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Diaz matchup looms for Jake Paul after triumph over Silva

YouTube boxing star Jake Paul

The Jake Paul vaudeville show rolled on as he outpointed a lacklustre and old-looking Anderson Silva across eight rounds of uninspiring but entertaining boxing last Saturday in Glendale, Arizona. It was a decisive victory in which Paul clearly won at least five of the eight rounds.

For some context, the vanquished Silva is now 47 years old and has looked far from his best for almost a decade. The Brazilian had occasional flurries of promise but, much like his last few MMA fights, failed to grasp the mathematics required to win a points victory. Silva has long had a habit of taking rounds off, thinking that the occasional moment of brilliance will be enough to sway the judges. This is not how fights are scored.

Paul looked somewhat improved in this fight, has obviously been training hard, and his unbeaten boxing record remains stubbornly intact. His work rate during the bout was commendable, resulting in superior output and a late knockdown. He kept the fan base happy and presumably made some nice cash for his efforts. Paul’s ability to select opponents right before they are completely spent continues to pay dividends, but it seems inevitable that he will one day bite off more than he can chew.

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Paul’s footwork still looks mostly amateurish, and he gets tangled up on the inside, but he throws a nice long jab and possesses decent cardio. He sets a solid tempo and, with further high-level training, should not be taken lightly by his next opponent. On that note, the recently released Nate Diaz was seen backstage with his entourage, doing his normal schtick, slapping people and drumming up controversy. We may see an announcement shortly regarding a matchup between the Stockton native and the YouTube star.

Diaz brings a high profile that would generate big pay-per-view numbers and fits the bill as another former MMA fighter who has worn a lot of damage over the years. Diaz should be able to present a greater challenge than Silva managed and might be the one to halt the Paul trajectory. Diaz is a natural jabber with long reach and won most of his UFC fights by wearing down opponents with a high-volume tap, tap, tap approach. This strategy should work well against Paul, who adopts a similar gameplan but with less technical ability.

So, what are the take-aways from the weekend’s display? We can only hope that Silva appreciates that prize fighting is a young man’s game and rides off quietly into the sunset. Paul will no doubt be improved by eight rounds with the former UFC champ. And Diaz lurks as a potential contender for the Jake Paul payday lottery. The YouTube boxing show rolls on.

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