Jake Paul’s return to the ring is officially set, and while he’s set to fight yet another legend from the world of mixed martial arts, this time, the fighter has also proven himself a capable boxer. Paul will face one of the greatest fighters of all time when he battles Anderson Silva in a Showtime pay-per-view main event on Oct. 29 from Phoenix, Arizona, the promotion announced on Tuesday.
The bout set to be contested at a limit of 187 pounds and a maximum of eight rounds.
After starting his career with a string of wins over fellow social media stars, NBA players and mixed martial artists, talks have intensified for Paul (5-0, 4 KO) to face a “real” boxer. Multiple attempts were made for Paul to fight Tommy Fury (8-0, 4 KO), brother of WBC heavyweight champion Tyson Fury, with the first falling apart after Fury suffered an injury in camp and the second when Fury was denied entry into the country as part of he and his brother’s involvement with alleged crime boss Daniel Kinahan.
Hasim Rahman Jr. (12-1, 6 KO) was then slotted in as the replacement opponent for Fury on Aug. 6. Despite Rahman fighting as a heavyweight, the fight was agreed to at cruiserweight with rehydration limits in place. That was eventually bumped to 205 pounds and then Rahman claimed he couldn’t make the weight and Paul’s team wouldn’t agree to raise the weight limit any higher, resulting in yet another cancellation.
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“Anderson ‘The Spider’ Silva is the most versatile fighter the world has ever seen,” Paul said in a press release. “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, Oct. 29, I will walk humbly into the ring, touch gloves with a living legend and do my best to exterminate ‘The Spider.'”
While Silva (3-1, 2 KO) doesn’t have the same number of fights in the boxing ring as Fury and Rahman, he has a bigger win on his resume than both. In June 2021, Silva, 47, dominated former world champion Julio Cesar Chavez Jr., taking a split decision win in a fight where Chavez had no business getting the nod on any scorecard.
The fight with Chavez was Silva’s first professional boxing match since 2005. He followed that up with a brutal knockout win over fellow former UFC champion Tito Ortiz and an exhibition bout against Bruno Machado.
While Silva’s age is certainly a factor, and his win over Chavez came years after Chavez stopped being anything resembling a contender, he is extremely skilled and employs an awkward style that can fluster any opponent, as it did during his MMA career, which saw him win the UFC middleweight title and successfully defend it 10 times.
“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 Oct. 29.”