In an August meeting in Crimea with Vladimir Putin, Roy Jones, Jr. requested a Russian passport to be able to freely travel back and forth between Russia and the United States. President Putin said that if he was going to spend a significant part of his life working in Russia, then yes.
On September 12, 2015, President Putin signed an Executive Order granting Russian citizenship to Roy Jones, Jr.
The meeting in Crimea, August 19, 2015
The boxer is also known for his music and acting career. In Crimea, Roy Jones will participate in the Battle of Mount Gasfort boxing show as a singer.
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President of Russia Vladimir Putin: Mr Jones, I am very happy to see you.
Roy Jones: I am pretty glad to be here, Mr President.
Vladimir Putin: How did you find yourself in Crimea?
Roy Jones: We do a lot of boxing business.
Vladimir Putin: Naturally, I am very happy to meet you. I am a big fan of sports, especially martial arts and boxing.
You were highly successful in boxing – like no one else. You were a world champion in the middleweight, super middleweight, light heavyweight and heavyweight divisions. I don’t think there have been any others like you in the world. At least, not in boxing.
Roy Jones: No, not from middleweight to heavyweight.
Vladimir Putin: Indeed.
Roy Jones: What age were you in when you got into combat sports?
Vladimir Putin: I was 14.
Roy Jones: What got you in?
Vladimir Putin: I liked wrestling. I began with the Russian martial art, Sambo; and then I moved on to Judo. Unfortunately, I did not have your level of athletic success.
Roy Jones: But it’s not about the achievements; it’s about the personality you get from it.
Vladimir Putin: That’s true. It really helps to develop your character. I know you are doing well in many other areas. You are a singer, musician and actor.
Roy Jones: Well, because when God blesses you with a gift, you have to try to use it to the fullest.
Vladimir Putin: You are doing it well. I hope you will succeed in business here in Russia as well.
Roy Jones: That’s why I want to come here. That’s why I’m also here. Because I want to ask you about maybe having a passport to go back and forth so that I can do business here. Because all the people here seem to love Roy Jones Jr. And I love when people love me.
Vladimir Putin: Your name is very well known among sports and boxing fans in Russia. If you plan to spend a significant part of your life working in Russia, we would certainly be happy to fulfil your request to receive a Russian passport, Russian citizenship.
Roy Jones: Thank you.
Vladimir Putin: I think Russian boxing fans would be very happy.
Roy Jones: Oh, they will.
Vladimir Putin: I wish you success in all your work in Russia.
Roy Jones: Thank you, sir. And also, I think, sports-wise, it would help build a bridge between the two countries.
Vladimir Putin: We had different kinds of relations at different times, but whenever America and Russia’s higher interest demanded it, we always found the strength to build relations in the best possible way. And if people like you can provide additional opportunities to build relations not only at the state level, but also at the human level, that will create the necessary conditions.
Roy Jones: That’s what I plan to do.
Vladimir Putin: Thank you very much.
Roy Jones: Thank you.
The announcement of the Executive Order