Former NBA point guard Deron Williams is gearing up for his boxing match against former NFL running back Frank Gore on Dec. 18. Speaking to Eric Woodyard of ESPN, Williams said he expects to do better than the last NBA player to try his hand at boxing. Former point guard Nate Robinson was knocked out in the second round by YouTube vlogger Jake Paul on the undercard of the Mike Tyson vs. Roy Jones Jr. exhibition fight last year.
“I watched it. I’m not Nate Robinson. I think I have a little more experience than Nate. I’ve been training stand-up and boxing for 8-10 years,” Williams said. “I’ve sparred against high-level UFC guys that are bigger than me, that are my size and that are smaller than me, so, I think I’m a little more prepared than Nate was for that fight.
“And I don’t think anybody really respected Jake Paul at the time as a fighter, but obviously things are changing.”
Williams has had ties to combat sports for a while. He is a part owner of the well-renowned Fortis MMA gym in Dallas. He also wrestled during his childhood and was training for an MMA fight before the COVID-19 pandemic hit.
Williams will face Gore in a four-round professional bout with a 215-pound weight limit. The main event that night will be Paul vs Tommy Fury.