clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

A special preview of the Deron Williams vs Frank Gore boxing match

A former Dallas Mavericks player is boxing a retired NFL great.

Jake Paul v Tyron Woodley - Press Conference Photo by Julio Aguilar/Getty Images

Former pro-athletes Deron Williams and Frank Gore will be facing off in a boxing match on the Jake Paul-Tyron Woodley undercard. You, like many other people, probably made a face when the fight was announced. Was the announcement real? But also, why? Neither athlete appears to need the money. So why exactly would either one of them agree to a boxing match? The answer is simple: competition. Most pro athletes struggle with filling the void left by competition on the highest level when their career’s come to an end. Sports is all they’ve ever known. It’s been their singular purpose in life and these players are now tasked with suddenly rediscovering who they are away from the game they love. For both former Maverick Deron Williams and Frank Gore, Saturday’s match presents the sort of challenge they’ve so desperately missed in their post-playing career. Because both men are taking this fight seriously, it’s deserving of a serious breakdown.

Tale of the Tape
Cooper Neil/Jose Pineiro Showtime

Deron Williams vs Frank Gore fight time

  • Start Time: 9 p.m EST
  • Main Event: 12 p.m EST (approximately)


When the fight was initially announced, Deron Williams opened as a -160 favorite with Gore as the +135 underdog. The logic was simple: Williams has the height, and more importantly, reach advantage against the former football player. He should be able to control the fight with his jab and keep Gore at bay. If Gore hopes to land anything of consequence, he would have to put himself in harm’s way in order to get within striking range. On paper, it seems like Williams has a clear path to victory. In the ring, however, that game plan requires a tremendous amount of technique, patience, and conditioning. Williams is further removed from his playing days and may not be in the type of shape we know Frank Gore is in. Gore was able to overcome a devastating knee injury on his way to a 16-year career. The average lifespan of an NFL player is two and a half years. For running backs, it’s even shorter. Gore’s longevity is a testament to his work ethic and determination to take care of his body. Because of that, it’s easy to assume he’ll enter the ring Saturday in better shape than his counterpart.

If Williams doesn’t have the legs to maneuver around the ring and keep Gore at the proper distance, the height and reach advantages are worthless. Gore is probably the stronger man and could use that strength to force Williams to the ropes. With both men so close together, Gore’s shorter arms will actually prove to be his biggest advantage since he won’t need as much space to get his power punches off. He can put his head in William’s chest, attack his body, and come over the top with short powerful hooks. In all, it makes sense why Gore is now the favorite at -120. Williams may not have the ring experience needed to execute his path to victory. Gore, on the other hand, can rely on strength in order to apply constant pressure and bully his way to victory. Saturday’s fight is more than a circus act. It’s a battle between two world-class athletes and I expect we will see a great fight.

PREDICTION: Gore wins by TKO

Check out DraftKings Sportsbook, the official sportsbook partner of SB Nation.