MMA fans of a certain age likely remember the years of talk surrounding a potential boxing bout between UFC legend Anderson Silva and boxing great Roy Jones Jr. That fight never came to fruition, but with Silva no longer under UFC contract, the former middleweight champion is set to return to the boxing ring for the first time since 2005 to face Julio Cesar Chavez Jr., son of all-time great Julio Cesar Chavez.
A press release sent Tuesday confirmed the bout, rumored since earlier in the year, would headline a pay-per-view event titled "Tribute to the Kings" on June 19 from Guadalajara, Mexico. Chavez Sr. will make his final in-ring appearance on the card, boxing an exhibition bout against Hector Camacho Jr.
Silva's storied UFC career came to an end this past October when he was knocked out by Uriah Hall. The loss was Silva's seventh in his last eight trips to the Octagon, four of which came by form of stoppage. Prior to that downswing, Silva was a perfect 16-0 in the UFC, capturing the 185-pound championship and successfully defending it 10 times.
"When I look back at my journey, I see that nothing has been in vain," Silva stated in the press release. "I am extremely happy for the opportunity to test my boxing skills with Julio César Chávez Jr. I train continuously, always am striving for resilience and to overcome obstacles. Fighting is my everlasting breath."
Chavez is a former middleweight world champion. He started his career unbeaten in his first 47 bouts. Failed drug tests and issues making weight led to many criticisms of his dedication to the sport, even as he held the WBC title for over a year. Chavez is 6-5 in his previous 11 bouts, including several disappointing performances and a shocking upset loss to Mario Abel Cazares in November.
"I have rededicated myself to the sport I love and I will be ready to face anyone in the light heavyweight division starting with Silva," Chavez stated in the release. "I will be prepared to be victorious on June 19."