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Roy Jones-Enzo Maccarinelli: Title or no title?

Roy Jones Jr. says he has "no need" for a cruiserweight fight against Enzo Maccarinelli if the WBA won't sanction it as a world title bout. Noam Galai/Getty Images for HBO

With great fanfare on Wednesday, British promoter Frank Warren and Russian promoter Vlad Hrunov announced that faded great Roy Jones Jr., who has been desperate for a cruiserweight world title shot, and former titleholder Enzo Maccarinelli, another long-faded fighter, would meet on Dec. 12 at the VTB Ice Palace in Moscow for the WBA's vacant "super" cruiserweight world title.

The announcement of the fight even boasted that the United Kingdom's BoxNation, the all-boxing subscription network Warren is involved with, would televise the fight live.

Jones, 46, who just received Russian citizenship, and Maccarinelli, 35, aren't in any position to warrant a mandated vacant title fight, but this was, after all, the WBA, and nobody should ever put anything past an organization that crowns multiple world titleholders in virtually every division.

But the release came from Warren's office and quoted an excited Maccarinelli (40-7, 32 KOs) and Warren.

"Jones was a great, great fighter, certainly the best of his era and a fighter that I admired, but that has to be put to one side as I have my job to do and that's to knock him out and win the world title," Maccarinelli said. "It's incredible how the Russian people have taken to Jones. He's like a superstar here, with the media following his every move. It takes the pressure off me because I'm seen as just an opponent for him, but I'm going to pull of a huge shock over here on Dec. 12 and bring the world title back to Wales."

Warren said of the fight, "It would be great to see Enzo back with a world title around his waist. He has been loyal and patient for another shot at a world title after his disappointment against [secondary light heavyweight titlist Juergen] Braehmer last year and I'm delighted that I could deliver him the fight against Jones Jr."

Hrunov, meanwhile, had hosted a news conference in Moscow and put up a slew of photos on social media, including a photo of the poster for the fight, which advertised it as a world title bout.

I texted Jones (62-8, 45 KOs) to get his take on the fight and he responded, "Tough and dangerous fight, but I want the final chapter of the book done my way."

Sure, it all sounded believable. But I figured, you know what? Let me check in with the WBA just to make sure it was accurate. I messaged the WBA's Gilberto Mendoza Jr., who got back to me right away. Despite my numerous issues with the organization, he and I have maintained a good dialogue for many years.

It came as a (pleasant) surprise to me that Menoza's response was that, no, Jones-Maccarinelli is not for a WBA world title.

"We have not even received a sanction request," Mendoza said. "We may consider it for an international or intercontinental belt but no world championship."

The WBA went so far as to make the centerpiece of its website an announcement with the headline "False Rumor: Jones, Maccarinelli, and the WBA."

It wasn't, however, a rumor -- as the fight was formally announced by Warren and Hrunov. There was no rumor involved, but somewhere there was a clear disconnect between the promoters and organization.

Whether the fight between Jones, of Pensacola, Florida, and Maccarinelli, of Wales, happens remains to be seen because if it's not for a world title -- and, let's be honest, it obviously shouldn't be -- don't count on seeing Jones in the ring.

After Mendoza told me the announcement of the fight being for a world title was bogus, I texted Jones back to tell him what Mendoza had said and see what his reaction was.

"Well, I'm not fighting for a regional belt," he said. "Nah, no need for that."

No need -- and no point -- indeed.