Jake Paul, Anderson Silva show mutual respect

Social media star Jake Paul and former UFC champ Anderson Silva are slated to take the ring Saturday, Oct. 29, at Gila River Arena. (Amanda Karas/Submitted)

Slated to take the ring Saturday, Oct. 29, at Gila River Arena, social media star Jake Paul and former UFC champ Anderson Silva don’t carry the typical pre-event grudge.

Paul said he’s up for the challenge, but he showed respect for the combat sports legend during recent press conferences in Glendale and Los Angeles.

“I respect this man,” Paul said. “I’m still going to knock him out — but respectfully knock him out.”

The two-leg press tour started Sept. 12 in Los Angeles at the NeueHouse Hollywood with Paul trekking to the facility in a Bugatti E-scooter and did the same in Glendale. The high-profile pay-per-view match will be an eight-round fight at a catch weight of 187 pounds.

Glendale proved to be the perfect spot for the event, Paul said.

“There is a huge fight community here, a huge MMA community here that will come out to support Anderson,” Paul said during a press conference at the arena.

Paul also shared that it works for him as well because his “digital fanbase” is widespread.

Paul is a controversial figure in the world of boxing. His critics claim he is a showman who has never fought real boxing competition. His supporters would say his résumé speaks for itself.

Paul is undefeated in his boxing career with a record of 5-0, including two wins over former UFC champion Tyron Woodley and another over former UFC fighter Ben Askren. Paul said he knows some want to see him fail.

“People want to see me lose, and that’s what I built my career off of,” he said.

However, Paul also knows that he has a mass following that is behind him every time he fights.

Love him or hate him, there is no denying that his fight against Silva is his most high-profile fight. Heading into the fight, Paul said he’s in great shape.

“I’ve been in training camp basically the whole entire year, so I’m feeling really good,” Paul said.

Silva is widely regarded as one of MMA’s greatest fighters, holding multiple UFC records. He finished his UFC career with a record of 34-11 and holds the record for the longest title reign.

Boxing is different, but Silva is no stranger to it either. Coming into the Paul fight, Silva is 3-1 in boxing with two victories by KO. His lone loss dates back to 1998 against Osmar Luiz Teixeira.

Some may say the 47-year-old Silva is well past his prime, but he said he’s in good shape as well.

“I continue training hard every day in my life. I never stop,” Silva said.

This fight will prove to be a defining moment in their careers.

“This could be a changing of the guard or you could win and silence the kid who everyone wants to silence,” Paul said.

Silva shared his perspective on the fight as well when he said, “This fight is very important for the new generation and my generation, too.”

For Paul, a win would be “surreal.”

“It would mean a lot to me,” he said. “It would continue to motivate me in ways that are unexplainable. It would be a testament to the hard work I put in. … You need moments like that to stay motivated and to continue to love the sport.”

Should Paul win, many question what this would mean for Silva’s legacy. However, he’s not concerned.

“It’s not about lose or win. It’s about how much I love this,” he said. “A loss I don’t think can affect my legacy because everything is there.”

Paul has big plans for his boxing career.

“I will be a world champion one day for sure, the light heavyweight world champion,” he said confidently.

If You Go...

WHAT: Jake Paul vs. Anderson Silva

WHEN: 3 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 29

WHERE: Gila River Arena, 9400 W. Maryland Avenue, Glendale

COST: Tickets start at $60

INFO: gilariverarena.com