PPV: https://t.co/ZUiLgsTmuO pic.twitter.com/7bda85FU9l — FITE (@FiteTV) June 20, 2021
Anderson Silva shocked the world in his first professional boxing match since 2005.
The former UFC middleweight champion upset Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. via split decision (75-77, 77-75, 77-75) in an eight-round bout at Jalisco Stadium in Guadalarjara, Mexico as part of the “Tribute to the Kings” pay-per-view event on Saturday night. The bout was contested at 182 pounds, but Chavez Jr., a former WBC champion, foreited $100,000 of his purse to Silva after missing weight by 2.4 pounds on Friday.
According to most accounts, “The Spider” didn’t find a rhythm until after the third round, when the Brazilian began to taunt his opponent and drop his hands. Despite just two prior pro bouts to his credit, Silva began to have success landing combinations and a crisp jab beginning in the fourth round. In the seventh stanza, Silva opened a cut near Chavez Jr.’s right eye. When all was said and done, Silva held a 99-to-53 advantage in total punches and a 60-to-41 edge in power shots, according to CompuBox.
“I feel so happy,” Silva said afterwards (quotes via MMAFighting.com). “I need to say thank you cause my coach worked with me a lot. I need to this because I love fighting and boxing is my dream for many, many years and I need to prove my respect for boxing. I can’t come in here and not do my best.”
Chavez Jr., meanwhile, disagreed with the final verdict.
“It could have been draw,” Chavez Jr. said. “I failed to throw more punches. He didn’t really do much damage. But it was enough for a draw.”
Silva exited the UFC following a fourth-round TKO loss to Uriah Hall in the UFC Fight Night 181 headliner this past October. Regarded as one of MMA’s pound-for-pound greats, “The Spider” won just one of his final nine UFC appearances dating back to 2013. In his return to the Sweet Science, Silva was more successful than some of his MMA peers who have attempted to transition to boxing in recent years.
“Boxing is a traditional sport,” Silva explained. “When people try to fight boxing, the people need to understand this is not easy. This is not the same as MMA. MMA is one sport, boxing is a different sport. Jiu-jitsu is a different sport. When you go into different disciplines, you need to take respect and train hard.
“Because you can’t come to boxing if you don’t show respect for boxing. This is respect. This is martial [arts] respect. This is fight respect. You need to respect that.”
Now 46 years old, Silva wasn’t ready to completely commit to another boxing match — or any other decisions regarding his combat sports future.
“I don’t know,” Silva said. “Now, I go back to my home and my son has a fight very soon, a kickboxing fight and I’ll go help my son. Maybe I fight jiu-jitsu, maybe I fight gi or no-gi, maybe I have next boxing fight. I don’t know. Right now, my focus is helping my son.
“Let me tell you something, I don’t have nothing more to prove to anybody. The boxing community have shown me respect, for my opponent I showed my respect, for the people here in Mexico. I love Mexico. I don’t know. Maybe I fight again in boxing. I’m free right now. I’m a free man. I try to do my best in everything I do in my life. My focus right now is to help my son. My son has a fight very soon and I’ll go help my son in training. I’m training my son for his next fight. The future is amazing. Everything is possible. Maybe I fight again or not. Right now my focus is enjoy my day and help my son to the next fight.”
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