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UFC legend Anderson Silva set for pay-per-view pro boxing match vs. Julio Cesar Chavez Jr

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Absolutely no one sensible wants to see this.

UFC Fight Night: Hall v Silva
Anderson Silva after losing to Uriah Hall. Also me after writing up this story.
Photo by Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC

Anderson Silva’s first fight since his UFC farewell is now set, and it’ll be in the boxing ring.

What’s that, the Roy Jones Jr fight is finally happening? Nope. But it’ll be on June 19th, live on pay-per-view, and it’s against another boxing legend.

Oh wait no, it’s that legend’s son.

Yes, it was made official on Tuesday that the former UFC middleweight champion will take on Julio Cesar Chavez Jr (52-5-1, 34 KOs). The press release says this will take place (presumably with fans) at Jalisco Stadium in Guadalajara, Mexico, and it’s scheduled for 10 rounds at a catchweight of 180 lbs.

Silva (34-11, 1 NC) ended his incredible UFC career with a knockout loss to Uriah Hall on Halloween night last year. That defeat dropped him to 1-7 (1 NC) over his last nine fights, and the 45-year-old (who turns 46 next month) was released from his contract shortly thereafter. He actually does have a 1-1 (1 KO) professional boxing mark, and this will be his first one since 2005.

I suppose I do need to talk about Chavez Jr so here it goes. He has had multiple failures to make weight, multiple bizarre performances and no-shows, a PED suspension, a marijuana suspension, a cancellation over failure to properly complete medical exams, but other than that his career has been smooth-sailing. As crazy as it sounds, the hallmark of his career might actually be his fight with Sergio Martinez, in which Martinez clearly was up on the scorecards when Julio Jr nearly emulated his father’s KO of Meldrick Taylor by knocking Martinez down in the 12th and final round, but no KO materialized and he lost a decision.

In more recent times, Chavez Jr has been in high-profile fights that have led to high-profile disappointment. He took on Canelo Alvarez in 2017 and stunk the place out, but no doubt left a rich man with the one million PPV buys it sold. In 2019, Chavez Jr had a reasonably competitive fight with Daniel Jacobs (after missing weight, of course), then quit on his stool over an apparent broken nose, and the crowd threw trash in the ring.

As if that wasn’t enough, Chavez was suspended indefinitely by Arizona’s commission for refusing to conduct a drug test. This is why his last couple of fights — a shock technical decision loss to the unheralded Mario Cazeres and a TKO of Jeyson Minda — have occurred in Mexico.

Oh yeah, Chavez Sr will have an exhibition against Hector Camacho Jr (58-6-1, 32 KOs) on the undercard. Fun to be had for all.

The only intrigue to be had for any Chavez Jr fight (assuming he doesn’t get this cancelled) is whether he’ll find a way to turn this obvious mismatch into a head-scratching loss.