Former Jazz keeper Deron Williams wins first boxing match


Frank Gore, left, and Deron Williams box in the first round of a heavyweight special attraction bout on Saturday, December 18, 2021 in Tampa, Fla. (Chris O’Meara, Associated Press)

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SALT LAKE CITY – Former Utah Jazz goalie Deron Williams’ first boxing match may be his last.

Williams beat former NFL running back Frank Gore by split decision (38-37, 37-38, 40-35) on Saturday night on Jake Paul-Tyron Woodley’s undercard at Amalie Arena in Tampa, in Florida.

After the win, he said he would probably go sit somewhere and let the real boxers take over.

“Honestly, I probably looked terrible there,” he said. “As soon as you get out of here and start to get hit, all your training goes out the window. It was fun. Glad I got the chance to come here and do it, but like I did. thought as I walked into it, I’m one and I’m done. “

But this one turned out to be quite entertaining – and nothing more than Williams’ second-round reversal, albeit more of a push down.

After Gore tried to buckle up Williams, the former NBA All-Star broke free and threw a few punches before pushing Gore through the ropes to the apron.

“I’ve always been a physical point guard,” said Williams. “I have never shied away from touch, and I showed it today. People think basketball players are gentle, but I never have been. That’s what I was looking at. accomplish here today. “

Gore came back with his own push, which forced the referee to remind the two of what sport they were participating in – hey, they weren’t used to that after all; It was Williams and Gore’s first fight.

Williams edged Gore in 48-39 total punches and 35-28 power punches, per CompuBox. Williams had a 12-5 advantage in the fourth and final round, showing he had a bit more endurance than the former All-Pro backer. Williams has spent years training in MMA and even co-owns a gym in Dallas, so it wasn’t too much of a surprise.

The 6-foot-3 Williams used his size and reach advantage, and had some highlights where it looked like he might be able to take Gore out.

“He won the fight tonight. He fought hard. I fought hard. I still have to learn a few tricks,” Gore said. “He did a good job tonight. We’ll see if I fight again. I had fun tonight. I’m going to go back and talk to my team to see what happens next.”

The fight was originally supposed to be a professional match, but the Florida State Boxing Commission surprisingly changed it to an exhibition match on Friday. This means the victory will not feature on Williams’ official boxing record.

So if it turns out that this is really his only boxing match, he won’t have a real record; but it didn’t seem like a big deal for him after the victory.

“I might have gained some new fans, but I’m just glad I made my team happy and my family proud,” said Williams. “My mom was nervous. She didn’t want to look and see her son being beaten up, so I hope she was proud of it.”

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