The former NBA star has been added to Jake Paul-Tommy Fury’s boxing card in December. Here, we explore Deron Williams’ MMA and wrestling background, and if he can actually box.
Former NBA All-Star Deron Williams has reportedly been added to the Jake Paul-Tommy Fury boxing match card.
The bout is set for 18 December and NFL legend Frank Gore is reportedly going to be Williams’ opponent.
Williams was drafted No. 3 overall in the 2005 NBA Draft and spent most of his career with the Utah Jazz.
Williams, a two-time Olympic gold medalist, spent time with the Brooklyn Nets, Cleveland Cavaliers and Dallas Mavericks before retiring in 2017.
Deron Williams’ MMA background explored
While the addition of the former basketball star to the card may seem out of left field, Deron Williams does have some MMA experience.
Williams has a longtime passion for combat sports and is part-owner of Fortis MMA in Dallas, one of the top gyms in the country.
Williams is a former state wrestling champion in his youth, and according to The Athletic, won the Texas state title at 67 pounds and at 112 pounds in high school.
“I’ve been watching [MMA] for a while, just growing up being a wrestler,” he told Ariel Helwani on an appearance on The MMA Hour.
“As the years have gone on, I ended up meeting different UFC fighters and befriending a couple and really got into it because of that. … I just have a love for the sport; I train as well, so I think that brings me even closer.”
Can Deron Williams actually box?
In 2017 Williams admitted that “I’m gonna do some [jiu-jitsu] tournaments for sure.” He reportedly spends three days a week at Fortis MMA and has been matched up with some notable UFC fighter in training, including Uriah Hall.
But can Deron Williams actually box?
Sayif Saud, the owner and head coach at Fortis MMA, told The Athletic, ‘”He can scrap. He’s got a great right hand. A great 1-2, he can wrestle.”
Geoff Neal, a current UFC welterweight echoed that sentiment.
“Just off his athleticism alone, you teach him one thing, and then he picks up on it real quick,” Neal said. “When I teach him and train him, I’ve got to watch out because I usually spar him at the end of every session. I don’t know if I want to teach him (certain things) because he’s going to hit me in the face with it.”
While he may not have extensive experience, it appears Williams shouldn’t be underestimated and may have some surprise boxing skills.
Deron Williams net worth and career earnings
It seems Williams being added to the Jake Paul card isn’t purely money motivated, as the 37-year-old clearly has a passion for MMA and combat sports.
However, it’s likely he’ll be paid handsomely for the fight, although the exact amount isn’t known yet.
The former Nets point guard certainly isn’t short of money, though.
Deron Williams’ net worth is reportedly $65 Million, with his career earnings estimated to be $157 million in salary alone.