Although purists may have scoffed, it was one of the biggest fights of 2022. Anderson Silva, the former UFC great and impressive – if not aging – boxer was facing none other than Jake Paul himself, a social media influencer turned serious fighter with a thunderous punch. The crowd in Glendale Arizona was loud and vocal as the two men entered the ring. The time for pre hype fight, however, was over.
The first of the scheduled eight rounds saw Silva being patient while Paul landed some good body shots. The second saw a more aggressive Silva, though Paul again landed some solid shots. The third had Silva getting tagged a bit by Paul, but still doing a good job wearing his man down. The question appeared to be whether or not the legendary Brazilian fighter could mentally break his youthful American foe. Paul landed well on Silva in the fourth, though Silva had moments of his own. The 47 year old warrior still had it – though clearly wasn’t as sharp as he was as a younger man.
Silva fired and landed some excellent uppercuts in the fifth. He also got Paul into a corner towards the end of the round, and did some excellent work. The sixth belonged to Paul until the very end when it became a slug fest that Silva slightly got the better of. But who won the round? The Showtime broadcast team was correct in saying it was a hard fight to score. Paul landed well throughout the seventh while Silva seemed to be lacking in the energy he was so known for as a younger man. Silva came out at the bell for the eighth and final round like a pit bull. Unfortunately for the fighter known as “The Spider,” Paul put him on the mat. Silva gamely got to his feet, but it was too little, too late. In the end, the man was simply too old to perform as well as he needed to. Paul walked out of the ring with a unanimous decision win on his resume.
“It’s a surreal moment,” Paul said afterward. “Hard work pays off.” Paul had nothing but great things to say about his opponent. “He was my idol growing up,” Paul stated glowingly of Silva. “He inspired me to be great…I have nothing but respect for him.” Paul then returned to the attitude he’s famous for by calling out Nate Diaz and Canelo Alvarez. As for Silva, he was nothing but good natured in defeat. “That’s the game,” he said. “Sometimes you win, sometimes you lose. I say thank you to God for giving me this opportunity.”
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