After 16,000 yards in the NFL, Frank Gore is entering the next phase of his career as a professional athlete and entering the boxing ring. On Saturday, Gore had his first professional boxing match on his 39th birthday against Yaya Olorunsola in Biloxi, Mississippi for Gamebred Boxing. Gore took the fight angrily, knocking out Olorunsola in the fourth round.
The former NFL star looks light years better than he did against Deron Williams
It's great to see Gore recovering in the ring after his show loss to former NBA All-Star guard Deron Williams. Williams made the split decision on Gore and then quickly retired from the sparring match. Gore expressed interest in a post-fight rematch with Williams, but he likely won't get that opportunity.
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Certain parts of the fight against Williams were awkward, so it was good for Gore to put on the kind of performance he had in his first official pro fight against Olorunsola. At one point in the second round against Williams, Gore was knocked (shoved, rather) through the ropes and frankly seemed overwhelmed by the barrage of haymakers thrown by Deron.
So I am sure that this time Gore and his team made sure he came out even more aggressive and based on the result they accomplished their mission. How far can Gore go in this new career path, seeing him begin this journey at the age of almost 40? This is the age when we typically see fight wrestlers loosen up, whether they decide it's time or the parents let them do it for them.
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Because of Gore's size (5-foot-9, 210 pounds), he will fight fighters who will outperform him in most cases. Williams was about 15 inches clear of Gore, and Olorunsola appeared to have a height advantage of at least a few inches. So Gore needs to get comfortable with much bigger fighters like Mike Tyson did early in his career. Well, I'm in no way comparing Gore to Iron Mike in the ring. But he will face some of the same disadvantages Tyson faced in the ring because of his size.
Like most fighters who rise through the ranks, Gore has likely thrown a few more fighters greener than him his way to build his record. Playing 16 years in the NFL will definitely benefit Gore. Not only in physical terms, but also in name recognition. Though Gore isn't the best running back in the league, he was once considered one of the top five running backs. Boxing promoters will use every possible angle to sell fights, and if Gore keeps winning, we might see him at one of the 700 boxing championships around the world.