Adrian Peterson is not playing about his preparation to face fellow running back Le’Veon Bell in a boxing match. The fight, which was called off from its original July 30th date and was recently called back for Sept. 10, has the veteran NFL star looking ready for war.
A video hit the internet showing Peterson on the offensive in sparring and knocking his opponent down. How much of it was real versus a staged fight hype promo is unknown, but Peterson seems to be taking the opportunity very seriously.
The fight card is headlined by social media stars Austin McBroom against AnEsonGib and takes place at the Banc of California Stadium. Peterson vs. Bell is part of the undercard for the fight, which also features a comical bout between rapper Blueface and former NBA star Nick Young, aka Swaggy P.
This is going to be a brawl… pic.twitter.com/SkYp3Dy5yq
— Ron Johnson (@3RonJohnson) August 15, 2022
The fight also signals that neither Bell nor Peterson will be putting on the pads this year, instead opting for squared circle dreams. For a consummate athlete, boxing is the pinnacle of a solo sport where you are not only using your faculties in unison to produce pain, but you are also on the receiving end.
For Peterson, football is still in focus while he pursues another passion. After all, the 37-year-old ranks fifth all time in rushing yards with 14,918, 3,437 behind all-time leading rusher Emmitt Smith.
“But since I’ve started, this is something that I’ll continue to do,” Peterson said during a promo event for the fight last month. “I’ll continue to stay in the ring, continue to practice, get my skills right because it’s a different ball game when you step in that square. Fortunately for me, I have some great guys around me that are experienced.
“My gym in Houston, we have a ring in there. We have a lot of guys sparring all the time, and I’ve had the opportunity in the past to get in there with those guys a couple times and here recently, obviously, getting ready for the fight. I just been kind of grinding, so I might see this continue to do something going forward.”
“When you don’t give up, you cannot fail.”
— Adrian Peterson
— Coaching U (@Coaching_U) August 13, 2022
For Bell, who hasn’t had the same traction in the league since his departure from the Pittsburgh Steelers, this is a new career choice and lifestyle, at least for this year.
“I know I’m not going to be playing this year because I want to focus on boxing,” the 30-year-old Bell told NFL Media last month.
Swaggy P has also had a video of him dominating in the sparring room, and many former pro athletes are coming to the red light district of sports by the droves. From Lamar Odom to Deron Williams, athletes of other sports have had pugilistic dreams for a while now.
Back in May, another running back, Frank Gore, let the boxing world know he was here and landed a highlight-reel KO in his pro boxing debut. Gore connected a vicious right cross that left Yaya Olorunsola stiff and unconscious in the fourth round of the first Gamebred Boxing show in Biloxi, Mississippi.
As more football players and basketball players become fighters, it will be interesting to see if they decide to be two-sport athletes or full-time boxers.