Retired three-time NBA All-Star and two-time Olympic champion Deron Williams will fight former NFL rusher Frank Gore in a December 18 boxing card at Tampa, Florida, promoters announced Tuesday.
The four-round heavyweight bout, a boxing debut for each fighter with a contractual 215-pound limit, will be on the undercard of internet sensation Logan Paul’s cruiserweight fight against Tommy Fury, the half-brother of WBC heavyweight champion Tyson Fury.
Gore, 38, played an NFL running back-record 241 games, including a 10-year run with the San Francisco 49ers starting in 2005 and stints with Indianapolis, Miami, Buffalo and last year with the New York Jets.
He stands third on the NFL all-time rushing yardage list.
Gore also rejected overtures for an NFL return to focus on boxing.
“I’m excited to be fighting on this card and can’t wait to show the world what I’ve been working on,” Gore said. “Boxing has me excited and on December 18 expect fireworks.”
Williams, 37, helped the United States win Olympic gold at Beijing in 2008 and London in 2012.
He played 845 NBA games with the Utah Jazz, New Jersey/Brooklyn Nets, Dallas Mavericks and Cleveland Cavaliers.
Williams has been a combat sport enthusiast for years, including two state champion years as a high school wrestler, and has trained in mixed martial arts.
“Combat sports have been a part of my life since my youngest days. Before I was a basketball player, I was a wrestler,” Williams said.
“Since 2015, I’ve had the privilege of owning an MMA gym and through that I have trained in various martial arts to stay active.
“Over the last year, I’ve been waiting for the right opportunity to translate my training into a professional debut. I’m making that happen on December 18.”