Former WBC middleweight champion Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. admits that he’s a bit surprised that UFC veteran Anderson Silva agreed to fight him in a boxing match on June 19 in Mexico.
Silva, 46-years-old, is well beyond his best days – when experts regarded him as one of the best pound-for-pound mixed martial artists fighters in the world.
The bout is scheduled for the eight round distance, at the cruiserweight limit.
“I’m surprised [he took the fight],” Chavez Jr. told MMA Fighting. “Not for Anderson Silva but a lot of UFC fighters come to fight in boxing. I’m a little surprised that Anderson Silva took this challenge.
“At the same time, the fight is eight rounds, it’s at 180 pounds and that’s better for him. That makes the fight more even and the other thing Anderson Silva fights two or three times in boxing. So he knows how to box. I think it’s another level but I’m never [overconfident] because I never fought at 180 pounds and I never fought eight rounds. I’m better than him. I’m a better fighter. I can beat him because I’m the [better] fighter but I’m not overconfident at all.”
Chavez Jr. was not that familiar with Silva – when the event organizers came to the table and informed him that the UFC legend was interested in boxing him.
“They said Anderson Silva wants to fight you. So I never [saw] Anderson Silva fight in the UFC because it’s too old,” Chavez Jr. said. “I know he’s a legend. I respect him. I think it’s a very interesting fight. These days, that’s the most important thing. I think it’s a very good fight.
“I hear his name. Not a lot because I think he’s 45, 46 and I’m 35. I remember when the UFC started hearing his name but not too much. I know who he is. He’s a great fighter. But I think I’m too skilled for him. I’m expecting a hard fight for the first three or four rounds but after that I think the UFC fighters don’t have the [capacity] for making a disciplined fight. That’s the difference.
“I think the knockout is a great possibility in that fight. Because it’s [180 pounds], the day of the fight, both will weigh 190 or 200, so it’s a heavyweight fight. I don’t know how he can take my punches. I feel I can knock him out. I’m not confident in only one punch but breaking him down, go to the body and head and I think I have a lot of possibilities to knockout him.”