Paul is looking to establish himself as a legitimate talent with a win over Silva but fight promoter Hearn thinks the 25-year-old has picked the wrong opponent to silence his detractors.
Hearn admittedly doesn’t know much about Silva but thinks a win over the 47-year-old UFC legend does nothing to advance Paul’s career or legitimize him in the eyes of those who claim he doesn’t belong on the pro-circuit.
Hearn is picking Paul to win but doesn’t think the 25-year-old is doing himself any favors by fighting another former MMA champion with limited experience in the boxing ring.
“I don’t know enough about Anderson Silva — Anderson is , but he can box a bit by the sound of things,” Hearn told Ariel Helwani during a recent appearance on The MMA Hour (h/t MMA News). “I just think that Jake’s been a bit unlucky because he was trying to fight Tommy Fury, he was trying to fight Hasim Rahman Jr., and that would have actually given him the ability to say, ‘Actually, you have to respect me now as a boxer.’”
“To defeat Anderson Silva, while boxing is still a very impressive part of his repertoire, he’s still not a boxer, and he’s 47 years of age,” Hearn continued. “But he’s a tough guy, he has a huge profile, he can box, and I think he’ll be competitive. I don’t think he beats Jake, because I think Jake is young, and I think he can punch a bit, and I’m intrigued to watch, and I like what Jake’s doing. It’s kind of him against the world.”
To Paul’s credit, he did try to make a name for himself against Tommy Fury and Hasim Rahman Jr., but neither of those pro-fighters made the walk to the ring.
Paul is 5-0 in boxing with standout victories over former welterweight titleholders Ben Askren and Tyron Woodley, with his most recent win being a sixth-round knockout of ‘T-Wood’ at the Amalie Arena in Tampa, Florida, in Dec. 2021.