This weekend’s Jake Paul-Anderson Silva boxing spectacle couldn’t possibly go off without a hitch, could it?
No, apparently it can’t. During a recent interview with MMA Weekly, former UFC middleweight champion Silva, who has found success in boxing over the past couple of years, claimed to have been knocked out twice during sparring while preparing for the Paul match this weekend.
That, not surprisingly, has many concerned, including the Arizona Department of Gaming, whose purview the bout falls under.
“I’m training hard for win. I’m training with the good boxers, high-level, and five guys come to help me,” Silva said in the aforementioned interview. “And the last sparring with my partner, he knocked me out two times, and when I finished the training, I talked to my coach and I said, ‘Coach, let me tell you something, why the guys knock me out two times?’ And the coach said, ‘You need [to] prepare for war, and you prepare for war.’”
That’s not the sort of talk athletic commissions like to hear, as that sort of trauma during training can impact a fighter’s health — and lead to their license being pulled. Silva’s coach, Luiz Carlos Dorea, denied he had been knocked out however.
“What I can say is that didn’t happen,” he said, per a report by MMA Fighting. “Thank God we follow all the steps in training and Anderson did excellent sparring [sessions]. He’s 100 percent for the fight.”
“We are looking into the matter and have no further comment at this time,” the Arizona Department of Gaming told the site in a statement.
Silva has competed in three bouts, a mixture of professional and exhibition match-ups, since transitioning to boxing following a loss to Uriah Hall in October of 2020, following which “The Spider” retired from mixed martial arts. His most recent action came against Bruno Machado in Abu Dhabi; no winner was declared as the exhibition fight went the distance, though Silva scored a knockdown in the bout.