Chris Avila to Fight YouTube star Doctor Mike in October

Chris Avila is puttin’ on the boxing gloves…

The 29-year-old Latino UFC and Bellator MMA veteran will compete against YouTube star Doctor Mike in a four-round, professional boxing match on October 29 in Glendale, Arizona.

Chris AvilaThe contracted weight will be 185 pounds, and the pair will fight with 10-ounce gloves. An official announcement is expected to be made soon.

Doctor Mike, whose real name is Mikhail Varshavski, is a well-known social media influencer with more than 23 million followers across platforms and more than 10 million YouTube subscribers.

Varshavski competed in an amateur boxing match back in May, a unanimous decision win over YouTube personality IaniDubbbzWashburn. That event raised $1.3 million for charity, and Varshavski donated his entire fight purse to Ukraine relief. For the Avila fight, Varshavski will donate his purse to the Boys & Girls Club, per officials.

“As a practicing physician, I’ve taken an oath to ‘do no harm,’ but when those ‘exam’ gloves come off and the boxing gloves slide on: all bets are off,” Varshavski said via a statement. “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 pro boxing debut, as he joins the likes of Jake Paul as famous YouTubers competing against professional boxers.

Avila is 1-1 as a pro boxer and is an eight-year veteran of mixed martial arts, a longtime member of Nate Diaz‘s team in Northern California. Most recently, Avila beat Paul sparring partner Anthony Taylor last December in a boxing match via majority decision. Avila is expected to be the first fighter signed to Diaz’s new promotional entity Real Fight Inc., which is still going through the process of getting licensed by athletic commissions.

“Hmmmm, let’s see. I am giving him a height advantage, a reach advantage and a medical degree advantage,” Avila said on Tuesday. “It’s whatever though. If he wants to go to boxing fantasy camp, then I’m glad to give him the lesson he wants. A real fight against a real fighter who is not here to play games or clout chase for Instagram.”

Also on the card, Paul’s Most Valuable Promotions‘ top prospect, 18-year-old Ashton Sylve, will face boxing veteran Braulio Rodriguez in an eight-round fight contracted at 133 pounds, per officials. Sylve is undefeated at 7-0 with seven knockouts, and Rodriguez (20-4, 17 KOs) is just one fight removed from competing against Ryan Garcia, a 2018 knockout loss at Madison Square Garden. This represents a major step up in competition for Sylve.

The card will be put on by MVP and distributed by Showtime.

“MVP was started 14 months ago with a goal to elevate fighters and provide a platform that puts them first,” Paul and MVP co-founder Nakisa Bidarian said via a statement. “From the highest levels of boxing like Amanda Serrano, to young elite 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 partner with Showtime once again and deliver a night of boxing for the ages.”

Anderson Silva to Fight Jake Paul in 187-Pound Boxing Match in October

Anderson Silva has locked in his next opponent…

The 47-year-old former UFC-middleweight-champion-turned-boxer will meet YouTuber-turned-prizefighter Jake Paul in a boxing match on October 29 in Phoenix, Paul’s Most Valuable Promotions announced Tuesday.

Anderson SilvaThe bout will be contested at 187 pounds over eight three-minute rounds. Silva is one of the greatest champions in UFC history and holds the record for most consecutive victories ever in the promotion (16).

“The plan is for me to fight at 185 [pounds] going forward and that’s what I wanted this fight at given it was the weight Anderson Silva fought at during his reign as the most dominant UFC champion ever,” Paul told ESPN. “Anderson’s team asked if we could set the weight at 187, 2 pounds more than what I wanted. That level of professionalism and precision is appreciated, and of course I agreed to his request.”

Paul was supposed to fight Tommy Fury last month at New York’s Madison Square Garden, but Fury withdrew because of what he said were travel issues coming to the United States from England. Fury’s replacement was Hasim Rahman Jr., son of the former boxing heavyweight champion, but that bout was canceled because of weight complications with Rahman.

This will be Paul’s fourth fight against a former UFC fighter. Previously, Paul knocked out Ben Askren and went 2-0 against former UFC welterweight champion Tyron Woodley, the most recent bout a knockout win over Woodley in December. Paul has not fought since then.

Silva, though well past his prime, has a better résumé than both Woodley and Askren in MMA and boxing. He was the best pound-for-pound MMA fighter in the world for stretches during his lengthy title reign from 2006 to 2013 and one of the most creative knockout artists ever in that sport.

In boxing, Silva is 3-1 as a pro, with his best win coming over Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. last year. Silva fought Bruno Machado in an exhibition boxing match in May and looked solid there. He has also knocked out former UFC light heavyweight champion Tito Ortiz in boxing.

