Former Pro Bowl RB Frank Gore to fight ex-NBA star Deron Williams in heavyweight boxing match

Frank Gore is ready to rumble.

After months of training for a potential swing in the ring, the free-agent running back has landed his first fight. He'll face another former star from another sport making their professional boxing debut.

The NFL's third all-time leading rusher will take on retired NBA standout Deron Williams in a heavyweight match on Saturday, Dec. 18. The two boxing neophytes are the undercard for Jake Paul vs. Tommy Fury, as part of a Showtime pay-per-view event that kicks off at 9 p.m. ET at Amalie Arena in Tampa, Florida.

Gore-Williams is set for four rounds with a 215-pound contractual limit.

"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 in a statement. "Boxing has me excited, and on December 18 expect fireworks!"

For Gore, a presumptive future Hall of Famer who has not officially retired from the NFL, this has been several months in the making. The 38-year-old told NFL Network Insider Ian Rapoport in September that he'd been training for both football and boxing. But the latter was the priority. Despite overtures from interested teams, Gore declined a return to the gridiron in hopes of scheduling a fight. His first one comes against a three-time NBA All-Star and two-time Olympic Gold medalist.

The 37-year-old Williams holds a notable advantage in height -- he's listed at 6-foot-3 while Gore is listed at 5-foot-9 -- and perhaps experience.

"Combat sports have been a part of my life since my youngest days," Williams said. "Before I was a basketball player, I was a wrestler. Since 2015, I have 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 against Frank, one of the physically strongest NFL players in history."

Williams last played in the NBA in 2017. Gore spent last year with the New York Jets, his 16th in the NFL.

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