Former NBA All-Star Deron Williams scores split decision win in boxing match vs. NFL great Frank Gore

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  • Frank Gore
    Frank Gore
    American football running back
  • Deron Williams
    Deron Williams
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In a wild exhibition, retired NBA All-Star Deron Williams beat NFL great Frank Gore by split decision in a four-round heavyweight boxing match Saturday night at Amalie Arena in Tampa, .

The two men traded massive punches and each pushed each other through the ropes. In fact, at times the bout looked to be as much of a wrestling match as a boxing match.

But in the end, it was a slugfest, with Williams credited with the only knockdown. That came in the third round when Williams blindsided Gore with a right hand and unloaded punches as Gore held on to the corner post and ropes before the referee intervened and ruled it a knockdown.

Two judges scored the fight in Williams' favor, 40-35 and 38-37. The third judge scored the fight for Gore, 38-37. Williams threw 48 punches, including 35 power shots, and Gore threw 39 punches, including 28 power shots, according to Showtime's statistics.

Though an exhibition, this was the first competitive boxing match for Gore, 38, and Williams, 37.

Frank Gore, left, and Deron Williams in action during the third round of their heavyweight boxing match.
Frank Gore, left, and Deron Williams in action during the third round of their heavyweight boxing match.

“It was fun,’’ Williams said. “I’m glad I had a chance to get out there and do it. But like I thought coming into this, I’m one and done.’’

(Warning: Some strong language in video)

The third-leading rusher in NFL history, Gore played 16 straight NFL seasons. But he remains unsigned since playing with the New York Jets during the 2020 season.

Gore said three teams expressed interest in adding him to their roster while he was training for the fight. But he said he decided to first test his skills in the ring before making a possible return to football.

Gore indicated he might fight again. "I'm going to go back and talk to my team to see what I got to learn,'' he said.

Before the fight, Gore said he’d be open playing for an NFL team this season.

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Deron Williams defeats Frank Gore via split decision in boxing match