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Roy Jones Jr: I Don't Cockfight Anymore My Roosters Are Boxing Trainers Now!

4/5/2017 12:20 AM PDT

Roy Jones Jr: I Don't Cockfight Anymore ... My Roosters Are Boxing Trainers Now!

EXCLUSIVE

Roy Jones Jr. says he's NO LONGER in the cockfighting game -- telling TMZ Sports his roosters are now used to train human fighters ... instead of feathered ones. 

Photos have surfaced of rooster cages at Roy's Florida compound -- leading some to suspect the boxing legend was involved with underground bird fighting. 

But Roy says the rumors are 100% false -- insisting he quit the sport when it was outlawed in 2008 in Louisiana, the last U.S. state to ban the sport. Although he enjoys cockfighting, Roy says he would never break the law. 

Roy says he would love to move to a country where the sport is legal -- like Mexico or Puerto Rico -- but he's too busy training boxers ... and uses the birds as part of his workout regimen. 

Picture that scene from "Rocky II." Roy says he's been using that training method for decades and it helps with hand eye coordination.

As for claims cockfighting is animal abuse, Roy is adamant he's not forcing the birds to do anything they're not biologically programmed to do ... and says most cockfighters love their birds like their own children. 

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