Williams on fight with Gore: ‘I wanted to check that off the bucket list and so here I am’

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 had to say about the upcoming fight with Gore.

Deron Williams at the Fortis MMA in Dallas, Texas, Wednesday, Dec. 8, 2021. (Cooper Neill / Showtime)

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.”

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