TAMPA, Fla. (ABC4) – Former Utah Jazz guard Deron Williams is set to strap on the gloves and step into the ring against a former NFL player later this year.
It was reported last Friday by The Athletic NBA Insider Shams Charania that Williams, who played for the Jazz from 2005-11, would be joining the undercard on the evening of YouTuber-turned-pro-boxer Jake Paul’s bout against Tommy Fury on Dec. 18. Charania listed former NFL running back Frank Gore as a potential opponent for Williams.
It was confirmed by ESPN on Tuesday that Gore would be Williams’ foe in the ring for the holiday time tilt which will be set at a weight class of 215 pounds and last for four rounds at Amalie Arena in Tampa.
Williams began his NBA career when he was selected by Utah with the third overall pick in the 2005 NBA Draft. In his tenure with the Jazz, he was a First Team All-Rookie selection, an NBA All-Star, and a member of the 2008 U.S. Olympic Team that won a gold medal in Beijing. His time with the team came to an unceremonious end when he was traded midway through the 2011 season to the then-New Jersey Nets. He is often credited with having a difficult attitude early in his career that led to legendary head coach Jerry Sloan’s decision to leave the team around that same time.
While Williams would make a couple more All-Star Games and win another Olympic gold medal in 2012, he would never find the same success he enjoyed in Utah in stops in New Jersey/Brooklyn, Dallas, and Cleveland. He and Sloan eventually made amends after his retirement following the 2017 season.
Since leaving the game of basketball, Williams has found an interest in combat sports and has been training as an MMA fighter. He also is regularly spotted around Utah from time to time.
Fight night, featuring Paul, Fury, and now, Williams, is set for Dec. 18 in Tampa, Fla.