The eyes of the martial arts world will turn to Glendale, Arizona this Saturday as YouTube sensation Jake Paul continues his disruptive tour as one of boxing’s biggest pay-per-view attractions.
Paul, 25, will make headlines(3-1 in boxing) in an eight round professional boxing match scheduled for a catch weight of 187 pounds.
Can Paul extend his unbeaten start to 6-0? Let’s take a look at the biggest storylines coming this weekend.
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1. Make no mistake: This is Paul’s toughest test yet
Because as impressive as the Ohio native’s transition to boxing has been, especially from a commercial standpoint, the level of danger he has welcomed in the ring has been slow and gradual. Both AnEsonGib and former NBA guard Nate Robinson were half Paul’s height and complete novices. Former MMA star Ben Askren was overweight, fresh from hip surgery and never known for his punching power as a former Olympic wrestler. Tyron Woodley, the former UFC champion who fought Paul twice and visibly injured him the first time they met, rose almost two full weight classes from his MMA days to boxing. Not only is Silva the most experienced and decorated of the group, especially in the area of strikes, he is of course taller than Paul. The Brazilian star also has legitimate experience, having scored 3-1 on his professional boxing debut in 1998. Silva also shocked the world in 2021 when he upset Julio Cesar Chavez Jr – no less than in the former middleweight champion’s homeland, Mexico. – by split decision over eight rounds.
2. With great risk comes the potential for great rewards
The fight against Silva offers Paul an opportunity to take a big step forward in terms of critical respect and represents the perfect answer for those who are critical of Paul’s journey in the boxing game. Despite all the calls for Paul to fight a “real” boxer, it’s something “The Problem Child” has attempted numerous times recently, only to see undefeated cruiserweight Tommy Fury and heavyweight Hasim Rahman Jr. battle it out withdraw after initially agreeing to fight. Paul was somewhat cornered as he needed either a major challenge or a notable opponent to fill the gap in the short term. Silva is unique in that he represents both at the same time, meaning Paul’s decision to take on the fight while many assume he would avoid such a dangerous challenge demands respect. Not only would a win for Paul add to his momentum and open the door to even greater potential crossover fights, it would also dramatically change any narrative around the idea that he only seeks out matchups where he has a dramatic advantage on paper .
3. Obsess over Silva’s age at your own risk
Paul-Silva’s announcement has created a polarizing mix of opinions in the martial arts community. For those in the boxing world, the fact that Silva is 47 (and old enough to be Paul’s father) was enough for many to immediately dismiss the competition as nothing more than Paul teasing his elders. But those coming from MMA had essentially the exact opposite reaction, mirroring the odds makers who quickly made Silva the favorite after most books were opened with Paul (although odds are more of a pick at the moment). Does the benefit Paul will have alone in his youth need to be taken into account? Certainly. He’s a big kid with a big right hand. But like Silva’s Boxidol Roy Jones Jr., who was allowed to linger well into his forties partly because his superior hand speed threatened him, Silva is the same kind of freak athlete who possessed an almost video game-like reaction speed and that Timing in his prime that often made his elite opponents look scared. While no one tries to point out that Silva is still as dangerous as he was 10 years ago, his physical decline is somewhat exaggerated. Yes, Silva has won his last nine UFC fights 1-7 (1 NC), but the competition he has faced has been overwhelming. Silva, who also sustained two serious injuries at this stretch, was still fighting elite opponents in MMA two years ago and gave the current middleweight champion Israel Adesanya everything he could in 2019. Remaining both quick and creative as a forward, Silva has adapted his footwork and stance to boxing almost seamlessly. Win or lose, expect Paul to have his hands full given their overall lack of combat experience.
4. The pressure is on Paul to keep alive the hope of a fight against Nate Diaz
Diaz, the 37-year-old native of Stockton, California, finally fought for his most recent UFC deal in September, which made him an interesting free agent that could be Paul’s biggest potential payday outside of Conor McGregor or Mike Tyson. But does the idea of a Paul Diaz blockbuster PPV go away with a Silva win on Saturday? It probably comes down to how well Paul competes, regardless of the outcome. Either way, there’s a lot of pressure on Paul to prevent the kind of KO loss that could cripple the overall marketing potential of a Diaz fight. Facing Paul and Diaz in a match of any kind is pretty much the definition of “must-see TV” in martial arts, given their large fan base and contrasting personalities. But the potential PPV is only a threat to UFC in Paul’s ongoing public feud with Dana White if he goes undefeated and has a victory over arguably the greatest fighter to ever set foot in the Octagon. Diaz will likely be in the arena on fight night as longtime teammate Chris Avila again boxes on an undercard from Paul.
5. Keep an eye on other potential future Paul enemies on the undercard
Let’s give Paul a ton of credit: He knows what he’s doing on the promotional side, having teamed up with former UFC CFO Nakisa Bidarian to launch Most Valuable Promotions. Paul once added Fury, half-brother of heavyweight champion Tyson Fury, to his Cleveland undercard for his first meeting with Woodley in 2021 to test the waters for a future fight (which fell apart twice when Fury “fumbled the bag.” , “Said Paul). Adding a few other potential names this weekend is when former UFC middleweight Uriah Hall takes on former NFL star Le’Veon Bell, the latter coming off a boxing KO of fellow running back Adrian Peterson. There is also dr. Mike Varshavski, a 32-year-old doctor and internet personality who amasses a total of 22 million social media followers in his fight against Avila.
Who will win Jake Paul vs. Anderson Silva? And which prop should not be missing? Visit SportsLine now to see the best Peter Kahn bets for Saturday, all from the boxing specialist who has netted his followers nearly $4,000 in profits, and find out.
https://www.cbssports.com/boxing/news/jake-paul-vs-anderson-silva-fight-five-biggest-storylines-to-follow-for-the-showdown-in-arizona/ Jake Paul vs. Anderson Silva fight: The five biggest storylines follow for the Arizona showdown