The Jake Paul vs. Anderson Silva boxing undercard will feature an unorthodox matchup.
UFC and Bellator MMA veteran Chris Avila will face YouTube star Doctor Mike in a four-round professional boxing match on Oct. 29 in Glendale, Ariz., officials tell ESPN. . The contracted weight will be 185 pounds and the pair will fight with 10 ounce gloves. An official announcement is expected to be made later Tuesday.
Doctor Mike, real name Mikhail Varshavski, is a well-known social media influencer with over 23 million followers across all platforms and over 10 million YouTube subscribers.
Varshavski competed in an amateur boxing match in May, a unanimous decision against YouTube personality Ian “iDubbbz” Washburn. This event raised $1.3 million for charity, and Varshavski donated his entire fight purse to Ukrainian aid. For the Avila fight, Varshavski will donate her purse to the Boys & Girls Club, officials say.
“As a medical practitioner, I was sworn to ‘do no harm,’ but when those ‘examination’ gloves come off and the boxing gloves slip: all bets are off,” Varshavski said. through a press release. “With one win under my belt, I’m hungry to add more. And this pro fight with Chris Avila could be just what the doctor ordered.”
This will be Varshavski’s professional boxing debut, as he joins Paul as famous YouTubers competing against professional boxers.
Avila is 1-1 as a professional boxer and is an eight-year mixed martial arts veteran, longtime member of Nate Diaz’s team in Northern California. More recently, Avila defeated her sparring partner Paul Anthony Taylor last December in a majority decision boxing match. Avila is expected to be the first fighter signed with Diaz’s new promotional entity, Real Fight Inc., which is still in the process of being licensed by athletic commissions.
“Hmmmm, let’s see. I’m giving him a height advantage, a reach advantage, and an MD advantage,” Avila said Tuesday. “It’s nonsense. If he wants to go to fantasy boxing camp, then I’m happy to teach him whatever lesson he wants. A real fight against a real fighter who’s not there to play games or hunt for instagram.”
Also on the card, Paul’s Most Valuable Promotions top prospect Ashton Sylve, 18, will face boxing veteran Braulio Rodriguez in an eight-round bout contracted to 133 pounds, officials say. Sylve is undefeated at 7-0 with seven knockouts, and Rodriguez (20-4, 17 KOs) is just one fight away from competing against Ryan Garcia, a 2018 knockout loss at Madison Square Garden. This represents a major step forward in the competition for Sylve.
The card will be put together by MVP and distributed by Showtime.
“MVP was launched 14 months ago with the goal of elevating fighters and providing a platform that puts them first,” Paul and MVP co-founder Nakisa Bidarian said in a statement. “From the highest levels of boxing like Amanda Serrano, to elite young prospects like Ashton Sylve and unique crossover matchups like Avila vs. Dr. Mike, we pride ourselves on delivering exciting events that have something for everyone. On Saturday, October 29, we are proud to once again partner with Showtime and bring a night of boxing for the ages.”