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Williams vs Gore: Frank Gore says he’s been training for years, expects Deron Williams to come prepared

The longtime NFL running back says he’s been working in the boxing gym since 2005.

Stephanie Trapp/SHOWTIME

Frank Gore will be stepping off of the gridiron and into the boxing ring on December 18 where he’ll face retired NBA guard Deron Williams. This obviously isn’t a fight that many people saw coming, but for Gore this isn’t exactly out of the blue as he’s been a longtime fan of the sweet science.

“l have always loved boxing. I’ve been training since 2005,” said Gore. “I was doing it because it would save my legs since I play running back. I just fell in love with it, how hard it was and I’m very competitive. I was just doing it for the cardio. My first time I didn’t think I could do it, but I kept getting better and better at it.

“I’m definitely not doing this for the money. I’m blessed. I’m good and blessed with football and off-the-field stuff.”

Gore knows there’s not a lot of expectations for his performance in this fight, but says he’s not all too concerned with what other people are expecting as he’s upset the odds for as long as he can remember.

“I’ve always been an underdog my entire life. I was raised in a one-bedroom apartment. I blew out both of my knees and many thought I wouldn’t make it to the NFL. Sixteen years later and I’m No. 3 on the all-time list.”

Looking at his opponent in Deron Williams, Gore says he won’t be taking the former basketball star lightly because he knows Williams has been training in combat sports just like he has, and fully expects a stiffer challenge than from the last NBA guy we saw in a boxing ring.

“I’m happy to be here and I respect Deron. He’s coming from the NBA and I always say any man who gets into the ring has got to be different. I don’t care what sport you play. I’m training my behind off for December 18.

“I know he’s trained in MMA and coming over from the NBA but he’s no Nate Robinson. He’s been doing MMA for six years so I have to respect that. He’s been wrestling since he was a kid. I’m training my behind off and the only one I can worry about is myself. I’m looking forward to the challenge and let the best man win on December 18.

Fore would continue on by discussing the differences in training for a professional boxing match versus his professional training as an football running back, which aren’t at all the same kind physical activities.

“Football and boxing are totally different. When you watched me play I never really got hit. That’s why I was able to last so long. I played off of angles. Now, with boxing I’m going in there with guys that have had 300 amateur fights, are 10-0 as pros. So I can’t just dodge all the shots they are throwing because they have more ring experience.

“I would say jogging has been the toughest thing. In football we never jogged. We always did sprints and pulled the sled but I had to really train myself to jog. I had to put my mind somewhere else and work on it.”

For this outing Gore is simply looking to put on the best performance he’s capable of, and is most certainly coming to win on fight night.

“My favorite fighter is Floyd (Mayweather, Jr.). There are a bunch of guys I like to watch now. I like Terence (Crawford) and I like Errol Spence, Tank (Davis), Shakur Stevenson. I just want to be the best of me. Whatever my coach tells me to do I’m going to go out and try to do and do my best to get this win on December 18.”