Former NBA point guard Deron Williams will fight former NFL running back Frank Gore in a boxing match on the Jake Paul-Tommy Fury undercard on Dec. 18 in Tampa, Florida, it was announced Tuesday.
Williams and Gore will make their professional boxing debuts. The fight was agreed for 215 pounds and four rounds.
Gore has been training boxing for years and turned down advances from NFL teams this season to focus on his first fight. His manager is veteran wrestling representative Malka Kawa of First Round Management, who also represents NFL players.
Williams is a longtime combat sports enthusiast and has trained for years in mixed martial arts. He is the co-owner of the prestigious Fortis MMA gym in Dallas, which is where he will train for this fight with coach Sayif Saud.
The 38-year-old Gore was a five-time Pro Bowl selection and ranks third in NFL history with 16,000 rushing yards. The all-time leading running back in yards for the San Francisco 49ers spent 16 seasons in the league, most recently in 2020 with the New York Jets.
“I’m excited to be fighting on this card and I can’t wait to show the world what I’ve been working on,” Gore said in a statement. “Boxing has me excited, and fireworks are expected on December 18!”
Williams, 37, was selected to the NBA All-Star Game three times with the Utah Jazz and Brooklyn Nets. He won gold at the 2008 and 2012 Olympics with the US men’s national team.
“Combat sports have been a part of my life since my younger days,” Williams said in a statement. “Before I was a basketball player, I was a wrestler. Since 2015, I have had the privilege of owning an MMA gym, and thanks to that I have trained in various martial arts to stay active. For the last year, I have been waiting the right opportunity to translate my training into a professional debut. “
Also on the card, Puerto Rican Amanda Serrano, who is ESPN’s No. 3 pound-for-pound female boxer, will face Miriam Gutiérrez. Serrano has his eye on a high-profile showdown against Katie Taylor in 2022.
In another fight, Anthony Taylor, who is Paul’s teammate, will fight Chris Avila, a pupil of UFC superstar Nate Diaz.