Cooper Neil/SHOWTIME & Jose Pineiro/SHOWTIME

NBA All-Star Williams to Take on Legendary NFL Running Back Gore on Undercard of Jake Paul vs. Tyron Woodley II This Saturday, December 18 Live on SHOWTIME PPV® from AMALIE Arena in Tampa, Fla.

NEW YORK – December 14, 2021 – Three-time NBA All-Star Deron Williams and legendary NFL running back Frank Gore are nearing their professional boxing debuts as the two stars from opposite sports put the finishing touches on their first ever training camps. The two-time Olympic Gold Medalist Williams and the NFL’s third all-time leading rusher Gore collide in a must-watch four-round heavyweight professional boxing match on Saturday, December 18 on the undercard of Jake Paul vs. Tyron Woodley II live on SHOWTIME PPV on Saturday, December 18 at AMALIE Arena in Tampa, Fla.

Both men are eager to impress in their pro boxing debuts, and have cut no corners in their preparations for the fight. Williams has prepared at the gym he co-owns alongside trainer Sayif Saud at Fortis MMA in Dallas, Texas while the Miami native Gore is training under Javiel Centeno at Centeno’s Sweatbox Boxing Gym in Davie, Fla. 

Here is what Williams and Gore had to say at their respective gyms.

Deron Williams

On his combat sports background…

“I don’t have any pro fights, per say, but combat sports has been a part of my life since I was growing up. I was a wrestler here in Texas and I actually won States twice as an eight-year-old and a 12-year-old. I would have continued competing but I had to make a choice between basketball and wrestling. I feel like I made the right choice.”

On training in boxing and MMA…

“I’ve always been drawn to boxing. I’ve always been drawn to MMA and been a UFC fan for as long as I can remember. I started training while I was still playing in the NBA and became part owner of Fortis MMA in 2015. I’ve been training here ever since.”

On how this fight came to be…

“I got a call about doing a boxing match and I always wanted to do a fight. At least once in my lifetime. I wanted to check that off the bucket list and so here I am.”

On Frank Gore…

“Frank was a beast on the football field. I know he’s going to be tough. I know he’s going to be in shape. He’s always been regarded as a really hard worker in his sport. He’s taken the most snaps of any rusher in the NFL which is a tremendous feat in itself. I know he’s been training and putting in the work. I think it’s going to be a fun fight to watch.”

On a career in combat sports…

“I’m just focused on this one fight. Especially in fighting, I don’t think you can look past your opponent. I’m focused on Frank. This was a box I wanted to check off and I’m getting to do that. Whatever else happens, we’ll see after that.”

Frank Gore

Why boxing…

“I’ve been around it for so long, I love competing. I want to give it a shot. I’ll see how this fight goes. If I want to do it again, I know I can. If I want to just do it one time and it’s over after that, it’ll be something I wanted to do and I did.”

On training camp…

“I’m taking this seriously. I want to look good, and of course, I want to win. When the fight is over on Saturday night, I want people to say, ‘Man, whatever you put your mind into, you can do it.’ This is no joke; a lot of people would be scared to get in the ring and go one-on-one with another guy.

“I’ve been working my behind off. I respect my opponent. This sport is really tough, man. I take my hat off to all boxers out there. It’s not easy… A lot of people don’t understand what boxing takes. Training is no joke. In football you got 10 other guys. In football you can hide behind other guys. In basketball you can hide. In this sport, you can’t.

“I come and work out. I do what my coaches tell me. I give it 110%. I have to because it’s just me in the ring. I can’t hide behind my linemen. I can’t hide behind my receivers. I have to be ready because it’s just me and another man on the other side.”

On his sons playing football…

“I go to see my son play at Southern Miss and see my stepson play at Wisconsin. My 15-year-old plays high school football too. I love spending time with them. I always tell them, just do the right thing. Listen to your coach and train hard. If you do that, whatever God has planned for you, it’ll come your way.”

In regards to his football career…

“Training camp started and I didn’t get a call. I’m being real man, that was garbage. I’m in the best shape I’ve ever been in. The most ripped I’ve ever been. Hopefully San Francisco makes a run and my boys tell me to make a run with them.”

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