“I know that in life everything has its purpose,” Silva said in a statement. “Nothing comes just by chance. So, I thank God for my health, my family and my team for providing me with this opportunity to continue doing the thing that I love the most. I believe this will be the biggest combat event of the year and will truly make history in the sport forever. See you on October 29.”

Prominent people in combat sports, including UFC president Dana White, have been critical of Paul’s opponents, and White has even suggested that Paul should fight Silva, which would be more of a “real fight.”

“Anderson ‘The Spider’ Silva is the most versatile fighter the world has ever seen,” Paul said in a statement. “Just a year ago he outclassed boxing champion Julio Cesar Chavez Jr., and showed the world why he is often referred to as the greatest fighter of all time. Every expert, from MMA to boxing, has said Jake Paul won’t fight Anderson Silva. They said Jake Paul is afraid of Anderson Silva, and Jake Paul would lose to Anderson Silva. Well, to all the non-believers – Jake Paul is fighting Anderson Silva. It’s an honor to have the opportunity to share the ring with the greatest UFC striker of all time. On Saturday, October 29, I will walk humbly into the ring, touch gloves with a living legend and do my best to exterminate ‘The Spider.'”

“Jake Paul continues to take on challenges that other professional fighters at his experience level and popularity never have,” said Nakisa Bidarian, co-founder of MVP, in a statement. “Jake appreciates the platform that he has and always aims to provide fans with a compelling product that drives engagement. Anderson Silva is unequivocally the most exciting striker in UFC history. Those abilities have translated into his professional boxing career, and he most certainly has the ability to end Jake’s unbeaten streak. It’s an honor for Most Valuable Promotions to have one of the GOATs of combat sports headline our event. He is already a Hall of Famer in our books.”

Amanda Serrano to Share Fight Card with Jake Paul in Return to Madison Square Garden in August

Amanda Serrano is returning to the ring this summer…

The 33-year-old Puerto Rican professional boxer, mixed martial artist and professional wrestler will once again share a fight card with Jake Paul when they fight on August 6 at Madison Square Garden in what they’re labeling “two main events.”

Amanda SerranoThe fights will be on Showtime Pay Per View. It’s the second straight fight for Serrano at MSG and Paul’s first in the iconic venue.

Serrano will fight at featherweight, where she’ll defend her WBO and WBC belts for the first time since her August 29, 2021 fight against Yamileth Mercado.

Serrano, one of two clients of Paul’s management and promotional company, Most Valuable Promotions, last fought on April 30 at a sold-out Madison Square Garden in a fight considered one of the best in women’s boxing history in a split-decision loss to Katie Taylor for the undisputed lightweight championship.

This will be the fourth fight for Serrano (42-2-1, 30 KO) attached to Paul. She first fought as the co-main event on Paul’s first fight against Tyron Woodley last August.

She signed with his promotional company a month later and fought as the co-main event on Paul’s second fight against Woodley in December.

She then fought Taylor in April, which was co-promoted by Paul and Eddie Hearn from Matchroom Boxing.

There was thinking that Serrano’s next fight would be a rematch against Taylor in Ireland later this year — Serrano and Paul both said they would be open to it immediately after the April fight — but Hearn told multiple outlets in the past couple of weeks that such a fight would not take place in Ireland in the immediate future.

Paul (5-0, 4 KO) last fought in December, knocking out  Woodley. He said he was going to take a break after fighting four times in 13 months between November 2020 and December 2021, then announced an August return to the ring the day after Serrano fought Taylor at MSG in April.

“Back in the gym, back to training and excited, more excited and motivated than ever,” Paul told ESPN back in March. “You know, that was Chapter 1 of my boxing career, that was my rookie season, and now I get to go on another chapter here.”

Paul had initially said he was returning to the ring on August 13, but has now moved it up a week.

Amanda Serrano to Fight Katie Taylor in First Women’s Boxing Match to Headline at MSG

Amanda Serrano is ready to take part in the biggest fight in women’s boxing history.

The 33-year-old Puerto Rican professional boxer, mixed martial artist and professional wrestler, a seven-division world titlist, will face undisputed lightweight champion Katie Taylor.

Amanda SerranoThe bout between Taylor and Serrano, ESPN‘s No. 1 and No. 2 in the pound-for-pound rankings, has been scheduled for April 30.

They will headline a card in one of the most iconic boxing venues in the world, the main arena of Madison Square Garden. It is the first women’s boxing match in history to headline at MSG.

