Le’Veon Bell has suggested he will no longer play in the NFL. The three-time Pro-Bowl running back said that he wants to focus on boxing and that he will have his first fight on July 30. He will lock horns with Adrian Peterson, an NFL running back himself. Both Le’Veon Bell and Adrian Peterson are free agents.
Not a One-Off
In a press conference promoting the fight, Bell said that he always knew that he wanted to transition to boxing and that he almost sat out the entire season last year to put all his energy into making that transition happen. He then announced that he knew he won’t be playing next season and that the change of sport was permanent and not a “one-off.”
The 30-year-old also talked about the upcoming fight and added that people would be able to see the type of fighter he was and that more fights will follow.
“This is, I guess like my introduction to kind of show what I’ll be doing and how I’ll be going about myself. Just an intro.”Le’Veon Bell
Adrian Peterson is Serious about Boxing Too
His opponent, Adrian Peterson, joined the press conference via a video link. He said that he was serious about boxing too, but didn’t rule out a return to the NFL.
Peterson, a former NFL MVP, claimed that boxing was something he would definitely explore going forward. However, he first wanted to see how things played out for him in his first fight. Peterson is also a seven-time Pro Bowler and is fifth on the all-time rushing list having clocked 14,918 yards.
The 37-year-old said that boxing has always been part of his training routine and that they had a ring back at the gym in Houston. He added that a lot of the guys in the gym were “sparring all the time” and that he had the chance to get close to the action and even go up against some of them a couple of times.
Peterson was optimistic about his future in boxing and said that even after the Le’Veon Bell fight, he would continue with the same training routine. If another opportunity for a fight presented itself, he would take it.
Bell’s Rise and Fall
As for Bell, he has been in the NFL for eight years. He played for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers last season and was part of the rosters of the New York Jets and Pittsburgh Steelers before that.
His best season was in 2017 when he rushed for 1,291 yards and notched nine touchdowns for the Steelers. After that Pro Bowl season, he had a contract dispute with the Pittsburgh-based franchise, and things started going downhill for him. In 2019, he joined the New York Jets as a free agent and became the second-highest-paid running back in the league. However, he was released by the Jets only a year and a half later.