.:

“I knew I was going try boxing before I called it quits in my fighting sports career, and the opportunity popped up,” Pettis continued. “It was a higher weight class. At the time, I was already bulking up to do welterweight, and so when the opportunity was presented, it kind of just worked out where I was like, ‘I’m not going to be fighting a bigger guy, I think I could do very well with a game plan.’ My coach, Jorge Capetillo, gave me a good game plan that worked. He was like, ‘We’re not going to knock this guy out. He fought Mike Tyson.’ So we just kind of out-pointed him, tried to keep him on his heels, because he’s dangerous when he’s moving forward. We had a good, solid game plan.”

The win was sorely needed for Pettis, who has struggled in recent years. After choosing to leave the UFC in 2021 to test free agency and work on building his other businesses, Pettis ultimately signed with the PFL, and things haven’t gone great. Pettis failed to make the 2021 lightweight playoffs, and then lost in the 2022 lightweight semifinals. Overall, Pettis is 1-4 in the PFL, but now with this win, other avenues may open up for the former UFC lightweight champion.

“I can’t believe it worked out like this,” Pettis said. “Boxing wasn’t part of the plan. I was really focused on building the fight show, the management company, starting from the ground up. Now seeing where that’s at, seeing the level of guys I’m attracting, it’s cool to see that grow. Then the boxing was an opportunity you can’t say no to. I was looking for fights and then they offer me Roy Jones Jr. You can’t say not to that.

“Then going out there and having the performance I did, I think it opens up the door to that world as well. I always knew I could box, and the next guy I fight, I’m sure it’s going to be a younger guy, somebody more current. Who knows who it is, but everybody wants to see that. They’re like, ‘He fought a 54-year-old.’ It was still Roy Jones Jr. I’m a 1-0 professional boxer. It’s crazy. It’s a bucket list thing.”

Pettis said he won’t compete in the PFL’s 2023 season, but that he is interested in a welterweight fight later in the year for the promotion. As one of the biggest names in the sport, there are no shortage of possible opponents for “Showtime.”

Until then, Pettis is eager to continue trying his hand at the sweet science, be it for Gamebred Boxing or anyone else interested in his services.

“I’ll have another boxing fight, for sure,” Pettis said. “Right now, I plan on fighting MMA again for PFL, more towards the end of the year. I’m not sure when they’re going to do their pay-per-view card, but I’m going to see what opportunities pop up. Right now, I’m open to doing both.”

“I think boxing will be first,” he added. “MMA looks like it’s going to be the end of the year. We’ll see what happens. Hopefully the numbers come back and they were good. But it would be for potentially Gamebred or whatever else is out there.”

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