Jake Paul and Anderson Silva will be the main event of a Saturday night catchweight boxing match at the Gila River Arena in Glendale, Arizona.
The YouTube superstar, undefeated in the ring since deciding to take up the sport, will take on one of the world’s top mixed martial arts stars. It’s a fight months in the making as Paul was set to fight Tommy Fury before a visa issue prompted the British boxer to pull out.
Unlike previous fights Paul has been involved in, most of the trash talk was toned down in this one due to their mutual respect. Paul and Silva recreated a photo with Jake’s brother, Logan, in September. The two brothers had taken a picture with the former UFC star when they were younger and followed with a friendly photo during their joint press conference.
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“I respect kids because they do something very special. That’s a lot of people’s problem. When you don’t do anything, you try to attack people when people do something. And kids do a lot. And why don’t you say congratulations on both of them,” Silva explained in an interview with Fox News Digital in September.
“And the kids work a lot and try to respect the boxing community. That’s why I work hard, to prove my respect for boxing more. I think the kids do the same and people have to respect that. Because children do hard work.”
Paul told Fox News Digital in September that Silva was his idol growing up.
“All that, man,” Paul said of what intrigued him about the game. “The fact that he was my idol growing up and he was the first celebrity I ever met. Now I get to share the ring with him. That’s first and foremost super cool. And the people didn’t think I was going to take this fight, I think, motivates me and creates a real challenge, and I like to prove people wrong and that’s what I’m going to do October 29.
Silva steps into the ring as a master in Muay Thai, jiu-jitsu and Taekwondo. He was 34-11 in MMA fights and 3-1 in boxing matches. He last fought in a boxing match in September 2021 against Tito Ortiz. He won by knockout in the first round.
Paul’s fame has skyrocketed since he put on the gloves. He beat AnEsonGib in his first match in January 2020 by knockout and has since beaten Nate Robinson, Ben Askren and Tyron Woodley twice.
Paul said he expected a noisy atmosphere.
“A crazy show. Electric power in the stadium. A sold-out arena. Iconic moments, fans singing, s—-throwing, fighting in the crowd,” Paul said. “It’s gonna be a movie. It’s gonna be a movie, and I’m gonna knock it out. Respectfully.”
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The two also have a side bet they agreed to days before the fight.
Paul, 25, said if Silva, 47, wins, he’ll do a rematch in a kickboxing bout. If Paul wins, he said Silva should help him form an association for UFC fighters, according to ESPN. Silva said he would be okay if it included all mixed martial artists. The two then agreed.
Their eight-round fight is scheduled for Saturday night at 9 p.m. ET.
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