Official decision: Deron Williams wins by split decision: 38-37, 37-38, 40-35
Celebrity boxing is back and we get two non-boxing athletes hitting the ring Saturday evening in Tampa, Florida. Jake Paul and Tyron Woodley are getting much of the press, but former NFL star Frank Gore and former NBA star Deron Williams offer an intriguing bout on the undercard.
The main card for the Showtime PPV gets underway at 9 p.m. ET and we can expect Gore and Williams to hit the ring sometime around the 10 p.m. hour.
This is the first fight for bother athletes and it has been turned into an exhibition bout. The four-round fight was originally planned as a fully sanctioned bout, but the athletic commission changed its mind. Prior to it turning into an exhibition, DraftKings Sportsbook had installed Gore as a +200 underdog, but he had turned into a -130 favorite earlier this week. Now that it’s an exhibition, the fight is no longer available for betting.
It’s unclear what the boxing future holds for either athlete. Williams has long had an interest in MMA and has mixed that and boxing in his training. Gore has trained in boxing as part of his NFL prep for nearly a decade. Both could turn this into more than just a one-off deal, but their respective boxing futures are TBD for the time being.
Pre-fight update: Frank Gore is sporting the 49ers on the left leg of his boxing trucks.
Frank Gore vs. Deron Williams round-by-round results
Note: We are here, and the crowd is VERY pro Frank Gore.
Round 1: 10-9 Williams
The reach advantage for Williams is really significant, and he led well with his jab to leverage it. Gore is trying to find a path inside, but not really seeing one and ended up flailing into Williams a couple times looking for what would have been a takedown.. Both guys have clearly trained and aren’t embarrassing themselves in there, but it’s not not exactly technically proficient either.
Round 2: 10-9 Williams
Gore goes down and then gets pushed out of the ring! With 54 seconds left in the round, Williams doesn’t punch Gore outside the ropes, he just kind of shoves him. Would work better in the octagon.
And now Gore wrestles back! The officials asks them to touch gloves and start swinging instead of grappling. We’ve gone backwards in the second round.
A “Let’s Go Frank” chant breaks out, but it’s not going to help. Still the round for Williams.
Round 3: 10-9 Williams
These guys are gassed. Surprising this early in a four-round fight, but they’re both hanging on literally and figuratively. But when a clean shot gets landed, it’s from Williams more than Gore. Unless Gore finds a way inside to leverage his power in the last round, he’s going to lose.
Round 4: 10-9 Gore
More activity and two clean rights from the guy that needed knockout in the last round, but it shouldn’t change the outcome of the fight. Really would have expected better conditioning from two professional athletes, but maybe they got too hyped up in the warmup. Until you’ve done this, you don’t really know what it feels like.
We’ve got it 39-36 for Deron Williams over Frank Gore.