Ex-Chiefs RB Closes the Door on NFL Comeback

Le'Veon Bell

Getty Former NFL running back Le'Veon Bell with the Kansas City Chiefs in 2020.

Former Kansas City Chiefs running back and NFL star playmaker Le’Veon Bell put his football career on hold to pursue boxing in July of 2022.

Although he never officially retired from the NFL, Bell informed Instagram followers that he was “excited for the next chapter” of his life at the time and would be “solely” focused on boxing. He has since deleted that post, opening the door for speculation on a potential comeback.

That doesn’t appear to be in the cards, however, as Bell told Sporting News’ Karisa Maxwell that he “got [football] in his rear view.” Boxing is “my new passion,” the ex-Pittsburgh Steeler stated. “There hasn’t been a time where I was like — ‘dang bro, I wish I could go play football now.’ It’s been — ‘damn, I want to get better [at boxing]’ — every time.”

Bell went on: “Even if I have a tough day, or it’s really hard — [and] there’s been a lot of days where it’s like that — it makes me want to get better, and that’s why I take it and use it for motivation. Football, I got that in my rear view. Like, I’m not really worried about football right now just because of the fact that, I can’t be if I’m worried about boxing. That’s where my focus [has] been.”

This statement reinforced what Bell told fans last July when he claimed that his boxing career is “not just a one-off.”

Le’Veon Bell Upset Chiefs Fans After Leaving KC

Bell is not remembered fondly within Chiefs Kingdom. He signed on with Kansas City in 2020 after being released by the New York Jets.

The fallen star was mostly a bust with the Chiefs (353 scrimmage yards and two touchdowns over nine regular season appearances), but he upset fans more after leaving KC — ripping head coach Andy Reid for the way he was utilized by the championship play-caller.

“lol the only difference with the steelers was they gave me opportunity… haven’t had that since I left, I probably need to play for a defensive minded head coach instead of these offensive minded guru’s …,” Bell voiced on Twitter during a conversation with a fan on May 27, 2021.

Later, in June of 2021, he added that “I’ll never play for Andy Reid again…I’d retire first.” This bold refusal went viral on an Instagram post by RAPTV at the time.

Needless to say, these unnecessary comments didn’t exactly jive with Chiefs fans — who obviously got the last laugh after winning another Super Bowl in 2022, meanwhile Bell is out of the league. Although the ball carrier’s career may not have technically ended in an official retirement, it’s safe to say that it’s reached its conclusion after another year pursuing boxing in 2023.

The running back position is a young man’s game, and both Bell and the NFL appear to have moved on.

Le’Veon Bell to Fight JMX Tonight on April 21

According to Bleacher Report’s Alex Ballentine, Bell’s next boxing match is tonight on April 21.

“[The] former Pittsburgh Steelers running back will make another appearance in the boxing ring on Friday night,” Ballentine detailed. “This time, he has popular FIFA YouTuber JMX on the docket as he looks to get his second win in the ring.”

Bell is 1-1 to start his boxing career. Ballentine summarized his history in the ring, relaying: “An exhibition bout against fellow former NFL running back Adrian Peterson resulted in a fifth-round TKO win. However, his professional debut against former UFC fighter Uriah Hall ended in a unanimous-decision loss for Bell.”

“Now, he’ll take on JMX, who has a 3-0 record in his boxing career,” the writer previewed. “He most recently defeated TikTok celebrity Ginty in an exhibition bout.”

The April 21 fight will take place at XULA Convocation Centre in New Orleans, Louisiana. The main card starts at 7 p.m. EST, with the main event occurring at approximately 9:51 p.m. EST. You can stream Bell’s fight versus JMX on DAZN.

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