Anderson Silva Pondering Move to Boxing?

Anderson Silva, regarded as one of the top pound-for-pound Mixed Martial Arts fighters in the world, recently told a TV program in his native Brazil that he was ready to walk away from the octagon within the next year. Normally this would be of no concern to the BoxingWatchers, except for this - speculation that Silva is retiring from the UFC to try his hand at boxing.

It wouldn't be a complete shock if it happened, given that Silva had floated the idea of trying to set up a fight with Roy Jones Jr. before UFC president Dana White made it clear it wasn't happening. The timing is a bit strange, though, as the man known as The Spider is the current king of the UFC's 185-pound division and is just coming into his own as a marquee attraction.

Whether he'd be a world class boxer is sure to be a hotly debated question if he decides to make the leap. Silva has shown pinpoint accuracy with his MMA striking and there's little doubt he's got quick hands and excellent stamina.

Defense would be another story, as the timing and spacing differences between the two disciplines would affect him more there. Weight could be an issue too - he'd almost certainly be best as a light heavyweight, but that's ten pounds south of where he competes in the UFC. He actually owns a 1-1 record in officially sanctioned boxing matches, but they came seven years apart and aren't likely to tell us much about how he'd fare going forward.

With few of his recent opponents giving him too much of a fight, Silva could be thinking about trying boxing just to give himself a new challenge. You'd have to think, though, that the money-making potential wouldn't be an even more powerful incentive. MMA may be the current king of combat sports, but top boxers still make significantly more per fight than even the UFC's biggest names.

And make no mistake about it, Silva would be a draw. UFC fans who don't normally watch boxing would be curious, while boxing aficionados would want to see if he's worthy of the hype. Silva isn't much of a showman, which is more important to sell boxing matches than it is in his current profession, but matching him up with a strong personality like Jones would make for compelling television.

Yahoo! Sports blogger Maggie Hendricks takes it a step further by mentioning what Silva could do for the recently announced Affliction-Golden Boy alliance. It's way too early to seriously consider a specific move like that, but the boxing world doesn't see outstanding athletes with built-in fan bases enter the sport very often. If Silva actually hangs up his UFC gloves - and it's not like he couldn't go back later - here's hoping he decides to scratch his apparent itch for the sweet science.

1 comment:

uatu said...

according to mmajunkie the total purses for the UFC Fight Night 15 event was 305,000. that doesn't usually cover one fighter's purse on a mid to high level non-ppv fight on hbo or showtime. that probably speaks to mma fighters wanting to box too