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Roy Jones Jr. Helping Brittney Griner: Fans React

LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA - NOVEMBER 28: Roy Jones Jr. (L) and Mike Tyson celebrate their split draw during Mike Tyson vs Roy Jones Jr. presented by Triller at Staples Center on November 28, 2020 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Joe Scarnici/Getty Images for Triller)

LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA - NOVEMBER 28: Roy Jones Jr. (L) and Mike Tyson celebrate their split draw during Mike Tyson vs Roy Jones Jr. presented by Triller at Staples Center on November 28, 2020 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Joe Scarnici/Getty Images for Triller)

A surprising figure has emerged in the ongoing effort to get WNBA superstar Brittney Griner out of Russian prison: Boxing legend Roy Jones Jr.

In a recent interview with TMZ Sports, Jones revealed that he's been working on his end to try and get Griner freed from Russian prison. Jones holds dual citizenship in the United States and Russia, and has even met with Russian president Vladimir Putin personally in the past.

"I had a friend, a couple of my friends that I knew, I called and I asked him 'Is there any way we can try to facilitate?' because I don't do politics. I'm a sports figure and they love me as a sports figure. 'Is there any way we can use my sports influence to possibly can get anything arranged to help get Brittney home?'" Jones said.

Jones claims to have a friend who's close to Putin. He believes he can find a way to make direct contact with the Russian president in an effort to help Griner.

"One of my guys is like -- he's the right-hand man to the office of Mr. Putin, so he's high up on the political scheme. He's a reporter and he usually does most of the reporting for Mr. Putin so he can go make direct contact with whoever necessary to help me."

As you can imagine, sports fans are stunned by Jones' claims. Some are praising him for using his personal connections to help Griner. Though a few are wondering how he has so much influence in the first place:

Roy Jones Jr. won countless accolades during his professional career, with his matches selling out venues all over the world. 

But in the later stages of his career, Jones fought in Russia frequently. He had four fights there between 2011 and 2015, becoming a fan favorite in the country in the process.

It's likely going to take a lot more than a casual friendship with Vladimir Putin to pry Brittney Griner out of Russian prison. But if Roy Jones Jr. can have any sort of role in bringing her back, he'd be a real hero.