Putin gives Roy Jones Jr. Russian citizenship

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MOSCOW (AP) — Vladimir Putin has given Russian citizenship to former world heavyweight boxing champion Roy Jones Jr.

A decree published on the Kremlin’s website in the Russian president’s name said the American, a four-weight champion once regarded by many as the world’s best boxer, had been given Russian nationality.

Jones asked Putin for citizenship in August over a cup of tea when they met in Crimea — the territory annexed by Russia last year — saying it would make doing business in Russia easier. Putin told Jones this would not be a problem if he planned to spend a significant part of his life in Russia.

Jones said he hoped sport could help “build a bridge” between the U.S. and Russia.

Photo credit: Associated Press