Famed YouTuber Jake Paul takes the next step in his boxing career Saturday night in Arizona, when he clashes with former long-reigning UFC middleweight champion Anderson Silva on Showtime pay-per-view ($59.95).
USA TODAY Sports’ Lance Pugmire will provide live round-by-round coverage of the main event here, with undercard action set to begin at 9 p.m. ET from Desert Diamond Arena in Glendale, Arizona.
Following his December knockout of former UFC welterweight champion Tyron Woodley, Paul (5-0) originally sought to advance to a professional boxer foe.
Travel restrictions on England’s Tommy Fury (the younger brother of WBC heavyweight champion Tyson Fury) and then a weight issue with Hasim Rahman Jr. (son of the former heavyweight champion) left him to explore an alternative.
Silva, 47, is 22 years older than Paul entering the bout scheduled for eight rounds, but he has boxed recently, scoring a split-decision triumph over former middleweight boxing champion Julio Cesar Chavez and a first-round knockout of UFC legend Tito Ortiz.
The Brazilian Silva will lean on his combat experience, which carried him through an unbeaten title reign from 2006-13. That stretch included posting three first-round knockdowns of Forrest Griffin; a memorable knockout by kick to the chin of Vitor Belfort; and a remarkable escape from wrestler Chael Sonnen to then force him to tap out in the late-going of their first title fight.
It’s that type of fighting savvy Silva says will lead him to victory over the younger brother of Logan Paul, who capitalized on his YouTube fame to land fights against Floyd Mayweather and next week’s WWE main event versus Roman Reigns in Saudi Arabia.
Trained by former pro boxer B.J. Flores, Jake Paul flashed significant power to crush Woodley, UFC retiree Ben Askren and former NBA player Nate Robinson thus far, and bettors make him a -230 favorite over +182 underdog Silva.
On the proposition bet of whether Paul and Silva will go the distance, “no” is a -154 favorite and “yes” is a +120 underdog.
The card also features a boxing match pitting former UFC contender Uriah Hall versus former NFL running back Le’Veon Bell and a match between popular YouTuber “Dr. Mike” Varshavski and Chris Avila.
Avila is a stablemate of recent UFC headliner Nate Diaz, who is strongly positioned to be Paul’s next opponent if he defeats Silva.
Here’s a round-by-round analysis of the fight: