Boxer Fes ‘The Terrier’ Batista is one step closer to his dream of fighting at his beloved John Smith’s Stadium after showing his coach, mentor and boxing legend Roy Jones Jnr around the stadium.
The American fighter jetted into the UK last week and Fes couldn’t resist the opportunity to show him round his dream stage at the John Smith’s Stadium.
The visit has had to be kept secret until now and Fes said: “Roy was over here with one of his other boxers Chris Eubank Jr who was fighting on Saturday night in Manchester. I thought this was a huge opportunity to show Roy around Huddersfield. The holy grail for me is to fight at the John Smith’s Stadium.
“I spoke to my management team who managed to pull a few strings and we got access to the stadium. Roy has been wanting to visit Huddersfield and the stadium for a long time. He has become an honorary Huddersfield Town fan.
“We got to the ground and Roy walked out of the tunnel and said ‘wow.’ We then went to the middle of the pitch and he said that was where the boxing ring was going to be.”
Roy Jones Jr has been named as one of the greatest fighters ever to walk the planet. He left his mark in the sport’s history when he won the WBA heavyweight title in 2003, becoming the first former middleweight champion to win a heavyweight title in 106 years. In 1999 he became the undisputed light heavyweight champion by unifying the WBA, WBC and IBF titles.
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The Boxing Writers Association of America named him as the Fighter of the Decade for the 1990s. The World Boxing Hall of Fame named him the Fighter of the Year for 2003.
His record in competitive professional fights stands at 75 fights, 66 wins, 47 knockouts and 9 losses. He is pound for pound one of the greatest champions of all time.
The one thing he is yet to do is fight in the UK himself. However Roy has expressed interest in fighting alongside Fes at the John Smith’s Stadium in a double header.
Fes, 30, said: “Roy has never fought in the UK, but he has lots of UK supporters. He is a huge name worldwide. He has said he’d like to fight his last fight at the John Smith’s Stadium in front of his UK supporters. He recently fought Mike Tyson in an exhibition fight and he went well in that.
“He said to me potentially I could fight here with you in a double header and pass on the torch. How epic would that be? Tyson Fury, David Haye and Wayne Rooney are all huge fans of Roy plus many more big name celebrities. Can you imagine them all coming to Huddersfield and the John Smith’s Stadium? How good would that be?
“I spoke to the stadium a few years ago about all this and they say every year there is a two week gap. This is when neither the football club nor the Giants are playing. They usually have a concert in that period where the floor is covered anyway. So whilst it’s very early in discussions, there is huge potential.
“The world’s eyes would be on Huddersfield for one night. It’s as big as a Champion League or World Cup Final being played in the town.”
Fes knows that whilst it’s a step closer to his dream there is still hard work to be done. His task now is to get back to America and win some fights before his dream becomes reality.
He said: “I’m ready to go back to America now. It’s really frustrating for Roy and me because we want to get these fights in. He can get these fights for me very quickly and then it’s down to me.
“There is a big question mark on me right now because I haven’t fought for a while. However there have been situations I have just no control over.
“The stadium is the jewel in our crown as well as Castle Hill. I was born just over a mile away from the stadium and I’ve always gravitated towards it. Every time I can step in the stadium I can visualise me fighting there.
“The hard work has been going on but once I get back to America it’s time for me to make some moves.”