Tuesday afternoon saw Showtime Boxing make official what had already been rumored on upstart fighter Jake Paul’s new opponent and date for his latest bout. This, as the Network and Paul’s MVP Promotions confirmed it will be former UFC middleweight champ Anderson Silva in an eight round main event.
The fight will be a Showtime PPV on Saturday night October 29th from the Gila Arena in Glendale, AZ.
— SHOWTIME Boxing (@ShowtimeBoxing) September 6, 2022
From the Showtime release Tuesday,
“After scheduled bouts with pro boxers Tommy Fury and Hasim Rahman Jr. were scuttled, Paul (5-0, 4 KOs) will square off against arguably a far tougher opponent.
Often compared to the Muhammad Ali and Pelé of mixed martial arts, Silva authored one of the strongest resumes of any MMA fighter before returning to pro boxing in 2021. Silva holds the UFC record for the longest title reign in the organization’s history: 2,457 days; the most consecutive UFC victories: 16 and the most finishes in UFC title fights: nine.
Known for his superb striking ability in the cage, Silva (34-11, 1 NC in mixed martial arts) has found success as he’s transitioned to boxing in a remarkable second act of his career. The Brazilian announced his return as a world-class boxer in June 2021 when he soundly defeated former middleweight boxing champion Julio Cesar Chavez Jr., via split decision that wasn’t as close as the scores indicated.
“Anderson ‘The Spider’ Silva is the most versatile fighter the world has ever seen,” said Paul. “Just a year ago he outclassed boxing champion Julio Cesar Chavez Jr., and showed the world why he is often referred to as the greatest fighter of all time. Every expert, from MMA to boxing, has said Jake Paul won’t fight Anderson Silva. They said Jake Paul is afraid of Anderson Silva, and Jake Paul would lose to Anderson Silva.
“Well, to all the non-believers – Jake Paul is fighting Anderson Silva. It’s an honor to have the opportunity to share the ring with the greatest UFC striker of all time. On Saturday, October 29, I will walk humbly into the ring, touch gloves with a living legend and do my best to exterminate ‘The Spider.’”
“I know that in life everything has its purpose,” Silva said. “Nothing comes just by chance. So, I thank God for my health, my family and my team for providing me with this opportunity to continue doing the thing that I love the most. I believe this will be the biggest combat event of the year and will truly make history in the sport forever. See you on October 29.”
Paul was last in the ring in December, when he destroyed another former UFC champ, Tyron Woodley, with a missile right hand KO in a Showtime PPV in Tampa, FL. Paul has yet to face anyone with extensive boxing background.
Meanwhile, Silva will be the closest thing, as he followed up his surprising domination of the younger Chavez with a first round KO of former MMA champ Tito Ortiz in Hollywood, FL last September.
Paul tried for a second time to fight English Cruiserweight Tommy Fury earlier in August, but Fury had visa problems getting to the USA and ultimately faced a deadline from Paul and his management to commit to fighting him. That came and went and Paul was replaced by the son for former heavyweight champ Hasim Rahman, Jr. to try to salvage the main event and undercard bouts for Madison Square Garden in New York.
Alas, Rahman did not follow the agreed up weight loss rules and was also dropped by Paul and MVP Promotions, with the entire fight card cancelled, as they then looked to have a different opponent and subsequent date.
That will now be against Silva in the Arizona desert coming late next month.