After years of teasing, UFC legend Anderson Silva is set to finally go from the cage to the ring, though it won’t be against Roy Jones Jr.
“The Spider” will face Julio Cesar Chavez Jr as part of a June 19th pay-per-view headlined by Chavez Sr’s exhibition match with Hector Camacho Jr.
And no, this one’s not an exhibition. The pair are set for 10 rounds at a 180-pound catchweight.
“When I look back at my journey, I see that nothing has been in vain,” Silva says. “I am extremely happy for the opportunity to test my boxing skills with Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. I train continuously, always striving for resilience and to overcome obstacles. Fighting is my everlasting breath.”
“I have rededicated myself to the sport that I love and I will be ready to face anyone in the light heavyweight division starting with Silva,” Chavez said. “I will be prepared to be victorious on June 19.”
This is the part where I do little blurbs about each fighter, but I think we’re all familiar with Chavez (52-5-1, 34 KO) at this point; boxing’s Large Adult Son is 2-3 in his last five, dropping a one-sided decision to Canelo in 2017, quitting against Daniel Jacobs, and suffering an upset technical decision loss to Mario Cazares. Let’s talk Silva.
There was a time when Silva (34-11 MMA, 1-1 (1 KO) boxing) was widely regarded as the greatest mixed martial artist alive. His highlight reel remains virtually unmatched; you’d be hard-pressed to find a better example of utter dominance than his downright disrespectful demolition of Forrest Griffin. He was so masterful, so nonchalant in his dismissal of the 185-pound division’s best, that no combat sports feat seemed beyond his abilities.
But that was then. Now, Silva is 1-7 (1 NC) since humiliating Stephan Bonnar more than eight years ago, and that one win was a bogus decision over Derek Brunson in 2017. In a rather depressing bit of synchronicity, his most recent defeat to Uriah Hall was eerily similar to the Griffin fight, only with Silva on the receiving end. Hurting Daniel Cormier with a body kick and giving a better-than-expected account of himself against Israel Adesanya are the only traces of “The Spider” we’ve seen in nearly a decade.
If you’ve got 15 minutes to burn, our friends over at Secret Base have a nice summary of the Brazilian’s fall from grace.
Silva will be 46 by the time he steps into the ring against Chavez, long since stripped of his inhuman athleticism and untouchable mystique. It’s borderline criminal to stick him in a ring against even a failson like Junior.