Le’Veon Bell’s ‘focus on boxing’ beyond the July 30 clash against Adrian Peterson


A grand total of 21,472 rushing yards and zero rounds of boxing are the combined numbers Bell and Peterson will enter the ring with for their heavyweight bout.

Peterson, 37, played in four games in the 2021 season, three for the Tennessee Titans and one for the Seattle Seahawks. Peterson (14,918 career rushing yards) has now played in 17 seasons and for seven teams. Bell, 30, played in eight games in 2021 — five with the Ravens and three with the Bucs.

Bell indicated he’s been working on his boxing craft for some time and believes his advantages and style will somewhat mirror his rushing style, that of being patient and picking his shots, using his quickness to lead him.

“I obviously feel like I’m more quick than 99% of the people that I’m going to be in the ring with,” Bell said. “My speed, my quickness, my timing, it’s really going to be unmatched. It’s kind of hard to explain in terms of football and try to translate it to boxing, but just my style of football you try and turn the field more and you can see. Like, people say I’m patient. I pick my holes this, that and the other – it’s just really all timing. That’s all it really was. It kind of came easy to me, was timing. Boxing kind of like is all timing, and I think that’s what makes me quick, that’s kind of like what separates me as an athlete than most guys in the NFL or the NBA or many other guys that have tried to translate to this sport. My timing and my speed and quickness, that’s what I’m going to showcase on the 30th. You guys are going to see it. I’ve been wanting to showcase so much on the internet and I’ve just been holding off because I’ve been wanting everyone to kind of wait for the build-up on the 30th to see exactly what I’m going to bring in this ring.”

Peterson, meanwhile, believes his tenacity and a perceived power advantage will give him an edge.

“I know Le’Veon is strong as well, but I will give myself the edge when it comes to being explosive and having the power,” Peterson said. “Obviously, you gotta pick and choose when you deliver that power. I’m still new to this, you know, but like I said earlier, anything I do I’m going all in and I have a great team around me. So , I feel like when it comes to being more explosive, more powerful, I have the edge. I think I might be a little taller, longer arm length as well. I think my No. 1 attribute is my mentality. The toughness and grit about me that has got me through so much even outside of football. I’ll bank on that, for sure.”

The Bell-Peterson showdown will take place on the undercard of Social Gloves 2, a card that continues the trend of boxing events featuring social media personalities, athletes and celebrities. Social Gloves 2, which will be a pay-per-view stream, is set to be headlined by YouTube personalities Austin McGroom and AnEsonGib. It will also feature ex-NBA player Nick Young fighting rapper Blueface, and rapper DGG toeing the line with rapper PnB Rock.

Greats on the gridiron in years past and novices in the boxing ring, Peterson and Bell will collide. What happens after for each of them would seem to be as interesting as what happens in their exhibition bout.

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