Mayweather, Silva set to star on Dubai's Burj Al Arab Helipad

The boxing legend and UFC star to feature in exhibition event titled 'The Global Titan Fight Series on May 14

Floyd Mayweather (right) and Anderson SIlva. — AFP
Floyd Mayweather (right) and Anderson SIlva. — AFP

By Leslie Wilson Jr

Published: Fri 8 Apr 2022, 5:58 PM

Last updated: Sat 9 Apr 2022, 12:13 AM

Boxing legend Floyd Mayweather and UFC star Anderson Silva are set to star in a never-before fight-card that will take place on the Burj Al Arab Helipad in Dubai.

The Hollywood-style spectacle, which is scheduled to be held on May 14, is part of ‘The Global Titan Fight Series’ that will also feature former world champion in two weight classes, Badou Jack, and several promising fighters.

The world’s most famous helipad, which is suspended 212 metres above sea level, is no stranger to high-level sporting action, having previously hosted tennis greats Roger Federer and Andre Agassi in addition to golfing superstars Tiger Woods and Rory McIlroy. displaying their driving techniques at the skyscraper in 2011.

Former world heavyweight boxing champion Anthony Joshua used the helipad for an eye-catching sparring session in 2017, while Scottish driver David Coulthard managed a few spins in a Red Bull F1 car in 2013.

The illustrious Mayweather’s date for the eight-round Burj showdown is the 42-year-old “Dangerous” Don Moore, a former sparring partner who boxed professionally from 1999 to 2016, amassing an 18-0-1 record.

The lightweight fight was announced in Miami and was followed by a press conference attended by Mayweather and Moore.

“We’ve been working on this for a long time and chose Dubai,” said Mayweather. “This should be an explosive card. We’ve also got Anderson Silva whose been making quite a noise in MMA. I’m just happy to be here. This year will mark 26 years since I’ve been in boxing, competing. I’m always ready mentally to fight. To prepare yourself physically, you have to be mentally ready. I’m really looking forward to this.”

Mayweather, who retired with an unbeaten 50-0 record from professional boxing after starting in 2007, returned to action on August 2016 to defeat UFC star Conor McGregor via a 10th round knockout in a megafight, where he reportedly raked in $100 million.

The controversial American fighter also took on YouTuber Logan Paul in an exhibition bout last summer in which he also reportedly earned millions.

Moore, who never challenged for a belt throughout his boxing life and last fought in 2016, looked composed and confident as he revealed in the press conference how he aims to cope with a boxer who has never lost in his entire career.

“I’ve never been to Dubai but I’m excited. To be fighting on a rooftop that high in the sky is going to be pretty extreme. I just can’t wait for May 14.

“I know Floyd. You know, we’ve been together for few years and I know his technique, I know his style. So it’s gonna be easy work for me. I respect him being a boxer and I respect his accolades, but this ain’t a sparring match, this is the real deal. It’s a real fight so it’s gonna be explosive. You can expect some fireworks.

“This is my dream to be right here doing what I’m doing, to be able to showcase my talent to the world. I couldn’t ask for a better opportunity than to be fighting with the best in the world,” added Moore.

“It will be punch for punch, skill for skill. I love him but it’s business. My job is to perform, to separate the personal stuff.”

Meanwhile, former UFC champion Anderson Silva, will take on Bruno Machado in what will be his third foray into his new love, boxing.

Silva, who holds the record for the longest-reigning middleweight champion in UFC history and also the record for second-most title defences, last fought in an exhibition boxing match against former UFC light-heavyweight champion Tito Ortiz, whom he knocked out early in the first round.

The Brazilian great, who is nicknamed the Spider, last fought inside the Octagon when he lost to Uriah Hall via a fourth-round TKO in October 2020.

Machado is a pro-MMA fighter with a 13-9 record and who last fought in January 2021 at the UAE Warriors promotion.

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