ALL-TIME great Roy Jones Jnr has been pursuing a fight with former WBC cruiserweight champion Tony Bellew – but the Liverpudlian insists he would never fight his “hero.”

Jones, now 48, last fought in February when he stopped bare-knuckle fighter Bobby Gunn in eight rounds. Last year he fought twice, including a grotesque contest with a ‘fan’ who won a competition to box Jones Jnr.

Bellew, who became cruiserweight champion last year but has since been made ‘Champion Emeritus’ after moving to heavyweight, has been pursued by the future Hall of Famer but would never fight him.

“The thing is, I know Roy Jones really well and whenever I’ve seen him in the States he’s asked me about fighting Tony, especially since Tony won the cruiserweight title,” Bellew’s trainer, Dave Coldwell, told Boxing News.

“I had a message from him a few weeks ago where he was asking for the fight, no disrespect to Roy Jones but it’s not something Tony would entertain, he shouldn’t be boxing as far as we’re concerned. He’s not the name that he used to be, it’s not an option really.”

Beside the lack of financial appeal, both Coldwell and Bellew revere the American and name him as one of their boxing heroes. As such, fighting him is out of the question.

Roy Jones

“As Tony was saying, it’s mad that someone he grew up looking up to and one of his heroes is now looking for a fight with him for the last 18 months, two years or so,” Coldwell continued.

“It’s a case of where it doesn’t carry the weight, it’s not a big fight and it’s not a fight where Tony would get any respect. We’re not alone, 90 per cent of people think Roy Jones shouldn’t be boxing now.”

Rumours about Jones Jnr chasing a fight with Bellew first emerged late last year, but even then – before Tony defeated David Haye – the 34-year-old rejected the prospect of fighting someone he regards as the best ever.

“I’m now in place among my heroes and idols. Roy Jones Jnr knows me, he said to me ‘Tone, I’m so proud of you [and what you’ve achieved]’. I first met him five years ago when I lost that first world title fight,” he told us back in December of last year.

“After I won the world title [at cruiserweight] everyone says, ‘Would you fight Roy Jones Jnr?’ No I would not fight him, I would never fight him. And it got back to Roy. But I will never fight him. Never let your idols become your rivals. I’ve idolised that man since I was a kid, he’s the greatest fighter that ever lived. If he retired after the John Ruiz fight everyone would agree with me. He’s a legend and an icon, and I’m so proud that he knows me. I will never fight him.”