Roy Jones Jr. vs Anderson Silva: Finally, a real possibility?
Last night, 46-year-old MMA legend Anderson Silva (2-1. 1 KO), in only his third professional boxing match, defeated former middleweight champion Julio Cesar Chavez, Jr (52-6-1, 34 KO) in front of the former's countrymen in Estadio Jalisco, Guadalajara, Mexico.
All three judges scored it 77-75, although one inexplicably had it in Chavez's favor.
Make no mistake, Silva out-boxed and out-brawled Chavez, now the loser of 3 of his last 5 fights.
Eleven years older than the 35-year-old Chavez, Silva looked the younger of the two, often bouncing on his feet, punching more actively, and landing the cleaner, more effective shots.
No, Silva wasn't as polished, technically, as a top boxer BUT certainly looked like he could be after another year or two of hard training and dedication.
Who cares if he's 46? It would be interesting to see how far he could go should he choose to stay on course.
So, what's next for Silva? Was the win enough to lure the great Roy Jones, Jr (66-9, 47 KO) out of retirement? After all, Silva has been chasing a fight with Jones, 52, for the better part of 10 years.
Problem: Jones pocketed a lot of money in last year's exhibition with Mike Tyson and may be content to walk off into the sunset.
In 2009, Silva, then UFC's Middleweight Champion and top pound-for-pound mixed martial artist, announced his plans to leave the organization to pursue a high-profile boxing match with the legendary Roy Jones Jr once the former's UFC contract expired. However, Anderson would eventually sign a 15-fight deal with UFC. And as part of the agreement, he couldn't fight outside of UFC without the MMA organization's blessing.
In 2015, rumors of Jones vs Silva were once again bantered only to be squashed.
The boxing legend told MMA Fight Corner, "[Anderson Silva] is a person, who, like myself, when we succeed at something we want to try something else if we can."
"We want to see how far we can go. We want to test the skies to see if the sky is the limit."
“But on his downside, the UFC won’t allow him to fulfill his dream. It’s such a shame because it’s a night that I’m sure people from both worlds would really admire.”
“I feel really solid that (the UFC) won’t allow him to do (the boxing match),” Jones continued. “But as a fighter, I think (Silva) is a phenomenal fighter and I think he’s probably going to be one of the best UFC fighters to ever touch the planet.”
Why were Jones and Silva so intent on fighting each other?
Anderson Silva insisted fighting Jones was a personal dream and that he would have loved nothing more than to test his boxing skills against one of boxing's all-time greats. But Jones, even ten years ago - and especially six years ago - was thoroughly shopworn. He could still beat run-of-the-mill opponents but no one in the 10.
Nevertheless, Roy Jones, Jr was likely so insistent on such a match because he thought it would be an easy fight given his massive edge in experience and because he was still active in the ring at the time.
Obviously, UFC didn't like Silva's chances and refused to let it happen.
Who knows what would have happened had Jones and Silva mixed it up 5 or 10 years ago?
One thing is for sure, Silva is a lot better in boxing than some of us gave him credit for and that match-up would be an intriguing affair today.
Jones, the winner of his last four fights, last boxed professionally in January 2018.