Jake-Paul was a multi-millionaire long before he dreamed of becoming a boxer thanks to his wit, business acumen and gift for languages. It just so happens that these traits go a long way towards being successful in professional boxing as well.
Especially with pay-per-view fights, name recognition is vital and few fighters have ever broken into professional boxing with the ability to sell themselves to an audience like Paul could.
Given the money Paul made during his short stint as a pro and the attention he received, there was a lot of jealousy and resentment among many boxers. He’s hardly proven he has the potential to become a ranked fighter, let alone a champion, but he does more and commands far more attention than 99 percent of all boxers.
Matchmaking is the most important element of running a boxing promotion company, both for the company and for the fighters who sign with them. Give too tough a fighter a test too soon and he or she could be ruined. Move him too slowly and he will fall behind on the development curve.
Paul is a new and developing boxer and should be treated with kid gloves. But since he’s also headlining pay-per-view shows, his team must develop a storyline to generate interest in the fight.
That’s why Anderson Silva, the former UFC superstar, is the best possible opponent for Paul at this stage in his career.
Look at the types of fighters faced by talented and developing boxers like Jared Anderson, Keyshawn Davis and Duke Ragan and you will know exactly what type of opponent Paul should be fighting at this stage in his development. But boxers at this level are unrecognizable, can’t sell, and just won’t work as a B-side in the main event of a pay-per-view boxing card. So Paul calls out a lot of MMA fighters and boxers who aren’t developed but have household names.
Paul didn’t try to fight Tommy Fury because he thought Fury would make a good fight or was an entertaining boxer in any way. He wanted to fight Fury because Fury is the brother of WBC Heavyweight Champion Tyson Fury and had a name due to his appearance on a reality show in the UK.
Similar, Paul’s planned August fight with Hasim Rahman Jr. had nothing to do with Rahman’s ability, just that he shares a name with his father, who happened to be a former world heavyweight champion.
Reports surfaced on Tuesday Paul talks to Silva about a fight on October 29th. It’s definitely far from complete, but the fact that Paul and his team are even talking to Silva is smart.
Silva is 47 years old and despite being one of the greatest fighters in MMA history, he ended his career in a terrible way. For the last 7+ years he has been in the UFC, going 1-7 without competition. He previously had 16 straight UFC fights, 17 in a row overall and won 18 of 19. But after losing to Uriah Hall by TKO on October 31, 2020, the UFC didn’t offer Silva a new contract.
Silva wasn’t ready to stop, so he boxed twice. He defeated former Middleweight Champion Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. by split decision on June 19, 2021 in Guadalajara, Mexico and beat former UFC Light Heavyweight Champion Tito Ortiz in the first round on September 11, 2021.
It’s not like Silva reminded anyone of Sugar Ray Robinson in any of those fights. Underqualified and disinterested, Chavez was at the end of a career known more for its failures and disappointments than for his notable accomplishments. And Ortiz is one wrestler who was never known for having good hands, and he was well past his prime when he met Silva.
Silva is a striker and while not a boxer he would be far better in that area than anyone Paul has encountered in his career.
Silva would also be the most attractive name Paul was confronted with, so it would be a score on two different fronts.
The question is, could Paul actually beat Silva? Well, it has to be at least within the realm of possibility. Silva has four boxing matches — he boxed once in 1998 and another in 2005 before joining the UFC — but he’s 47. He’s not as fast or as strong as he used to be. Paul is 25 and punches hard enough to take out former UFC Welterweight Champion Tyron Woodley by at least one shot.
It was a terrible fight but Paul deserves credit for finishing it the way he did.
Well if Silva was 25 this fight wouldn’t happen because a 25 year old Silva would have destroyed Paul.
However, Paul has a chance against this version of Silva. And it’s not only a chance to win, but also to learn some of the nuances of the sport from one of the greatest martial artists of this generation.
Don’t get the idea that Paul is looking for the toughest challenge he can find. He is not. If he were, he would fight anyone other than Silva.
However, Silva is a legend for a reason. And if he’s the pick, that shows someone at Paul’s company has been paying attention and understands the value of matchmaking.