Running back Frank Gore, who’s rushed for 16,000 yards throughout 16 seasons in the NFL, believes he still has some tread left on his tires to make a run for a new sport.
The 38-year-old future Hall of Fame running back is currently a football free agent and is open to playing the only sport he’s ever known as a pro.
If his NFL career comes to a close, however, the 5 foot 9 inch, 212-pound Gore wants to cross over to combat sports.
"I've been training for both -- football and boxing," Gore told NFL.com. "I've always loved boxing, so that's what I've been doing. And we're trying to make a fight happen. If we do that, you'll see me in the ring."
Citing a source, NFL Media’s Ian Rapoport reported a high-profile fight is in the works for Gore.
Gore has signed a pact with noted MMA agent Malki Kawa and for the last five weeks has been in “full tilt” boxing training.
Gore has long used boxing as a form of conditioning. During his days playing for the San Francisco 49ers, Gore partook in boxing training at the Undisputed Boxing Gym in Redwood City, Calif., once training grounds for the likes of Nonito Donaire and Marlen Esparza.
"I just fell in love with how hard [boxing] is," Gore said. "I felt like, 'Man, I couldn't fight.' And I always like a challenge. So I kept doing it and doing it and I saw myself getting better and better."
The five-time Pro Bowl halfback Gore played 15 games for the New York Jets last season and racked up 653 yards rushing. He maintained that he’s still at his physical peak.
"You'll see when I get in the ring," Gore said.
Gore has 81 rushing touchdowns and 18 receiving TDs playing for the 49ers, Colts, Dolphins, Bills, and Jets throughout his career.
The former Miami Hurricane was named to the NFL All-decade team for the 2010s. He ranks third on the NFL’s all-time rushing list, trailing only Emmitt Smith and Walter Payton.
Gore would join wide receiver Chad Johnson as the latest football player who is trying his hand at boxing.
Johnson fought in an exhibition on the Floyd Mayweather versus Logan Paul card on June 6.
Manouk Akopyan is a sports journalist, writer and broadcast reporter. He’s also a member of the Boxing Writers Association of America and MMA Journalists Association. He can be reached on Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn and YouTube at @ManoukAkopyan, via email at manouk[dot]akopyan[at]gmail.com or on www.ManoukAkopyan.com