Former NFL star Frank Gore is set to make his boxing debut on Saturday, but he hasn’t lost hope in his ability to play professional football.
Gore, who played 10 of his 16 seasons in the league with the 49ers, will face retired NBA point guard Deron Williams.
After playing last season with the New York Jets, the 5-foot-9, 212-pound NFL veteran said he was disappointed he didn’t get an invite to training camp.
And even after saying he is focused on spending time with his family and dipping his toes into the boxing world, Gore remains hopeful that his football days are not over.
“Training camp started, and I didn’t get a call," Gore told Showtime this week (h/t Bad Left Hook). I’m being real, man, that was garbage. I’m in the best shape I’ve ever been in. The most ripped I’ve ever been. Hopefully, San Francisco makes a run and my boys tell me to make a run with them.”
But even if that opportunity doesn’t come for Gore, a new door could be opening for him.
Videos of him training have shown he is taking this potential next chapter of his life very seriously.
“I want to look good, and of course, I want to win,” he said. “When the fight is over on Saturday night, I want people to say, ‘Man, whatever you put your mind into, you can do it.’ This is no joke; a lot of people would be scared to get in the ring and go one-on-one with another guy.
“I’ve been working my behind off. I respect my opponent. This sport is really tough, man. I take my hat off to all boxers out there. It’s not easy … A lot of people don’t understand what boxing takes. Training is no joke. In football, you got 10 other guys. In football, you can hide behind other guys. In basketball, you can hide. In this sport, you can’t.”
Gore said his interest in boxing came after being around it for so long.
“I love competing. I want to give it a shot,” Gore said while speaking to Showtime. “I’ll see how this fight goes. If I want to do it again, I know I can. If I want to just do it one time and it’s over after that, it’ll be something I wanted to do and I did.”
The four-round, pay-per-view event will be broadcast by Showtime as part of the undercard of a fight between Jake Paul and Tyron Woodley.