Deron Williams and Frank Gore are entering a whole new world.
On Dec. 18, the sports stars will make their professional boxing debuts on the undercard of Showtime’s Jake Paul vs. Tommy Fury event at Amalie Arena in Tampa, Florida.
Retired former Brooklyn Nets guard Deron Williams spoke Wednesday ahead of his pro boxing debut, and naturally, it is already drawing comparison between him and Robinson, another former basketball star who got knocked out in embarrassing fashion by YouTube star Jake Paul in 2020.
“I’m not Nate Robinson,” said Williams matter-of-factly, per ESPN. “I think I have a little more experience than Nate. I’ve been training stand-up and boxing for eight to ten years. I’ve sparred against high-level UFC guys that are bigger than me, that are my size and that are smaller than me.
“I think I’m a little more prepared than Nate was for that fight,” Williams went on. “And I don’t think anybody really respected Jake Paul at the time as a fighter, but obviously things are changing.”
As far as the advantages go, Williams has Frank Gore on age, 37 to 38, as well as height (6-foot-3 to 5-foot-9).
On Gore’s side, he’s been focused more on boxing since he was drafted into the NFL in 2005.
“I’ve always loved boxing, especially since I started doing it since 2005, my first time getting drafted,” Gore said. “I was doing it because I was saving my legs because I played running back. I was doing it for cardio and I just fell in love with how hard it was and I’m very competitive. When I first went in, I felt like I couldn’t even fight. I just kept doing it and kept getting better and better.
“I told my boy during the summer, when I didn’t go to training camp, being around my kids, and I started being around the guys at the boxing gym every day and they just was like, ‘Man, you got the basics, you should try to get a fight,’ since they’ve seen all the Jake Paul stuff going on. I started thinking about it and I called my boy Malki [Kawa] and I’m like, ‘Hey, I think I might want to take a chance and see what I can do in there.’ Dec. 18, here we go.”
He made it clear that he is not doing this for a payday. The 15-year NFL veteran was cashing pro football checks as recently as last year.
Williams is a part-owner in the highly regarded Fortis MMA gym in Dallas.
WANT MORE FROM TOTALPROSPORTS? FOLLOW US ON GOOGLE NEWS.