“I wasn’t sure if it was going to be possible, but for this fight to headline at Madison Square Garden would truly be the pinnacle of the sport,” Taylor told ESPN recently. “So much of boxing’s history is linked to MSG, and I’ve been fortunate enough to fight there already on a couple of occasions.

“It’s such an iconic venue so to be part of the first ever women’s fight to main event there would be truly special.”

This fight has been talked about for years — and booked in the past before falling apart. Now, though, with a major venue, a headline attraction and major paydays for both fighters, it is locked into happening.

Both fighters knew the possibility was coming in December, before they won their last fights of 2021. Taylor won a unanimous decision over Firuza Sharipova on Dec. 11 and a week later, Serrano picked up a unanimous decision against Miriam Gutierrez.

Now, Taylor (19-0, 6 KO), 35, and Serrano (42-1-1, 30 KO) will end up in the ring against each other.

“It is the megafight for women’s boxing,” Serrano said after she beat Gutierrez. “You have pound-for-pound top three, however you look at it.”

It’s a long way from when Serrano’s sister, Cindy, lost to Taylor in a unanimous decision in Boston in 2018. The paydays then were much smaller. It is expected to be the biggest payout of Amanda Serrano’s career on the biggest stage as well as the largest payday in women’s boxing history.

“After the Katie Taylor fight, I’ll be able to sit down and say, ‘This is what boxing has done for me,'” Serrano told ESPN. “And be comfortable.”

It’s also a fight between two of the latest pioneers in the sport. Taylor, when she was 15, fought in the first sanctioned women’s boxing match in Ireland. After turning pro in 2016, working with Eddie Hearn‘s Matchroom Boxing, Taylor helped push women’s boxing into the mainstream.

Serrano, who for years had been considered one of the best knockout fighters in the sport, received even more attention and notoriety over the past six months among a broader base of fans after she began fighting as the co-main events of Jake Paul‘s last two fights.

The fight, which will be put on by Matchroom Boxing and Paul and Nakisa Bidarian‘s Most Valuable Promotions, could be a boon for women’s boxing, which has been trying to get more in the conversation of mainstream sports. It’s also being announced almost two years to the day after Paul fought his first pro fight — on the same undercard as Serrano.

“We need to do more big fights like this for women,” Paul told ESPN last month. “What I’m excited about is using my creative ability to tell a story about why people should care about Amanda Serrano, specifically, but also women’s boxing and also this fight against Katie Taylor.

“Because people should care, and people do care. A lot of people care but I think a lot more women should care and a lot more people in general should care.”

Amanda Serrano Signs with Jake Paul’s Most Valuable Promotions

It’s a Most Valuable moment for Amanda Serrano

The 32-year-old Puerto Rican professional boxer, mixed martial artist and professional wrestler has signed with Most Valuable Promotions, as Jake Paul expands his footprint in the boxing world by signing one of its top female fighters.

Amanda Serrano

Serrano, one of the best women’s fighters in the history of boxing, signed the promotional deal with Paul, the YouTube-star-turned-prizefighter, and his adviser, Nakisa Bidarian, who founded Most Valuable Promotions earlier this year.

Serrano is a seven-division boxing champion who has held nine titles from 115 pounds all the way up to 140 pounds. She holds the Guinness record for most boxing world championships held in different weight classes by a woman. ESPN has her ranked No. 3 among women boxers on its pound-for-pound list.

“They’re such a powerful team,” Serrano said. “I’ve seen what they’ve done in the last two years — what Jake has done, what Nakisa has done for Jake. I’m looking forward to what they can do for me.”

Amanda Serrano

Paul described Serrano as the “greatest Hispanic female athlete of all time” and said he believes she has a “massive, massive future.”

Amanda Serrano, left, became a seven-division world champion with a 2019 victory over Heather Hardy. AP Photo/Frank Franklin II

“Without really much help she’s gotten this far, with just her skills,” Paul said. “She hasn’t had someone with a big platform really put her on. She’s so marketable. And really the sky’s the limit, and that’s what we do at MVP. There’s a new era of boxing and there’s a new way about promoting these fights and there’s a new way to become a big fighter. So, she already has the skills, and now we’re going to add our secret sauce into the equation.”

One of the goals, they said, is to secure Serrano with a highly anticipated matchup with Katie Taylor, ESPN’s No. 1 pound-for-pound women’s boxer. It would be one of the biggest fights ever in women’s boxing.

