Former UFC Middleweight Champion Anderson Silva had a successful return to the boxing ring on Saturday night, defeating former WBC Middleweight Champion Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. via split decision.
The eight-round fight was the co-main event of a boxing card at the Estadio Jalisco in Guadalajara, Jalisco, Mexico.
Despite coming in as an underdog, Silva was able to out-land Chavez Jr. in many rounds and look confident during the matchup. He also showed great ability to defend punches from the former prizefighting boxer, not getting knocked down or even showing significant damage through the battle.
Two judges scored the fight 77-75 for Silva, with the third scorecard giving the same score but in favour of Chavez Jr.
Silva, 46, was making his first appearance outside of the UFC since 2006. His run in the promotion concluded last year after Uriah Hall stopped him in the fourth round of a bout, handing him his third consecutive loss as a pro.
The victory is only Silva’s second as a pro boxer, with the majority of his professional combat sports experience going towards MMA. His previous boxing appearances were in 2005 and 1998.
Chavez Jr. took his sixth loss in a near 60-fight pro career. The 35-year-old has lost three of his last five bouts, with two of those coming by stoppage.