Former UFC middleweight champion, Anderson Silva has given his thoughts on the recent surge and influx of YouTube content creators to the squared circle, ahead of his professional boxing match on June 19th against Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. in Guadalajara, Mexico.
Silva, a former undisputed middleweight champion during his iconic stay with the UFC, ended his fourteen-year stint with the organization last October at UFC Vegas 12, dropping an eventual fourth-round knockout loss to Uriah Hall.
Ending his time with the organization having confirmed that his outing against Hall would be his last under the UFC’s scrutiny, the Brazilian is set to return to the boxing ring for the first time since 2005 where he moved to 1-1 as a professional following a unanimous decision win over Julio Cesar de Jesus.
Taking on former WBC middleweight champion, Chavez Jr. this summer, the Sinaloa native, whose father, the legendary, Julio Cesar Chavez also returns in an exhibition outing against Hector Camacho Jr. on the same card, Silva has given his thoughts on the participation of YouTubers in professional boxing.
“We see a lot of YouTubers disrespecting an old, traditional sport,” Silva said during a recent interview with Brazilian outlet, Ag Fight. “Athletes take years to conquer their space and have made history to make what this sport is today. I started training boxing at Corinthians, many years ago. I went to go a soccer test, I was late and a boxing training (session) was going on. I went there to attend the class and Professor, Vitor Ribeiro asked me if I was training something, gave me the equipment, and had it trained.“
“I started training, then I participated in the Open Games in Braganca Paulista,” Silva said. “It has a history and reference behind it. In addition to going there and fighting, testing myself, it is like boxing. It’s the most important thing.”
Most recently, and arguably most high-profile-wise, polarizing content creator, Jake Paul matched with former UFC welterweight contender, Bellator, and ONE Championship welterweight titleholder, Ben Askren at a Triller Fight Club event on April 17th. Stopping the wrestler with an opening round knockout, Paul improved to 3-0 as a professional boxer.
In the time since, Paul has called out the likes of professional mixed martial artists, Dillon Danis, Daniel Cormier, Conor McGregor, Nate Diaz, and Tyron Woodley for boxing matches, receiving his fair share of criticism to boot.
Silva stressed the need for respect and tradition to be at the forefront of boxing amid the recent influx of participants without a fleshed-out background in combat sports.
“Everything is possible, but first of all, all sports have their idols and were created with people who gave their time, passion, and love to make sport valued and recognized,” Silva said. “Boxing has millions of fighters who made history, died practicing that sport. I don’t think any fighter who fought MMA, like me, or any guy who didn’t fight anything and started training, thinks he can get into the sport and do some things. Everything has to have a respect. It has a tradition. You have to respect those who are there. As soon as I think.“