ANDERSON SILVA, a former star of the UFC, now 46 years old, is a mixed martial artist who’d only boxed in two pro bouts before and not since 2005. Boxing him was supposed to do something for Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. In Julio’s telling, it might tee him up for a rematch with Canelo Alvarez. It was certainly an eight round exercise that could have led Chavez Junior back to meaningful fights, but only if Junior did the bare minimum – if that is he won. But on Saturday night (June 19) in Mexico the son of a legend didn’t manage that. After eight rounds at the Estadio Jalisco in Guadalajara he lost a decision.

It is a crushing result, compounded by Chavez Junior coming in over the agree weight limit once again. This was made at 182lbs, Chavez scaled 184¼lbs and had to hand over a cash penalty to his opponent. Silva, 10 years older than Chavez Jr, made the weight. He also won the fight.

This split decision could be the most embarrassing loss of Chavez’s career, who triggered a near riot in Phoenix in 2019 when he retired himself on his stool after five rounds with Danny Jacobs. That embarrassment may have been all the more acute given that his former opponent Canelo Alvarez was watching and the great Julio Cesar Chavez himself was performing on the card in an exhibition with Hector Camacho Jnr.

“I think it could have been a draw,” Chavez Jnr said afterwards. “I failed to throw more punches. He didn’t do much damage. There were a few rounds that went back and forth.”

Silva naturally was delighted. “I love fighting,” he said. “Boxing was my dream for many years. I needed to show my respect for boxing. I need to come here and do my best.”