When it was revealed back in November that Deron Williams would be one of the fighters on the Jake Paul pay-per-view card, the natural reaction was something along the lines of, “What the hell is going on?”

Yes, the three-time NBA star participates in a professional boxing match. And if this news alone doesn’t blow your mind, how about this? He will face a five-time Pro Bowl champion as he drops out of Frank Gore. They will compete in a four-round heavyweight battle before the main event between Paul and Tyrone Woodley.

Is this just a big cash grab by Williams? never. Here’s why Williams decided it was time for him to step into the ring.

MORE: Gore vs Williams battle history, time, PPV price and more

How did Deron Williams get into boxing?

During a press conference in November, Williams explained that he had “always been drawn to combat sports.” He won several state titles as a young Texas wrestler, but his success as a basketball player meant that wrestling had to be put in the back.

Williams has maintained his passion for combat sports, despite opening the Fortis MMA Arena in Dallas in 2015 and training there for the past six years.

“I’ve always wanted to – I had an idea maybe have a fight, maybe an MMA fight,” said Williams.Cross combat MMA). “I really had one before the COVID hit that I was in training camp for, and my opponent pulled out. So, it was always in the back of my mind, and I stayed in shape and kept training… It’s one of those opportunities that comes and if I don’t take it, I feel like I’m going to kick myself for not jumping on that chance for the rest of my life. So, here I am.”

While he has been energized by the opportunity to break out of his comfort zone, Williams doesn’t see his fight against Gore as the first step in his long boxing career.

“I’ll consider this for once, and we’ll see what happens,” Williams told Chris Mannix of Sports Illustrated. “I never know until I get there and see what happens, but it’s just a one time thing that I wanted to do. It gave me a reason to get back in shape and get a chance to fight, because I’ve always wanted to fight… Not trying to be world champion or anything else “.

Why is Deron Williams fighting Frank Gore?

When former athletes appear on the fight card, there is usually speculation about their finances, but Williams wants to shut down any of those conversations.

The 37-year-old earned over $157 million in total NBA salary from 2005-2017, In basketball reference, and he was getting checks from the Nets as recently as 2020 because Brooklyn ceded him in 2015 and used the extension clause to distribute the remaining money on his contract.

“When I got the last batch last year, they made this big of it [online], ” Williams told Ben Gulliver, a Washington Post reporter. “This – it was happening. It’s not new. People say congratulations to me. It was my money! I should have had it five years earlier. They extended it. How do you go from having $5 million last year to now that I’m broke and need to money so I’m doing these fights? That’s ignorant, but that’s what it is [boxing] The money is good, I won’t lie, but that’s not why I did it.”

Williams told Mannix that he simply always wanted to fight “in some way, shape or form”.

“People ask me, ‘Why would you do that?’ ‘ People were like, ‘What are you thinking?’ Well, I’m doing it because I want to do it, said Williams. ‘Yeah, it’s scary. I’m sure I’ll be nervous, but I think it’ll be fun too. I think it will be a unique experience that not many people will get a chance to do, especially in front of a crowd of people and the world.”

MORE: Predictions, odds, and best bets for Jake Paul vs Tyrone Woodley 2

Jake Paul vs Tyrone Woodley 2 Fight Card

  • Jake Paul vs. Tyrone Woodley, cruiserweight (eight rounds)
  • Amanda Serrano vs. Miriam Gutierrez, lightweight (10 rounds)
  • Deron Williams vs. Frank Goure, heavyweight (four rounds)
  • Liam Barrow vs Yumar Alamo, junior welterweight (10 rounds)

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