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Jake Paul Honored To Fight Silva But Still Wants KO

Jake Paul Picks Non-Celebrity Boxer Opponent

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Jake Paul Honored To Fight Silva But Still Wants KO

Esther Lin- SHOWTIME

Jake Paul Honored To Fight Silva But Still Wants KO

For some it might be a conundrum, but not for world famous social media influencer turned aspiring cruiserweight boxer Jake Paul.

On the one hand, Paul considers MMA legend Anderson Silva, now trying to make a go of it in boxing, his idol. On the other hand, Paul’s goal is to knock him out.

Paul and Silva will meet in an eight-round fight at a contract weight of 187 pounds on Saturday (Showtime PPV, 9 p.m. ET, $59.95) at Desert Diamond Arena in Glendale, Arizona, as Paul takes on the most significant opponent of his career and a man he has looked up to for many years.

“This is how you know you made it. That’s the power of a dream. I’m about to fight my idol, it doesn’t get better than that,” Paul said this week at a media workout that he arrived at on horseback. “I have more than what it takes. My heart and the power of my mind are my greatest attributes. People are going to realize that on Saturday night and I’m here to show out for the fans.

“I have had plenty of big fights already, but I think you can call this a mega fight. It’s going to be all action. I have the ‘Mamba’ mentality. Kobe (Bryant) knocked over Pau Gasol, his own teammate with the Lakers, when he was with the Redeem Team in the Olympics. I carry that same kind of drive with me, that killer instinct. I want to knock him out within the first five rounds. That’s the goal.”

Easier said than done, of course.

Watch us preview Paul-Silva from our BetUS Friday Boxing show by clicking below,

Silva is by far the most dangerous opponent of Paul’s fledgling career and the first opponent many give a good chance to beat him. Paul (5-0, 4 KOs), who had one amateur fights before turning pro with fanfare in 2020, has fashioned his record against opponents who were not boxers, something his detractors have harped on.

He has faced a fellow social media influencer (Ali Eson Gib), a retired NBA player (Nate Robinson), a former MMA star known for grappling (Ben Askren) and a decision in his first fight against former UFC champion Tyron Woodley and ruthless sixth-round knockout in their rematch this past December.

Silva (3-1, 2 KOs), 47, of Brazil, may be much older than the 25-year-od Paul, of Cleveland, and in the twilight of his combat career, but he is on an entirely different level than Paul’s past opponents. Paul appears to realize that.

“It’s interesting having respect for my opponent where all the other ones we were talking trash to each other,” Paul said. “But it’s super cool. He was my idol growing up and it’s a good change of pace. I have nothing but love for him, but I’m going to knock him out respectfully.”

While Silva may not be a full-time boxer, he has boxing experience and has been training in it seriously since leaving behind the cage a few years ago and with a secure legacy that includes a 34-11 record, the UFC record for the longest title reign (2,457 days), most consecutive UFC victories (16) and the most finishes in UFC title fights (9).

Silva’s lone boxing loss came in Brazil in his 1998 debut — when Paul was just over a year old. He had a second fight in 2005 before returning to boxing in 2021 with a convincing eight-round decision win over former middleweight world titleholder Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. followed by a devastating first-round knockout of fellow former UFC champion Tito Ortiz, whose pro boxing debut last only 81 seconds.

Paul has taken criticism from many for not facing an opponent who is a full-time boxer, but it is not for lack of trying. Twice England’s undefeated Tommy Fury, the half brother of heavyweight champion Tyson Fury, pulled out on him.

After Fury’s second withdrawal earlier this year, Paul made a deal to face the unbeaten Hasim Rahman Jr., the son of former heavyweight champion Hasim Rahman Sr., but the fight was canceled due to the much bigger Rahman’s refusal to make the contract weight.

That led Paul to seek the fight with Silva, an opponent he says he has always wanted to face, and they were able to quickly make a deal.

Silva Isn’t Intimidated

“This is a competition and I’m training hard to make a great show for everyone,” Silva said. “This fight is very special to me. I try to do my best because I love fighting and I love my job and now I’m free to do everything I like to do.

“I don’t believe this affects my legacy, in my journey in combat sports. I try to do my best to give something to the new generation. Jake and I are bringing two big generations together and people think this will affect my legacy or affect Jake’s legacy, but I don’t believe that because it’s about passion and love. Everyone always asks, ‘Are you sure you want to face Jake Paul? He’s beating a lot of guys in the UFC.’ I say, ‘Yeah, I think I’m ready for that. He’s younger than me but I’m a superhero.’”

While Silva’s position in the annals of combat sports is secure, Paul is still trying to carve out his place, so he said he feels the pressure of what he is about to face.

“For sure I have more pressure on my shoulders,” said Paul, who counted retired former light heavyweight champion Chad Dawson as one of his sparring partners. “Just being the ‘A’ side, and the amount of shit I talk I think the entire MMA community is waiting for me to lose. They want me to lose. I just have so many more big ideas and plans in this sport and I just plan on being here forever. This is the start of that, and the pressure is on.

“I’m the young guy and he’s really, really good and has more experience. He has the weight, the height, the reach, so all the odds are stacked against me. He’s very fast, very technical, very rangy, good defense, good movement. I’ll have to be perfect on Saturday night. I know I’m capable of doing that but I’m ready for war. Skill aside, it might come down to who wants it more and I believe that’s me.”

Paul said as much as he admirers Silva, he will have no problem going for a knockout if the opportunity presents itself.

“When you get into the ring you have to be ruthless, savage, be willing to do whatever it takes during the darkest moments in the ring,” said Paul, whose right hand has been his best weapon. “You have to be a killer or you will be killed, so that’s where the ‘Problem Child’ comes in. I’m a problem for anyone that’s in the ring with me. I can put you out at any time. I’m a different person. I don’t care about consequences when I’m in the alter ego and I come alive when I enter the ring. It’s not Jake. It’s someone else that I tap into.”

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Since 2000, award-winning reporter Dan Rafael has covered boxing full time and been ringside for thousands of fights, first for five years at USA Today and then for 15 years at ESPN, where he wrote and appeared on various television, radio and streaming programs. In 2013, Dan was honored by the Boxing Writers Association of America with the Nat Fleischer award for career excellence in boxing journalism. Dan brings his great insight to the Big Fight Weekend site, podcast and more!

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