Ahead of his September 12 ‘Legend’ clash with boxing great Roy Jones Jr, Liverpool’s own Tony Moran took part in a home town press conference last week alongside his iconic opposition. MMA Plus covered the fight announcement when it was first revealed earlier this month.

By now the world is well aware that ‘Captain Hook’ Jones, 46, is no longer the fighter who massacred Sheffield’s Clinton Woods in 2002, but Merseyside’s Moran is nonetheless set to step through the ropes and say he did the dance with a real icon of the sport – something that nobody, not even Moran, could have foreseen until promoter Stephen Vaughan put word out that he was bringing the legend, Roy Jones Jr, to the UK.

“In every way, shape and form I will not even begin to try and compare myself to Roy Jones as a boxer,” Moran explained, “but as a fighting man I can compare to any man of my weight in the world.”

Despite the name of Roy Jones topping the bill on Sept. 12, the real story of this event is that of Moran’s road to a dream fight. Achieving personal victories and facing down the odds over the years with uphill battles has no doubt carved the character who spoke to fans from the heart last week in Liverpool.

The MMA and boxing veteran continued: “I’ve got a bit of a unique story, I never laced on a boxing glove until I was 27 [years old] and didn’t have one amateur boxing fight before I did that. I was seen as a dreamer by most, basically laughed out of promoters’ offices, like Stephen Vaughan at the time, but I went on to fight for the British, Commonwealth and a world title, purely on self belief, I’d say.”

It can be tough to win the support of fate and Moran certainly paid the price with a rocky road. In just the last few years he experienced homelessness but remained positive with community work at homeless shelters. When the golden opportunity presented itself, despite how far out of reach it was at the time, he chased it down relentlessly.

“I swamped Stephen Vaughan with texts for four hours as to why I should be the man to fight Roy Jones, not based on boxing pedigree, this isn’t about boxing pedigree, this is about me being a fighting man prepared to step in there. He (Jones) is one of the legends of boxing, and I will give it my all, I swear to God.”

Moran has expressed that he is ever thankful to be in the position to fight Roy Jones, and has acknowledged that he is the underdog with Jones being the draw. Nevertheless, his spirit is unmatched and the determination that he will bring to the ring, backed by roaring local support, could make this a sight to savor.

“I go to the last breath and I will do that with Roy.”