Former UFC middleweight champion Anderson Silva will crossover to boxing for a showdown against Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. at an upcoming event on June 19.
The Brazilian legend, who was released from the UFC following his last loss in 2020, confirmed the news in an interview with TMZ on Tuesday. Additional sources confirmed the bout to MMA Fighting with Silva returning to boxing for the first time in 16 years after he last competed in the sport back in 2005.
“When I look back at my journey, I see that nothing has been in vain,” Silva said about the fight. “I am extremely happy for the opportunity to test my boxing skills with Julio César Chávez Jr.
“I train continuously, always striving for resilience and to overcome obstacles. Fighting is my everlasting breath.”
Silva will participate in an event titled “Tribute to the Kings” at Jalisco Stadium in Guadalajara, Mexico with the card expected to be broadcast on pay-per-view. The event will also feature an exhibition bout with legendary boxer Julio Cesar Chavez returning to the ring for a matchup against Hector Camacho Jr.
As for Silva, he will be fighting for the first time since his UFC career came to an end with a fourth-round TKO loss to Uriah Hall, which was his third defeat in a row overall.
Silva’s final run with the UFC came to a close after he amassed a 1-7 record with one no contest over his final nine fights. He was released from his UFC contract after he was originally expected to retire following his most recent fight but then decided to move forward with his combat sports career.
Even during his run as UFC middleweight champion, Silva had talked about returning to boxing where he currently holds a 1-1 record overall. He had previously teased a possible fight against Roy Jones Jr. but now he’ll face Chavez Jr. instead, who comes into this fight with a 52-5-1 record with one no contest
“I have rededicated myself to the sport that I love and I will be ready to face anyone in the light heavyweight division starting with Silva,” Chavez Jr. said about the fight. ”I will be prepared to be victorious on June 19.”
At 45 years of age it’s unclear if Silva intends on staying focused with boxing moving forward or if he might entertain an eventual return to mixed martial arts. For now, Silva will prepare for the June 19 date with Chavez Jr. as part of the upcoming card from Mexico.