JAKE PAUL and Anderson Silva's catchweight bout is the latest crossover clash dividing opinions in the fight world.
In a battle of young and old and youth against experience, Paul, 25, steps up for the biggest test of his boxing career against Silva, 47.
The pair meet at over eight-rounds at 187lb in Arizona on the weekend.
It is the night Paul promises to legitimise himself in the sweet science but just another day in the office for UFC great Silva.
And ahead of the fascinating fight for the ages, SunSport runs down what the experts predict.
Oscar De La Hoya
The six-weight boxing champion is a big fan of Paul and the YouTuber's impact on the sport, so his prediction comes as no surprise.
De La Hoya, 49, told Inside Fighting: “That’s a good fight. I’m gonna go with Jake Paul.
"Yeah, I’m gonna go with Jake Paul, just because he seems like he’s getting into the rhythm of things. He doesn’t have too many fights.
"He loves boxing, is a hard worker, and has a lot of power. If he connects with Silva, he’s going to knock him out. If he touches Silva, he’s going down.”
READ MORE IN BOXING
You can buy a new electric ‘Range Rover’ for £2,500 – but there’s a catch
Latest updates from HUGE fight as Paul faces his toughest test
The former two-weight UFC champion was once called out by Paul and is now backing his fellow MMA compatriot.
Cormier, 43, told ESPN: “I think Anderson Silva wins the fight.
"If Jake Paul wins – honestly, he’s a kid that’s in his prime, and I say that knowing that now Jake Paul can fight. The guy can fight.
"I’m done being of the people that say this kid’s a joke. This kid is not a joke. The kid can fight, and there are many reasons as to why he can fight.
"But we talk about Anderson, all that he has done – Anderson beating Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. is bigger and better than anything (Paul’s) ever done.”
Most read in Boxing
Joshua shows off new slimline physique as Whyte rematch lined up for next year
John Fury says he WALKED OUT of Tommy's training camp weeks before American debut
Jake Paul sent Conor McGregor Instagram DM urging him: 'take the fight p***y'
Boxing fans left stunned as Jake Paul vs Anderson Silva priced at £17.99
FREE BETS AND SIGN UP DEALS – BEST NEW CUSTOMER OFFERS
The ex-UFC champ was twice beaten by Paul, on points and by KO, so knows all about the social media sensation's power.
Woodley, 40, told MMA Fighting: “I know a lot of people want to see Jake Paul get beat up and see him taught a lesson like a bully on a playground.
“But he really is a kid, not very much responsibility, no financial limitations, energy, he makes everything a bucket list, a challenge.
"That’s why he likes to bet so much. If he loses, it’s not that big of a deal but he secretly wants to win real bad. Cause he’s been a fan of the combat sports world for so long.
"I’ve got so many videos of the baby face Jake Paul wanting to take pictures with me and Logan and being fans of me back in the day, he’s just tricking everyone.
“He’s training his ass off. He’s got KO power and he’s learned to throw that particular punch that he’s got timing on.”
Prediction… sitting on the fence
The British YouTuber and crossover boxing star has long rivalled Paul, following his 2019 win over his brother Logan.
And the pair are lined up for a 2023 grudge match at Wembley Stadium next year.
But for now, they continue to take aim at each other, which was no different when KSI, 29, offered a blunt prediction for Paul's next fight.
He told Boxing Social: “Honestly, I think he might have bitten off more than he can chew.”
The UFC heavyweight has not been afraid to hail Paul in the past and praised him for some wise matchmaking.
Aspinall, 29, told Midnite: "I think he's got Anderson Silva at a good time. Silva has obviously got a lot of miles on the clock. But he also has a lot of skills so it's an interesting fight.
"Silva has got to be pushing 50 now but the skills are still there, the body is still there.
"I think Jake Paul takes it, I think Paul should be able to outwork him being the younger and fresher man but you never know.
"Silva's getting a bit older and Paul's young and hungry – and Jake Paul's looked good. I don't care what anybody says, it looks like he has got skills. So I think he wins that one."
The Iceman's peak in the UFC cage came to an end just as Silva came to prominence and the American expects him to teach Paul a lesson.
Liddell, 52, said to Fight Hub: “I think he wins, I think he knocks him out.
“But hey, man, I’m interested to see it. Good luck to Jake. The kid is fighting.
"He goes out there and really fights. You have to respect that.”
The promoter has had a love-hate relationship with Paul but still backed him to beat an ageing Silva.
Hearn told The MMA Hour: “I don’t know enough about Anderson Silva. Anderson is , but he can box a bit by the sound of things.
"While boxing is still a very impressive part of his repertoire, he’s still not a boxer, and he’s 47 years of age.
“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."
The former UFC title challenger-turned had a fierce rivalry with Silva, losing twice and now has an allegiance with Paul.
Sonnen, 45, told Fight Hub TV: "I do have strong feelings for this fight, I don't think Jake Paul is going to knock him out.
"If there was a magic wand, you knew this fight was going to happen and that Jake wasn't going to knock him out, it would change your opinion.
"Jake counts on that, he's a powerful guy and he connects on people.
"I don't think it's going to happen with Anderson and if he does connect, I don't think he's going to put 'The Spider' down."
Source: Read Full Article