Five things you need to know about Julio Cesar Chavez Jr vs. Anderson Silva

Anderson Silva will be boxing Julio Cesar Chavez Jr on Saturday night in Mexico. | Photo by Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images

A preview of Saturday’s MMA vs. boxing crossover match up between UFC icon Anderson Silva and Julio Cesar Chavez Jr.

We are nearing fight night for legendary former UFC middleweight champion Anderson Silva. He hasn’t competed since losing to Uriah Hall in what proved to be his Octagon farewell. Instead of continuing to compete in MMA, Silva is venturing over to boxing to take on Julio Cesar Chavez Jr.

You’re probably wondering what all the fuss is about, what the rules are, and whether Silva has ever boxed before. That’s why I’m here! Here are the important and absolutely serious details you need to know ahead of this Saturday night.

It is a sanctioned professional bout, NOT an exhibition

Oh you thought this was an exhibition like Mike Tyson vs. Roy Jones Jr or Floyd Mayweather vs. Logan Paul? Nope. This is a 100% sanctioned professional bout, scheduled for a maximum of eight rounds with 10-ounce gloves, and it will take place at the Estadio Jalisco in Guadalajara. There will be a winner and a loser and regulation-sized gloves, with judges scoring ringside.

This was supposed to be at 182 lbs, but Chavez wasn’t bothered to make weight.

Anderson Silva has boxed professionally before!

Silva is not a stranger to professional boxing. His first professional bout ended in a RTD-1 (corner retirement) way back in 1998 against the man, the myth, the legend himself Osmar Luiz Teixeira (30-22, 24 KOs). He was knocked down in the round, as well.

Seven years later he returned to the ring and scored a second-round KO of Julio Cesar de Jesus, who was making his pro debut and never fought again. We have footage of that!

An optimist’s way of looking at this is that Silva is undefeated against boxers named Julio Cesar.

Julio Cesar Chavez Jr was a world champion a decade ago

As much as Chavez Jr has been a clear disappointment and not even 1/5th of what his father was, he was a champion at his peak. He won the WBC middleweight title from Sebastian Zbik in 2011 and racked up successful defenses against Peter Manfredo Jr, Marco Antonio Rubio, and Andy Lee. Not a lot of absolutely elite wins in there but certainly credible opponents.

Then he lost to Sergio Martinez in September 2012 and has never regained champion status since then. Martinez bossed the fight but Chavez Jr did nearly emulated his dad by knocking Martinez down in the 12th round a la Chavez Sr versus Meldrick Taylor. Unlike Chavez Sr’s controversial win over Taylor, Chavez Jr didn’t get the stoppage and dropped a clear-cut decision. It was honestly the most heart and courage he’d ever shown up to that point and I’d say it remains that way today.

Julio Cesar Chavez Jr has screwed up a lot

Oh where do we begin?

I brought up the Marco Antonio Rubio fight as one of his title defenses. Two weeks prior to the bout he was arrested for a DUI. After he lost his belt to Martinez, the Nevada Athletic Commission popped him for weed and suspended him for nine months and fined him $900k. Is it something villainous given it’s just weed? No but an infraction is an infraction.

In his return to the ring after the ban, Chavez Jr missed weight badly against Brian Vera and got a gift decision. After losing to Andrzej Fonfara by TKO, Chavez Jr’s comeback fight in 2015 saw him miss weight against Marcos Reyes and put up a performance so poor (albeit in a win) that the fans booed him.

We don’t need to revisit the Canelo fight, which wasn’t a screw-up per se but rather an embarrassing “show up for a paycheck” type of effort that saw him roundly criticized.

No worries! Another year off and he was set to return on the Deontay Wilder vs. Tyson Fury I undercard… except he didn’t even do his medicals and thus couldn’t get licensed.

Right now he is indefinitely suspended in the United States by the Nevada and Arizona athletic commissions because he skipped out on a drug test ahead of his eventual loss to Daniel Jacobs. By the way, he missed weight for the Jacobs fight and then quit on his stool after he had an apparent broken nose. Chaos ensued.

Several weight misses, two drug test suspensions, a DUI arrest, and other general problems concerning him in and outside of the ring. And as mentioned earlier he missed weight against Silva on Friday. The beat goes on.

This fight is a disgusting mismatch

Silva has not even a 5% chance to win this fight and that takes into account the fact that Chavez Jr’s self-destructive tendencies. Chavez Jr may be a bit of a recurring joke but he’s competed at the highest level of his sport for the better part of a decade. Anderson Silva is not a professional boxer and is substantially worse than anyone Chavez has fought during that time span.

Anderson’s chin is demonstrably not there anymore. He was knocked out by Chris Weidman in the first fight, nearly knocked out in the rematch, dropped by Michael Bisping, and knocked out by Uriah Hall. The last time he actually knocked someone down with his own fists was Chael Sonnen in the rematch. No one will mistake Chavez Jr for someone with earth-shattering power but Silva’s reflexes in a strictly MMA environment are greatly diminished and he has enough power to land and hurt him repeatedly. I imagine the most notable commissions in the United States would’ve refused to sanction this on grounds that it is that egregious of a mismatch.

It’s one thing to have these silly exhibitions like Oscar De La Hoya vs. Vitor Belfort where knockouts or knockdowns are unlikely and this doesn’t go on anyone’s record. Actually having this as a professional bout when one fighter is 46 years old, eons past his prime, and entering a sport he hasn’t competed in since 2005 is irresponsible and reckless. I’m not joking when I say finally getting around to that Roy Jones fight — not like Roy should be licensed for pro competition anymore — is more defensible than this.

Just hope that Silva doesn’t get seriously hurt, because I feel like that’s what is going to happen. The best case scenario is either Chavez Jr having a meltdown or looking lackluster while comfortably winning a decision.

Anyway, Fite.tv has the pay-per-view at a cost of $39.99. We will provide live round by round coverage with the broadcast starting at 9 PM ET/6 PM PT.

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