Former Buffalo Bills running back Frank Gore got off to a rocky start in the second act of his athletic career.
After leaving the NFL, Gore decided to try his hand at boxing and was featured on the undercard of the Jake Paul vs. Tyron Woodley match on December 18. He was matched up against another former professional athlete making a sport change, fighting NBA All-Star guard Deron Williams. While Gore had a storied NFL career, his entry to the world of boxing was not so smooth.
The latest Bills news straight to your inbox! Join the Heavy on Bills newsletter here!
Gore Falls in Debut
As ESPN’s Marc Raimondi reported, Gore lost by split decision in an entertaining bout that the Florida State Boxing Commission had reclassified as an exhibition. While the bout will not count toward pro records for either Gore or Williams, both fighters had strong rounds. Gore landed 39 of his 166 punches while Williams landed on 48 of his 156, earning the split decision victory.
Gore, who showed some love to his former NFL team by wearing a Bills shirt while training for the fight, said after the bout that he may jump into the ring again.
“It’s all good,” Gore said. “He won the fight tonight. He fought hard. I fought hard. I just still have to learn some stuff. He did a good job tonight. We’ll see if I fight again. I had fun tonight. I’ll go back and talk to my team to see what’s next.”
As Raimondi noted, Gore appeared at a physical disadvantage against the 6-foot-3 Williams, who said he was on a mission to prove that NBA players can be tough.
“I always was a physical point guard,” Williams said after the bout. “I never shied away from contact, and I showed that today. People think basketball players are soft, but I never was one. That’s what I was looking to accomplish here today.”
Williams has been preparing for his fighting career for years, NBA.com reported. He even owns a stake in the Dallas-based MMA training facility Fortis MMA, which is seen as one of the top training facilities.
Gore Chose Boxing Over Football Return
The 38-year-old Gore has made a strong commitment to boxing. Earlier this year, NFL.com reported that he fielded some calls from NFL teams inquiring about his services, but he decided to keep training for his debut in the ring instead.
“I’ve been training for both — football and boxing,” Gore told the outlet. “I’ve always loved boxing, so that’s what I’ve been doing. And we’re trying to make a fight happen. If we do that, you’ll see me in the ring.”
Gore played one season with the Bills, rushing for 599 yards and two touchdowns in 2019. He came into that season as the starting running back, but eventually saw rookie Devin Singletary become the team’s primary running back. Gore played the next season for the New York Jets, rushing for 653 yards and two touchdowns.
While Gore left open the possibility that he could continue his boxing career, he won’t be getting a rematch against the former NBA guard. Williams made it clear that he was satisfied with his one career victory, saying after the fight that he was “one-and-done.”
READ NEXT: Analyst Predicts Monstrous Year for Bills’ Josh Allen, Makes New Prediction