Rumors of a potential showdown between YouTube sensation-turned-boxer Paul and Silva had been circulating ever since Paul’s previous two scheduled outings fell through. The first scheduled opponent, Tommy Fury dropped out after being unable to enter the United States, and Hasim Rahman Jr. could not make the contractual weight.
Silva recently made headlines after he got officially granted a professional boxing license to fight in the state of Arizona, with The Arizona Boxing and Mixed Martial Arts Commission officials passing Silva’s license application unanimously.
On Sep. 6, Paul confirmed the fight was on and made the official announcement on his social media accounts, writing, “My toughest test yet. I respect the legend, but he must be exterminated.”
Now, the mixed martial arts icon has broken his silence on the crossover megafight.
“I know that in life, everything has its purpose,” Silva said in an official news release for the fight. “Nothing comes just by chance. So I thank God for my health, my family, and my team for providing me with this opportunity to continue doing the thing that I love the most. I believe this will be the biggest combat event of the year and will truly make history in the sport forever.”
Paul will mark his return to the boxing ring against Silva in an eight-round contest on Oct. 29 in Phoenix, Arizona.
Paul Wants To ‘Exterminate’ Silva
“The Problem Child” will face his toughest challenge in only his sixth outing as a boxer. He has experience competing against MMA athletes, having finished former UFC champion Tyron Woodley and veteran Ben Askren, but has not put his chops against a striker as prolific as “The Spider.”
“Anderson ‘The Spider’ Silva is the most versatile fighter the world has ever seen,” Paul stated. “Just a year ago, he outclassed boxing champion Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. and showed the world why he is often referred to as the greatest fighter of all time.
“Every expert, from MMA to boxing, has said Jake Paul won’t fight Anderson Silva. They said Jake Paul is afraid of Anderson Silva, and Jake Paul would lose to Anderson Silva. Well, to all the non-believers – Jake Paul is fighting Anderson Silva. It’s an honor to have the opportunity to share the ring with the greatest UFC striker of all time. On Saturday, Oct. 29, I will walk humbly into the ring, touch gloves with a living legend and do my best to exterminate ‘The Spider.’”
Dana White Believes Paul Has a ‘Real Fight’ on His Hands
During a press conference for “Dana White’s Contender Series,” UFC president Dana White gave his take on the reports indicating a fight between Paul and Silva before the announcement.
Although White got pissed off about the Paul questions, he backed Silva to present a daring task ahead for the younger Paul brother.
“I don’t give a s*** what they do, you know what I mean?” White said. “If he’s really fighting Anderson Silva … it’s about time. He’s got a real fight on his hands there. Regardless of how old Anderson is, yeah, that’s a real fight.”