Let’s get this out of the way immediately: HOLY SH*T, THE MMA GUY WON!
Unlike most of the recent celebrity/MMA/boxing events, “Tribute To The Kings” was not a disaster. It featured some genuinely great boxing, and the high-profile match ups that were not between top-notch boxers ... actually made sense. Anderson Silva is an older former champion in the cage, so they matched him with a smaller former champion of the ring.
Still, there were more reasons to be apprehensive than optimistic about Silva’s chances. Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. may be a smaller man with a reputation for poor decision-making, but that does not entirely remove his natural talent or elite boxing experience.
Plus, Silva fans have suffered quite a bit in recent years. If we’re being honest about the scoring in his bout with Derek Brunson, Silva has not really won a fight since 2012. Worse yet, his two most recent appearances in the cage ended in brutality. All around, it was such a sad note for his career to end on giving his incredible accomplishments.
Silva was undeterred though. After being released from UFC, the Brazilian spoke of all the opportunities ahead of him and his newfound freedom. Silva could box, do Muay Thai, and compete to his heart’s content. Even at 46 years of age, Silva showed genuine passion for competition and combat, and his performance proved his words true.
In the ring, Silva was on point. He was relaxed yet totally locked into battle. Ever the showman, Silva juked and jived then landed hard punches. He adapted his style to the sport of boxing yet managed to maintain some of his trademark hand movements and quirks.
His performance was a pleasure to watch. Whether at distance or semi-clinched along the ropes, Silva looked plenty prepared to box. As a result, he was able to overcome not just Chavez Jr, but the incompetent and/or corrupt boxing judge who tried to steal away his victory.
A massive win for Silva and his fans alike.
Could Silva ride off into the sunset having secured something of a storybook ending? Certainly, but there’s almost no chance of it. As a result of his win and all the joy it elicited from his longtime fans, Silva will receive countless offers to compete again. Perhaps it will be another decorated boxer of similar acclaim. Maybe Silva will end up as a more appropriately-sized challenge for one Paul brother or another.
Somehow, I have a real feeling that Floyd Mayweather would be down for another eight figure paycheck, and Silva might be the perfect fit. However it all shakes out, Anderson Silva is back in the win column, and that just feels right.
For complete Tribute To The Kings: “Chavez Jr vs. Silva” results and play-by-play, click HERE!