Jake Paul’s critics will moan, and note that the You Tube sensation turned boxing prodigy pro boxer is again taking the easy way out. He’s facing Anderson Silva — 47-year-old man — on Oct. 29 at Gila River Arena in Phoenix, Arizona in the main event of a Showtime Pay-Per-View card. That 47-year-old man only has four boxing matches, they’ll moan.
His supporters will point out that 47-year-old is arguably the greatest fighter in UFC history and that he is, by far, the toughest test of Paul’s fledgling boxing career.
Showtime made the Silva-Paul bout official on Tuesday.
It should be pointed out that both points of view are correct. Since he turned professional on Jan. 30, 2020, Paul has fought: AnEsonGib, a social media influencer; Nate Robinson, a former NBA player; Ben Askren and Tyron Woodley (twice with Woodley), ex-MMA fighters; and now Silva. MMA and boxing are similar sports but not the same, and both Askren and Woodley had wrestling as their base in MMA.
Yes, Silva is 47 and yes, his win over ex-middleweight champion Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. is hardly something to brag about. Chavez battled drug and alcohol issues throughout his career and by the point he fought Silva, he was no longer interested in fighting, barely trained and was spotted throughout his camp partying.
Silva’s boxing debut came on May 22, 1998, when Paul was 16 months old. He didn’t box again until 2005 and then not again until 2021 after he’d finished his MMA career.
But even at 47, Silva is a vastly superior striker to both Askren and Woodley (and, it goes without saying, to Robinson and AnEsonGib). He’ll be by orders of magnitude the finest fighter that Paul has faced.
Paul is still a developing boxer, and if he didn’t have a widely recognizable name, he’d either not be boxing at all or would be facing boxers the world has and never will have heard of.