MMA legend Anderson Silva finally got the (kinda) big fight that he has long wanted in boxing, and made it count, beating Julio Cesar Chavez Jr by split decision that had no business being a split decision.
Silva (2-1, 1 KO in his limited boxing career) won on scores of 77-75, two for himself and one for Chavez, with Bad Left Hook scoring the fight 78-74 for Silva.
None of this was exactly a great show, but the 46-year-old Silva’s awkward rhythms flustered Chavez (52-6-1, 34 KO) badly. Chavez didn’t throw enough, didn’t land enough, and Silva was able to control the tempo and geography of the fight. It was a clear win for Silva, and another tumble down the ladder for Chavez, with due respect to a true combat sports legend, a bona fide all-timer in Anderson Silva. As flat and lifeless as Chavez was, Silva clearly took this seriously, came to win, and won. He deserved it.
“I feel so happy. I’m very — wow,” Silva said with a big smile. He also expressed great respect for Canelo Alvarez, who was in attendance and congratulated Silva after the fight.
Silva was asked if he’d continue on in boxing, and he didn’t commit either way, but definitely didn’t rule it out. He received a nice ovation from the audience in Guadalajara, too.
Through interviewer Claudia Trejos, Chavez reportedly said it should have been a draw, and that he felt good. He indicated that he feels at 35, with his career at the lowest point it’s ever been, that he believes he’s getting better and ready to return soon.
In all reality, any popularity of or fascination with Julio Cesar Chavez Jr is completely gone. It’s just very clear that he’s done as a fighter, has no real determination once the bell rings anymore, and he can’t even be counted on to make weight. Ever. No matter what the limit. Chavez could miss weight at heavyweight somehow.
Ramon Alvarez UD-8 Omar Chavez
Scores were 79-73, 80-73, 80-78. Omar (Julio’s “other” son in boxing) hadn’t fought in two years and didn’t really seem that invested in being here, in all honesty. He won the first round, but once Ramon (Canelo’s brother) started getting going, it was pretty much all Alvarez.
And it was clear that House Alvarez took this trilogy fight a lot more seriously than House Chavez did in preparation, and during the fight. You could see Canelo passionately shouting at his brother between pretty much every round.
We scored this fight 78-74 for Alvarez (29-8-3, 16 KO), who just had more energy and determination. But Chavez (38-7-1, 25 KO) fought with a lot of grit, too. He was cut badly at the end of the fourth round when the heads clashed, and he hung in there. There was some weirdness late, where clearly both thought the seventh round — the best of the fight — was the end. When it wasn’t, neither of them did much at all in the eighth and actual final round.
Neither Omar nor Ramon have ever been serious contenders, but they gave a tough fight here, very entertaining in spots, worth watching. Alvarez won the 2014 and 2021 fights by decision, Chavez the 2017 middle fight by second round stoppage. It’s not exactly going to go down as one of the great boxing trilogies, but they gave what they had in this one for sure, and it was probably the best of their fights.
- Damian Sosa SD-10 Abel Mina: This was a robbery, flat-out, with some really questionable scoring. One judge had it 96-94 for Mina, a 28-year-old from Ecuador who was taking a big step up here and clearly won the fight. That’s as close as you could reasonably have scored it. The other two had it 96-94 and 95-94 for Sosa, the latter card is very weird because there was definitely no 10-8 round in this fight. Mina (13-1, 7 KO) should have gotten a deserved win and a chance to find another decent fight. Instead, he got shafted after out-boxing Sosa (18-1, 10 KO) for the majority of the first eight rounds. Admittedly, he more survived the last two than anything, he was pretty tuckered out in there, but he did survive them. He won this fight. They robbed him.
- Jorge Luis Melendez UD-8 Kevin Torres: A minor upset here. Melendez (14-7-2, 8 KO) is a gatekeeper sort, and he’s kept a couple gates. Torres (17-2-1, 14 KO) isn’t some great prospect or anything, but was definitely the A-side here and the favorite. Torres started well in the opening round, but also got dropped, and the 27-year-old Melendez just bullied him for too much of the fight, not letting Torres, 24, build any steam, and beating him to the punch a lot of the time. It was a good action fight, might have seemed better if the people running audio for this show knew what they were doing and you could hear the ring action at all. Scores were 76-74, 77-75, and 77-74.