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Jake Paul: I grew up idolizing Anderson Silva, but I’m going to knock him out

Jake Paul and Anderson Silva went face-to-face today, and there was major respect shown from both sides.

Jake Paul and Anderson Silva went face-to-face ahead of their October 29 fight
Jake Paul and Anderson Silva went face-to-face ahead of their October 29 fight
Scott Christ is the managing editor of Bad Left Hook and has been covering boxing for SB Nation since 2006.

Jake Paul has had some pretty nasty interactions with prior opponents, but on the stage today with Anderson Silva, there was really nothing but respect and love shown between the two fighters, who will clash on Oct. 29 in a Showtime pay-per-view main event.

The 47-year-old Silva has never been known as a trash talker, and there was respect shown between the two on the stage.

“Everybody needs to respect this guy here. Why? Because he’s opening the door for everybody to think about doing something new,” Silva said. “I’m so excited and happy to be here. Many years ago, he came with his brother and I took a picture with him. It’s insane! I’ve fought a lot in my life and I’m here again. It’s the new generation and I continue. Everybody can do everything in life when they believe in themselves, when they have passion and love.”

Paul, who has been known as a trash talker, explained why he’s not taking that same stance with Silva.

“My previous opponents were all dickheads. Anderson Silva is the nicest guy in the world and we love him,” he said. “If my opponent is a dickhead, I’m gonna treat him like a dickhead and beat his fucking ass. I think people have seen that side of me, but I respect this man. I’m still gonna knock him out, but respectfully knock him out.”

Silva did crack a smile at that, replying, “Maybe not! Maybe not. It’s fine, I like that because the energy in this fight is so amazing. A lot of people think, ‘Anderson, you’re crazy, why would you do that?’ But I think it’s a good challenge for me.”

Paul, who opened as a slight (about 2-to-1, which is “slight” in boxing) betting favorite, became the underdog by about the same odds within 24 hours of the lines opening, and he readily admits this is the biggest challenge he’s faced to date.

“I’m built for this. Sparring world champions in the gym to get ready for Anderson. It’s my first time against a southpaw, but I love this shit, man. I truly feel I was put on Earth and destined to box. This will be my biggest test yet, but I’m a young man and I’m excited to get this experience under my belt. The fights are just going to get bigger. This is just the start.”

He added, “This is it. This is a make-or-break moment. I know I have someone who just beat a former world champion boxer in front of me. I don’t take him lightly at all. He’s the GOAT of striking, he’s the GOAT of MMA. No one thought I’d take this fight.”

As of this moment, DraftKings Sportsbook have both fighters listed with “favorite” odds; Silva is at -125 and Paul at -105. It really is a pick’em because the matchup has so many variables and a lot of guesswork due to Silva’s age, Paul’s inexperience, the size, the rules — everything, really, and a lot of people are very confident about one outcome or the other.

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