GUADALAJARA, Mexico – Julio Cezar Chavez Jr. is not surprised he’ll be taking on MMA legend and former UFC champion Anderson Silva, not in the cage, but in the boxing ring.

The former WBC middleweight champion takes on Silva in an eight-round bout in the main event of “Tribute to the Kings” on Saturday, June 19 in Jalisco Stadium. The event will be streamed on pay-per-view. Chavez Jr.’s father, Julio Cezar Chavez Sr., also competes on the card as he takes on Hector Camacho Jr. in the co-main event.

It’s one of the latest matchups that pits an MMA fighter against a boxer under boxing rules. Chavez Jr. is not surprised to be meeting a former UFC champion and believes the bout should be more competitive than some of the MMA-boxing crossovers seen in the past.

“I didn’t know too much about him, but these days it’s normal (to see) the UFC fighters come to boxing because they have better paydays and that’s interesting, you know,” Chavez Jr. told MMA Junkie in Spanish. “This particular fight with Anderson Silva is more competitive because it’s eight rounds, at 180 pounds [a weight class higher than Chavez Jr.], and Anderson Silva knows how to fight because he had done boxing in the past. It’s a good fight and I think the UFC fighters need to train more (boxing) like him.”

Chavez Jr. admits he didn’t know too much about Silva, as he’s only recently started to tune in to MMA. He’s heard of Silva and knows he’s considered an all-time great, but he’s more of the era of Conor McGregor and Khabib Nurmagomedov.

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“The promoters made the fight and they asked me if I wanted to fight Anderson Silva,” Chavez Jr. said. “They had a couple of other names, but at the end of the day, we picked Anderson Silva because I think he’s the most veteran fighter, the most important and most famous, so that’s why. And I’m ready to fight him. I trained hard, I’m in shape and it’s an interesting fight.”

Welcoming Silva back to the boxing world, Chavez Jr. is out to prove that he’s the real boxer come Saturday night.

“I want to prove that I’m the boxer, that I’m the best in the ring that night, of course,” Chavez Jr. explained. “I’m training hard to fight the best, so I’m ready.”


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