- Tarrian Rodgers
Former NBA All-Star Deron Williams to make boxing debut on Jake Paul undercard
Celebrity boxing has grown exponentially over the last few years. We have seen a number of former NFL/NBA/MMA fighters make their way into the boxing ring, like Chad ‘Ochocino” Johnson and Nate Robinson. The next former player to make his debut inside the squared circle is former NBA great Deron Williams.
Williams played for four teams in the NBA, but had some of his best seasons with the Utah Jazz from 2005-11. He was a three-time All-Star and averaged 17.3 points, 3.2 rebounds and 9.1 assists per game during his time in Salt Lake City. Williams also played for the New Jersey/Brooklyn Nets from 2011-15, averaging 16.6 ppg, 3.2 rpg and 7.5 apg while making two All-Star appearances there as well.
Williams in his playing career was listed as 6”3 200 pounds. Per ESPN, although Williams is new to the sport he has immersed himself in training for years. He owns a stake in Fortis MMA, a Dallas-area MMA training facility regarded as one of the best in the sport. Williams' opponent for the match has not been decided, but Shams Charania of The Athletic reports Williams could square off against another former professional athlete. Frank Gore, a 16-year NFL veteran and former Pro Bowler.
If this is the opponent for Willams celebrity boxing has taken another interesting twist. Also on the Paul vs. Fury undercard, Paul training partner Anthony Taylor will face Chris Avila, a teammate of UFC star Nate Diaz. Taylor and Avilla both fought each other previously at Bellator MMA with Taylor picking up the win. Now they get their rematch. Avilla is on a two fight winning streak in the octagon. This will be his first ever boxing match. This upcoming card is shaped up to be something fascinating.