Darren Till jumps to boxing with Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. fight

Former UFC welterweight title contender Darren Till will be the latest to make the jump from MMA to boxing when he steps into the ring for his professional boxing debut against former WBC world middleweight champion Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. on the undercard of Jake Paul vs. Mike Tyson on July 20 at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas.

The fight is scheduled for six rounds and will be contested at cruiserweight with a weight limit of 190 pounds.

Till, 31, makes his professional boxing debut after a successful UFC career as both a welterweight and middleweight with an overall MMA record of 18-5-1.

The product of Liverpool, England, challenged Tyron Woodley for the UFC welterweight title in 2018 but fell to a second-round submission loss. After starting his MMA career 17-0-1, Till went 1-5 over his next six fights with losses to Jorge Masvidal, Robert Whittaker and current UFC middleweight champion Dricus du Plessis. The loss to du Plessis in December 2022 was the last time Till fought in the Octagon.

There were rumors of Till heading to Bare Knuckle Fighting Championships to challenge Mike Perry but the Englishman shut down the idea of a venture to bare-knuckle fighting, despite fielding offers from the promotion.

"I'm very happy with my opponent," Till said via statement. "I've been a fan of his father for many years and I've been a fan of Chavez Jr. too -- he is a great fighter who I respect, but make no mistake about it, I am coming to knock him out in the first round. I am happy with where I am in life, and I am coming to make a statement on July 20th in Texas."

Till's boxing debut will come against an opponent whose last name carries significant weight in the sport.

Chavez -- son of legendary Mexican boxer Julio Cesar Chavez Sr. -- has had difficulty getting out of his father's massive shadow despite being the first Mexican fighter to win middleweight gold when he won the WBC middleweight title in 2011. He successfully defended the championship three times before dropping it in a unanimous decision loss to Sergio Martinez.

Since the first loss of his professional career, Chavez (53-6-1, 34 KOs) struggled to live up to his family name, suffering one-sided losses to the likes of Andrzej Fonfara, Canelo Alvarez and Daniel Jacobs while his dedication to the sport routinely came into question.

This won't be the first MMA fighter that Chavez, 38, has faced. In 2021, the Mexican fighter dropped a split decision to UFC Hall of Famer Anderson Silva. He last fought in December 2021 when he scored a unanimous decision against unheralded opponent David Zegarra.

"I'm excited to return to the ring after some time off, and I'm motivated and eager to reestablish myself as one of the greats," said Chavez. "I was the first Mexican middleweight champion in the history of Mexico and want to prove that I can again become a champion. My return to the ring at this historic event is an honor. On Saturday, July 20, I'm going to win by KO and continue my journey."

Also announced for the Paul-Tyson card is a lightweight battle between two highly touted prospects.

Ashton "H2O" Sylve (11-0, 9 KOs) and Floyd "Kid Austin" Schofield (17-0, 12 KOs) will square off in a 10-round battle as both 135-pound fighters look to make the climb in a division filled with talented fighters.

Sylve, 20, has routinely been pushed as the next big star coming out of Paul's Most Valuable Promotions. The ESPN Ringside 2022 Prospect of the Year is returning to action after securing a unanimous decision victory over Brazil's Estivan Falcao in February. Sylve has looked stellar during his short tenure as a professional, but Schofield represents a major step up in competition.

Schofield, 21, made his professional debut in 2020 and rattled off 16 consecutive wins over the next three years. In his last outing, he was slotted into the co-featured spot on the undercard of Golden Boy Promotions' showdown between William Zepeda and Maxi Hughes. What was supposed to be Schofield's coming out party was muted by his opponent Esteuri Suero, who was disqualified for an assortment of fouls throughout the fight.

The showdown between Sylve and Schofield may be a bit surprising considering they are crossing paths so early in their respective careers. But both fighters know that a win on July 20 will catapult them up the lightweight ladder in hopes of securing a title opportunity in the near future.

"H2O Sylve vs. 'Kid Austin' Floyd Schofield will be a battle showcasing the future stars of boxing," said Jake Paul and Nakisa Bidarian of Most Valuable Promotions via statement. "These two young stars are disrupting the sport of boxing by putting their undefeated records on the line against each other so early in their careers, to evolve the sport and set an example for other prospects."

"We are also excited to have Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. make his long-awaited return against UFC star Darren Till, in a Mexico vs. UK showdown. Chavez Jr. will be looking to silence the critics following his loss to Anderson Silva, while Till, training with UK boxing great Liam Smith, intends to show the world he's a real threat inside the ring."