WATCH: Showboating UFC legend Silva hailed by Canelo as he eases past ex-world champ Julio Cesar Chavez Jr in boxing bout
Former UFC star Anderson Silva got one back for mixed martial arts in the latest MMA/boxing crossover bout as he outboxed ex-world champion Julio Cesar Chavez Jr, earning plaudits from Jake Paul and Canelo Alvarez along the way.
Silva, 46, exited the UFC last year after a dire run which saw him win just one of his final nine fights in the organization but the mixed martial arts legend wasn’t ready to lay down his gloves just yet – and showed exactly why in his comprehensive win against the former WBC middleweight champion Chavez Jr. on Saturday night.
The Brazilian was awarded the split decision victory on the scorecards but in truth the margin of victory should have been a wider one as Silva largely outboxed – and at times toyed with – the 60-fight veteran, who is the son of the Mexican icon Julio Cesar Chavez.
Anderson Silva really clowned this man in his home country on his dad’s show at 46 years old. I can’t get over it pic.twitter.com/GAwG6Crxx1
— Marc Raimondi (@marc_raimondi) June 20, 2021
The 🕷Silva just beat jr and canelo congratulated Silva 😂😂😂 pic.twitter.com/GhTA8V5sGv
— Maravilla Golovking II (@MaravilllaGGG) June 20, 2021
Silva, who boxed as a southpaw, was first to the punch in the majority of the fight against the experienced Chavez Jr., who missed weight for the contest just 24 hours prior. By the third round, Silva took to dropping his hands and inviting his opponent to corner him in the ropes and Chavez Jr. began to appear visibly exhausted.
As the fight entered its final stages Silva was thoroughly on top, few watching at home would have been unsure of the rightful winner of the bout, even if the judges in Guadalajara rendered a decision far closer than the action had suggested.
The win represents the first major victory for mixed martial arts in the ongoing trend of crossover bouts between the two sports and sees Silva go one better than the likes of Conor McGregor and Ben Askren, both of whom had tried and failed in their initial attempts to harness the ‘sweet science’.
Official: Anderson Silva def. Julio Cesar Chavez Jr via SD (75-77, 77-75 x2.)
Silva 100% won that fight. You could make a case for 78-74, too. I was afraid they were about to screw but alas they didn’t. Great scene afterwards. He is overjoyed.
— Ariel Helwani (@arielhelwani) June 20, 2021
What a performance by @SpiderAnderson last night !! Complete domination over a world champion boxer. He put on a show ! Must watch !
— Chris Weidman (@chrisweidman) June 20, 2021
Dude… Anderson Silva just beat Julio Cesar Chavez Jr by decision IN MEXICO at his Chavez Jr.’s father’s event.
That is unfathomable.
— Aaron Bronsteter (@aaronbronsteter) June 20, 2021
Afterwards, Saul ‘Canelo’ Alvarez, who also holds a win against Chavez Jr. from 2017, entered the ring to express his admiration for Silva’s ringwork in what was the Brazilian’s first professional boxing match since 2005.
‘The Spider’ had long maintained an interest in boxing Roy Jones Jr. throughout the latter stages of both of their careers but those plans failed to come to fruition for a variety of reasons.
Respect to Anderson Silva @spideranderson on the win….vc é uma lenda brasileira! Would be an honor to have him vs Roy Jones Jr on the same card as Tyron and I
— Paul Paul (@jakepaul) June 20, 2021
However, if Silva is looking for another opportunity to step into the ring he might not have to look far after YouTuber-turned-boxer Jake Paul offered to host the hypothetical Silva-Jones Jr. fight on the undercard of his August boxing match with fellow former UFC champ Tyron Woodley.
“Silva 100% won that fight. You could make a case for 78-74, too. I was afraid they were about to screw but alas they didn’t. Great scene afterwards. He is overjoyed,” wrote MMA insider Ariel Helwani.
“What a performance by Anderson Silva last night!! Complete domination over a world champion boxer. He put on a show! Must watch!” agreed Silva’s former UFC rival Chris Weidman, while another MMA reporter, Aaron Bronsteter, couldn’t quite believe what he had witnessed.
“Dude… Anderson Silva just beat Julio Cesar Chavez Jr by decision IN MEXICO at his Chavez Jr.’s father’s event. That is unfathomable,” he wrote.
And as for Jake Paul, it seems the offer is on the table for Silva’s next fight in what would likely be a sizeable payday for the veteran fighter.
“Respect to Anderson Silva on the win. vc é uma lenda brasileira! Would be an honor to have him vs Roy Jones Jr on the same card as Tyron and I,” said the social media troublemaker.
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