Former 49er Frank Gore scores KO and redemption in pro boxing debut


Frank Gore

Frank Gore
photo: Getty Images

After rushing for 16,000 yards in the NFL, Frank Gore is entering the next phase of his professional athletic career and stepping into the boxing ring. On Saturday, Gore had his first professional boxing match on his 39th birthday against Yaya Olorunsola in Biloxi, Mississippi., for Gamebred boxes. Gore took the fight angry and knocked out Olorunsola in the fourth round.

It’s great to see Gore redeeming himself after his in the ring exhibition loss to former NBA All-Star Guard Deron Williams. Williams made the split decision on Gore and promptly retired from the fight thereafter. Gore has expressed interest in a rematch with Williams after the fight, but he likely won’t get that opportunity.

Certain parts of the fight against Williams were awkward, so it was good for Gore to put on the kind of performance he did in his first official pro fight against Olorunsola. At one point in the second round against Williams, Gore was hit (rather pushed) through the ropes and looked honestly overwhelmed by the barrage of haystacks thrown by Deron.

So I’m sure that Gore and his team made it their mission to be even more aggressive this time, and based on the result, their mission was accomplished. How far can Gore take this new career path, seeing him begin this journey at the age of almost 40? This is the age when we typically see combat fighters start to relax, whether they decide it’s time or father time is making it for them.

Due to the size of Gore (5 foot9, 210 lb), he will fight against boxers who in most cases will tower above him. Williams had about six inches on Gore and Olorunsola seemed to have a height advantage of at least a few inches. So Gore has to get used to getting into much bigger fighters like Mike Tyson did earlier in his career. Well, I’m definitely not comparing Gore to Iron Mike in the ring. But he will face some of the same disadvantages as Tyson does in the ring due to his stature.

Like most boxers who rise, Gore will likely have a few more fighters greener than him to build his record. To play 16 years in the NFL will definitely play in Gore’s favor. Not only from a physical point of view, but also in terms of name recognition. While he wasn’t the best running back in the league, Gore was considered one top five back at once. Boxing promoters will use every available angle to sell fights, and if Gore keeps winning, maybe we’ll see him carve his way into a shot at one of the 700 world boxing championships.

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