UFC Legend Anderson Silva Signs Boxing Contract for Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. Fight

Tim Daniels@TimDanielsBRFeatured ColumnistMarch 30, 2021

Anderson Silva, of Brazil, squats before a middleweight  mixed martial arts bout against Derek Brunson at UFC 208 Saturday, Feb. 11, 2017, in New York.  Silva won the fight. (AP Photo/Frank Franklin II)
Frank Franklin II/Associated Press

Former UFC middleweight champion Anderson Silva has signed a contract for a boxing match against Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. on June 19 at Jalisco Stadium in Guadalajara, Mexico.

TMZ Sports reported Tuesday the pay-per-view event will be called "Tribute to the Kings."

"When I look back at my journey, I see that nothing has been in vain," Silva said. "I am extremely happy for the opportunity to test my boxing skills with Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. I train continuously, always striving for resilience and to overcome obstacles. Fighting is my everlasting breath."

Silva was released from his UFC contract in November. The decision came after UFC President Dana White criticized himself for allowing The Spider to step into the Octagon for a final time to take on Uriah Hall in October, a fight he lost by fourth-round knockout for his third straight loss:

"He fought a guy that has absolutely zero output. They're in a five-round main event on ESPN and they threw [expletive] 11 punches in the second round. Uriah Hall is one of the most gun-shy fighters in the UFC.

"And look at Anderson. When the fight was over, he couldn't even stand up to do his interview. He had to sit down and do an interview. I made a big mistake and I shouldn't have let him fight this fight tonight. He's a legend of this sport and he's a legend of this company, and I did something I disagreed with. I knew I was right, and tonight proved I was right, and Anderson Silva should never fight again."

Silva's last UFC win came against Derek Brunson in February 2017.

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The 45-year-old Brazilian MMA legend does own two fights of pro boxing experience, but those bouts, a loss to Osmar Luiz Teixeira and a win over Julio Cesar De Jesus, came in 1998 and 2005, respectively.

Meanwhile, Chavez is a former WBC middleweight champion who fought twice in the latter stages of 2020, a loss to Mario Abel Cazares in September and a victory over Jeyson Minda in November.

"I have rededicated myself to the sport that I love and I will be ready to face anyone in the light heavyweight division starting with Silva," Chavez said, per TMZ. "I will be prepared to be victorious on June 19."

The card will also feature an exhibition bout between Julio Cesar Chavez Sr., 58, and Hector Camacho Jr., 42.