The California State Athletic Commission has confirmed that it would be willing to sanction a professional fight between Paul and Silva, who is 12 years older than him.
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Jake Paul has moved one step closer to a fight with Anderson Silva after being given the green light to hold it in California.
The YouTube star has become one of the biggest names in boxing since turning pro in 2020, but now he must take a major step forward in the competition after dispatching each of his opponents. And Silva, who is 3-1 as a professional boxer, including a scalpel over former world champion Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. last summer, might be the perfect name.
However, some in the fighting world would be concerned about putting Silva, 47, who has lost seven of his last nine UFC bouts, against Paul, 25. The YouTuber made quick work of former Bellator champion Ben Askren and fellow social media star AnEsonGib, as well as brutally stopping basketball player Nate Robinson and former UFC title holder Tyron Woodley.
But the executive director of the California State Athletic Commission, Andy Foster, has said he would be willing to sanction a fight between the pair, given their recent appearances in the ring. Silva scored a fierce knockout of Tito Ortiz in his own right last September, before a dominant outing against Bruno Machado in an exhibition in Dubai last weekend.
“I think so,” Foster replied when asked by host Ariel Helwani if he would sanction the fight during an appearance on The MMA Hour yesterday. “Jake can fight. The idea that he can’t fight? He absolutely can fight.
“But Anderson Silva beat Chavez Jr there and it was close, he’s a real guy. And he beat him in Mexico a while ago. He’s fit, he trains hard. I think that fight is reasonable. It depends on the rules of the fight, how many laps”.
Paul is generally known to compete over eight rounds, after his fights with AnEsonGib and Nate Robinson were scheduled for six but fell short of two. He has only gone the distance once in his career; against Woodley last summer, before knocking him out in a December rematch.
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Silva was also set for eight rounds against Ortiz before brutalizing him inside one, going the eight round distance against Chavez Jr. He also went the eight round distance against Machado on Saturday night in that exhibition, dropping him with a big right hand. . on the fifth
The sanction issues will likely have cost Paul a fight with a different former UFC middleweight champion in Michael Bisping. Even the most liberal of states would have trouble allowing him to face the Briton after he admitted he has a false eye as well as serious knee problems.
There was also a dispute over an undercard fight the YouTube star put together for his August fight with Woodley. In an effort to see rival tommy fury competed in eight rounds, he, as promoter of the event, made a fight between the Briton and his training partner Anthony Taylor, which was reduced to six and then only four rounds due to the disparity in their records of 6-0 and 0 -1.
Paul’s lopsided fight with Robinson took place under the California State Athletic Commission, and will likely have heightened awareness of who he faces next in his state. His brother Logan also made his professional boxing debut in the state against British YouTube star KSI.