By: Hans Themistode
Anderson Silva didn’t need to do it. The mixed martial arts legend had already carved out a Hall of Fame career in the UFC’s octagon and is widely regarded as one of the greatest fighters in MMA history. Still, with the chance to face the son of a legend in Julio Cesar Chavez Jr., Silva simply couldn’t pass up the opportunity.
Before Silva became known for his abilities in the cage, he was an up and coming boxer. Although he hadn’t stepped foot inside the ring since 2005, scoring a second-round stoppage win, he proved that there was little to no ring rust.
In front of a jam-packed crowd at the Jalisco Stadium in Guadalajara, Mexico, the two faced off as the co-main event to the four-round exhibition showdown between Julio Cesar Chavez Sr. and Hector Camacho Jr.
Starting off, Silva didn’t appear out of his element. The MMA legend flicked out a strong jab and got right into the face of Chavez Jr. To offset his man, Silva threw several combinations that landed flush. To the credit of Chavez Jr., however, he brushed them off and attempted to get his offense going.
As he was known to do in his MMA career, Silva dropped his hands and used slick head movement to make Chavez Jr. miss. In the process of doing so, Silva also made him pay.
The following round was much of the same. Silva got the better of the exchanges on the outside and pushed the pace. During the bout, Silva had a tendency to lift his foot awkwardly at times before throwing a combination. Chavez Jr. appeared noticeably confused and Silva would immediately capitalize.
Seemingly unaffected by the tricky moves of Silva, Chavez Jr. got things going a bit in the fourth round. He pinned Silva back against the ropes and landed huge shots, looking to end the night. Silva though, never appeared hurt, he simply maneuvered off the ropes and got himself back into the fight.
As the championship rounds of their bout rolled ahead, Silva was seemingly the fresher fighter. He bounced on his toes as if he was going to throw a leg kick, only to hurl a barrage of punches instead. For long stretches, Chavez Jr. stood in the corner with his back against the ropes, waiting for the onslaught to subside. Not wanting to leave anything to chance, Silva obliged, letting Chavez Jr. get into the middle of the ring where he would easily outbox his man again.
With the sound of the final bell ringing, Silva immediately jumped onto the ropes in celebration as if to say he won the bout.
He was right.
One judge scoring the contest had it 77-75 in favor of Chavez Jr. but was overruled by the two remaining judges who had it 77-75 in favor of Silva.
With the win officially in his back pocket, Silva shared a heartfelt moment with Canelo Alvarez as he watched from his ringside seat. The two held hands and embraced for several minutes while sharing a few words.
As for what Silva plans to do next, in an interview with Boxinginsider.com earlier this week, the MMA legend revealed that there’s a good chance that this won’t be his last time inside a boxing ring.