World

US boxer Roy Jones Jr. asks Vladimir Putin for Russian citizenship

Aug. 19, 2015: Russian President Vladimir Putin, right, meets with American boxer Roy Jones Jr. in Sevastopol, Crimea.

Aug. 19, 2015: Russian President Vladimir Putin, right, meets with American boxer Roy Jones Jr. in Sevastopol, Crimea.  (AP)

American former world boxing champion Roy Jones Jr. has asked Russian President Vladimir Putin for Russian citizenship over a cup of tea.

Jones' promoter told the R-Sport news agency two years ago that the boxer wanted a Russian passport.

During Wednesday's meeting, Putin wished Jones success doing business in Russia and the boxer responded that this would be easier if he had a Russian passport. Putin told him this would not be a problem if he planned to spend a significant part of his life in Russia.

Their meeting took place in Crimea, which Russia annexed last year and where the 46-year-old boxer and rapper will take part in a show this weekend.

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