'Novelty' bout added to Jake Paul vs Tommy Fury card

A former NBA star will fight a legendary running back on the undercard of Tommy Fury vs Jake Paul next month.

Showtime have announced that they have added a 'novelty' bout to the undercard of Tommy Fury's clash with Jake Paul.

Some may say the main event is a 'novelty' fight but in a bid to increase the pull of the December 18 date, former NBA star Deron Williams and NFL legend Frank Gore have been paired together.

Williams, 37, is a three-time NBA All-Star who played for the Utah Jazz, New Jersey/Brooklyn Nets, Dallas Mavericks and Cleveland Cavaliers.

Gore, 38, is a former San Francisco 49ers running back and was named in the NFL's 2010s All-Decade Team.

The heavyweight pair will meet at the Amalie Arena in Tampa in a professional bridgerweight clash.

The 215-pound contest will be over four rounds with both fighters making their professional debuts.

"Combat sports have been a part of my life since my youngest days. Before I was a basketball player, I was a wrestler," said Williams.

"Since 2015, I have had the privilege of owning an MMA gym, and through that I have trained in various martial arts to stay active. Over the last year, I've been waiting for the right opportunity to translate my training into a professional debut.

"I'm making that happen on December 18 against Frank, one of the physically strongest NFL players in history."

"I'm excited to be fighting on this card and can't wait to show the world what I've been working on," said Gore. "Boxing has me excited, and on December 18th expect fireworks!"

The main event - Fury vs Paul

The main event, Fury vs Paul will take place over eight rounds at a 192-pound catchweight.

The pair who have been trading insults for months finally got the date on last month. Fury called Paul out when the pair clashed after their respective fights in Cleveland in August.

Fury has been priced up as the favourite to win the fight, probably due to his boxing background rather than his seven-fight record.

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The former Love Island reality star is of course the half brother to heavyweight champion of the world Tyson Fury.

And while his bloodline is impressive, his record to date has been sketchy to say the least.

The 22-year-old has knocked out four of his seven opponents, but his last two fights have gone the distance. He has yet to face a credible opponent though and his last fight was a unanimous points win over Anthony Taylor, an MMA fighter crossing into the ring.

Fury won all four rounds on the scorecards, but it was far from an impressive performance against a much smaller man.

Paul, 24, is a former YouTuber and his four-fight record is similarly unimpressive. In fact he has yet to come face to face with anyone with boxing experience.

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His debut fight was against fellow YouTuber Ali Eson Gib. Next he fought retired basketball player Nate Robinson and then took on MMA fighter Ben Askren. All three were knocked out, but in his last fight with another MMA fighter, Tyron Woodley, he could only win via a split decision.

Paul outlanded Woodley 71-52 in total punches, per CompuBox. But Woodley actually landed more power punches, 41-35.

Eddie Hearn makes Jake Paul favourite

"I didn't fight my best tonight," Paul said afterwards. "I give myself a C-minus. It's my first time fighting in front of a crowd since my first amateur fight."

British promoter Eddie Hearn has been nonplussed by the match-up and says that American Paul is the favourite.

"I have only seen Tommy Fury beat up a couple of guys who you or I could have beat, and then had four rounds in his last fight where he looked pretty average. But he is a boxer, and he is Tyson Fury's brother.

"If he loses he should go to a desert island and not come back - it'll be tough for him.

"The fact Jake Paul is taking the fight shows he believes he can win the fight.

"In that sense, I make him the favourite, but that doesn't say a lot about Tommy."

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