UFC superstar Conor McGregor is set to face Dustin Poirier at UFC 264 on July 10, but former middleweight boxing champion Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. told Heavy he would be down to fight McGregor inside a boxing ring after he’s done with doing the same against Anderson Silva on June 19.
Chavez said he didn’t necessarily prefer facing UFC fighters over other professional boxers, but the 35-year-old also offered the idea of facing McGregor next after he was asked who the boxer might target next from the UFC world after his bout with Silva was over.
He said, “Conor McGregor fight in boxing, I like it because he’s [a celebrity]. He makes a lot of pay-per-view. I’m okay with anybody.”
You can watch Chavez talk about UFC, Conor McGregor, and much more in the interview below.
The upcoming “Tribute to the Kings” boxing pay-per-view card featuring Chavez Jr. vs. Silva will be available on cable, satellite, and other digital services beginning at 9 p.m. ET for the suggested retail price of $39.99.
Integrated Sports Media and Joe Hand Promotions will distribute the card throughout North America via DirecTV, iN Demand, Vubiquity, DISH, SaskTel, Rogers, Shaw PPV, and via FITE.TV.
If Chavez has his way, he’ll beat Silva on Saturday night in Mexico, then lure McGregor into the same kind of boxing match right after that.
McGregor is 0-1 in pro boxing. He lost by 10th-round stoppage to Floyd Mayweather Jr. in August 2017, but the 32-year-old has continued to suggest he could be headed back to the boxing ring before his prizefighting career is over.
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Chavez Answers: ‘Why Anderson Silva?’
Chavez said he never planned on fighting Silva, but he couldn’t turn down down the opportunity once he got the offer.
“Why Anderson Silva? I don’t pick Anderson Silva…I think it’s a good match. It’s really interesting for the people so that’s why I looked for these kinds of fights,” Chavez said.
Chavez expects a tough opponent in Silva even if he didn’t think he’d ever end up fighting a former UFC champ.
“I don’t like to fight a UFC fighter, but I’m ready…” Chavez said.
“The Spider” is one of the most decorated UFC champions in history, and he’s one of the better strikers the sport has ever seen.
Moreover, Silva is likely to be physically larger than every other fighter Chavez has faced inside a boxing ring. Chavez’s last few fights have been fought in boxing’s 175-pound light heavyweight division.
Meanwhile, Silva won more fights in the UFC’s 185-pound middleweight division than any other fighter in history.
That’s a 10-pound gap right there, but it seems even wider when you consider the fact that Chavez did his best work in boxing’s 160-pound middleweight division.
That’s a difference of 25 pounds.
Regardless, Chavez believes he has more skills than Silva, at least inside the boxing ring.
“He knows fights. He knows boxing. But boxing is skills, so that’s the difference,” Chavez said.
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Chavez Predicts Stoppage Victory
Chavez likened his upcoming fight against Silva against his 2012 bout against “Irish” Andy Lee. In that fight, Chavez essentially used his high guard to absorb the boxer’s early punches until he overwhelmed the Irishman with his physicality in the middle rounds.
Chavez stopped Lee in the seventh round, and the Mexican expects using a similar style will work against Silva.
“It was the fourth defense of my title. I was prepared very well for that fight. And I had a lot of activity, like today. It was a good camp, a good strategy, so I broke down Andy Lee, and I expect to do that with Anderson Silva,” Chavez said.
Chavez said he expects the stoppage to happen around the fifth or sixth rounds, but that such things weren’t easy to predict.
“It’s very difficult to say ‘stop him’ because I can say, maybe I can stop him after the fourth round, it’s more easy because I can break him down. He’s only fighting five rounds in the UFC, so that’s different. It’s different though, when something is different, I can take advantage of that,” Chavez said.
So Chavez believes he’ll get the stoppage win over Silva, and could see himself potentially fighting McGregor in a boxing ring later down the line.
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