Former All-Star baseman Deron Williams is ready to become the second basketball player to boxing after playing in the NBA when on December 18 he faces Frank Gore, former player of the National Football League (NFL).
Williams’ boxing debut will take place on the same evening as the main event starring YouTuber Jake Paul against British fighter Tommy Fury, in Tampa.
Gore, a former Pro Bowler, a rival to Williams, spent 16 years in the NFL as a running back and the fight, scheduled for four rounds, will fall within the heavyweight category.
During his playing days, the 37-year-old Williams was already 91 kilograms and in recent years he has trained in mixed martial arts and boxing with appearances at Fortis MMA, a Dallas-area MMA training facility ( Texas) considered one of the best in the sport.
Williams played for four NBA teams but had some of his best seasons with the Utah Jazz from 2005 to 2011. He was a three-time All-Star and averaged 17.3 points; 3.2 rebounds and 9.1 assists per game during his time in Salt Lake City.
He also played for the New Jersey / Brooklyn Nets from 2011 to 2015, averaging 16.6 points; 3.2 rebounds, and 7.5 assists while making two All-Star appearances while with that team.
From 2015 to 2017, Williams played for the Dallas Mavericks. He then joined the Cavaliers during his run to the finals but was an underused player and Cleveland lost 4-0 to the Golden State Warriors in that series.
Williams was a member of the United States basketball team at the Beijing 2008 and London 2012 Olympics when they won the gold medal in both competitions.
The first NBA player to star in an official boxing match was another former NBA base, Nate Robinson, who on November 28, 2020, faced Paul and lost by knockout in the second round of the scheduled fight at four. was held at the Staples Center in Los Angeles, with the duel between Mike Tyson and Roy Jones as the star of the event.