Bidarian said talks are ongoing with Taylor’s promoter, Eddie Hearn, and they are targeting Taylor vs. Serrano for the second quarter of 2022 at New York’s Madison Square Garden. Serrano will likely fight next on Paul’s undercard, potentially before the end of the year, and then move on to the blockbuster bout with Taylor.

“The only reason it wouldn’t get done is if the right deal isn’t presented for Amanda, and that’s Jake and I’s job to make sure that’s not the case,” Bidarian said of the Taylor fight.

Bidarian is the former CFO of the UFC and has been instrumental in helping guide Paul from being a famous YouTuber to one of the most talked about fighters in combat sports.

“I think the other part of it that we’ll be able to help [Serrano] with is negotiating the right deals, getting her the right positions for someone of her stature — whether it’s in the ring, whether it’s outside the ring, whether it’s a brand partnership, consumer products,” Bidarian said. “She should be one of the highest-paid female athletes in the world. We’re going to make sure that’s the case.”

Serrano (41-1-1) beat Yamileth Mercado in the co-main event of the card Paul headlined against former UFC welterweight champion Tyron Woodley on August 29.

A Puerto Rico native who fights out of Brooklyn, she is the unified women’s featherweight champion, holding the WBC, WBO and IBO titles in that weight class.

Serrano has won 27 straight fights, a streak that dates back to 2012. She is also 2-0-1 in mixed martial arts.

“Even this last fight, I’ve gained so much followers, I’ve gained so much attention,” Serrano said. “A lot of people, they know who I am. A lot of people know me now because of Jake.”

Paul has more than 17 million followers on Instagram, and 40% of them are women. He said after his bout with Woodley that his female followers were buzzing the most about Serrano.

“Major priority of mine [is] to push for equality in all aspects of the sport,” Paul said. “I think she’s inspiring females and creating female boxing fans, which is awesome.”

When asked if he would be bringing more boxers in via Most Valuable Promotions, Paul said potentially, but they would have to be the right fit.

“For us, it’s quality over quantity,” Paul said. “We want our fighters to be the biggest. I think there will be more. We’re not in any rush. We want to take our time and our focus right now is just on Amanda.”

Oscar de la Hoya to Return to the Ring in July

Oscar de la Hoya is officially coming out of retirement…

The 48-year-old Mexican American former professional boxer and boxing legend has a date in mind for his previously stated plan to return to the ring.

Oscar De La Hoya

At a news conference for the upstart promoter Triller Fight Club, de la Hoya took the stage alongside Snoop Dogg at the Venetian and suddenly announced that he’d be making his boxing comeback on July 3.

De La Hoya said last August that he would be coming out of retirement, but now there is a date for his return. And he will be promoted by the new fight promotion launched by Triller, the social media app.

Ryan Kavanaugh, the CEO of Triller parent company Proxima Media, told ESPN that he and de la Hoya are “dear friends” and the two have been discussing his return for “a long time.” Kavanaugh said the card will take place in Texas — possibly AT&T Stadium — and the promotion is targeting a “big” UFC name for de la Hoya’s opponent.

“He has been [training] and in his own words, he’s stronger and better than ever,” Kavanaugh said of De La Hoya.

Sources told ESPN that de la Hoya has a multifight deal with Triller and this will not be a one-off bout.

de la Hoya, a former six-division boxing champion and Olympic gold medalist, has not fought since a 2008 loss to Manny Pacquiao. He’s one of the best drawing boxers in the sport’s history. The news conference was held Friday to promote Triller Fight Club’s April 17 card, which is headlined by YouTube star Jake Paul and former UFC fighter and wrestling Olympian Ben Askren.

Rodrigo Starring in Disney Channel’s Live Action Comedy Series “Bizaardvark”

Olivia Rodrigo is one BIZ-y bee…

The Latina Hollywood newcomer is starring in the Disney Channel’s new live action comedy series Bizaardvark.

 Olivia Rodrigo

The series centers on best friends Paige and Frankie who take the video blogging world by storm with their quirky online comedy channel.

Rodrigo (American Girl’s Grace Stirs Up Success) and Madison Hu (Best Friends Whenever) star as Paige and Frankie, respectively. Also starring are Vine sensation Jake Paul (YouTube Red’s Dance Camp) as the loveable and wild Dirk Mann, DeVore Ledridge as Southern DIY diva Amelia Duckworth, and Ethan Wacker as the overly confident Bernard “Bernie” Schotz.

Guest stars include Calum Worthy (Austin & Ally), popular YouTuber Meredith Foster, Vine sensation Logan Paul and Instagram star JiffPom.

Bizaardvark will premiere on the Disney Channel on Friday, June 24 at 9:45 pm ET.