Deron Williams’ phone was flooded with calls and notifications once his boxing match against former NFL running back Frank Gore was announced last week.
Among the first to approach was Phoenix Suns point guard Chris Paul. Williams once challenged CP3 for the tag as the NBA’s best point guard in his heyday, but rivals-turned-friends are now backing him.
At 36, Paul continues to compete at a high level, currently leading the League in steals and assists. While the 37-year-old Williams is long-retired and looking to scratch his lifelong combat itch. His professional boxing debut is on December 18.
“It’s very impressive,” Williams said of Paul. “A little jealous that he’s still out there doing his thing. In fact, I just spoke to him last week. Once the fight was announced, he called me right away. He’s trying to get to the fight and couldn’t find him. front of the row. I said, ‘If CP3 can’t get the first few rows, that means they go like hotcakes.’
So why is Williams entering the ring? Especially after witnessing former NBA guard Nate Robinson suffer a second-round knockout loss to YouTube sensation Jake Paul on the undercard of the Mike Tyson-Roy Jones Jr. exhibition fight in 2020. What does he do? different?
“I saw it. I’m not Nate Robinson. I think I have a bit more experience than Nate. I’ve been training stand-up and boxing for 8-10 years,” Williams said. “I’ve fought high-level UFC guys who are bigger than me, who are my size and who are smaller than me, so I think I’m a little more prepared than Nate for that fight. I think someone really respected to Jake Paul at the time as a fighter, but obviously things are changing. “
Williams is a co-owner of the prestigious Fortis MMA gym in Dallas. He also fought as a child and began training for an MMA exhibition fight prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, so he considers this to be an offer he couldn’t resist against Gore, who is third in the rushing race for the NFL.
“I’ve been a loser my whole life. I was raised in a one-bedroom apartment with 12 people, and I got over it, so I agree with that,” said Gore, a five-time Pro Bowl participant. back. “I’ve been a loser when I blew my knees, saying I’m not going to make the NFL. I got over it. They said I’d be in the NFL for three years, but 16 years later, I’m third on the NFL’s all-time list, so I hear ‘underdog’, I’m fine with that. That’s what gives me that momentum that I have today in life. “
The former professional athletes clashed during a press conference Tuesday at the Edison Ballroom in New York City. They will participate in a 215-pound, four-round professional fight on Paul’s undercard against Tommy Fury at Amalie Arena in Tampa, Florida.
Williams has a clear height advantage at 6-foot-3, while Gore is 5-9. The idea of fighting has been in the back of their minds for some time, as they developed a passion for fighting. They both claim that money is not the motivating factor.
“It’s good that it’s different. I’m built differently,” Williams said. “Most people are afraid of something and afraid of something and they don’t. I’m a bit the other way around. I like to face my fears and attack life that way. I’m afraid of sharks, but I like to swim. with them. I don’t know. Imagine “