Editor’s note: This article was originally published on MMAJunkie.com.
GUADALAJARA, Mexico – Anderson Silva was successful in his return to professional boxing.
The former UFC middleweight champion defeated Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. via split decision in the main card of Tribute to the Kings. The scores read 75-77, 77-75, and 77-75 in favor of Silva. It was an eight-round professional boxing bout.
Right off the gate, The 46-year-old Silva took the outside of the ring while Chavez Jr. stalked and pressured him. That was the tale of the first three rounds of the fight. Silva used his footwork to move around and pick his shots, while Chavez Jr. attacked often to the body and head.
Silva definitely held his own in the first three, but Chavez Jr. seemed to land more often and connect with the cleaner blows. Towards the end of round three, Silva was taunting and showing his vintage bravado against Chavez Jr., a signal that the tides were turning.
From the fourth point on, Silva picked up the pace and began to push forward. The MMA star constantly connected on Chavez Jr. and would even trap him against the ropes and batter him in close quarters. Chavez Jr. had a tough time landing on Silva, who did well at avoiding big shots.
It was a dominant showing in the second half of the fight for the Brazilian. He looked the liveliest he’s looked in years with an explosive and passionate performance.
The bout with Chavez Jr. marked Silva’s third professional boxing contest. Silva has previously competed in 1998, losing his pro debut via corner retirement, and then again in 2005, picking up a second-round KO. He’s now 2-1 as a pro boxer.
Chavez Jr. missed weight for the bout on Friday morning, coming in at 184.4 pounds. He forfeited $100k of his purse to Silva, who was on weight at 182 pounds.
Silva’s fame in the combat sports world came mainly from his years competing under the UFC – the premier MMA promotion in the world.
For many years, the Brazilian was arguably the biggest star for the promotion, as he had a historic run of 16 consecutive wins where he captured and held the UFC 185-pound title. Silva was champion from 2006 to 2012 and defended the belt 10 times.
Silva last fought with the Las-Vegas based promotion in October, when he headlined UFC Fight Night 181 against Uriah Hall. He lost the bout via fourth-round TKO. The bout with Hall ended a 15-year run inside the octagon spanning 24 fights.
Below are the full main card results for Tribute to the Kings:
Julio Cesar Chavez Sr. vs. Hector Camacho Jr.
Anderson Silva def. Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. via split decision (75-77, 77-75, 77-75).
Ramon Alvarez def. Omar Chavez via unanimous decision (80-73, 80-73, 79-73).
Damian Sosa def. Abel Mina via split decision (96-94, 94-96, 95-94) – to win the WBO Latino super welterweight title..
Jorge Luis Melendez def. Kevin Torres via unanimous decision (77-75, 77-74, 76-74).