Two very well-known NFL running backs, one of them a former New Orleans Saint have agreed to face off against each other in a sport that is not football. According to a story reported by ESPN, former New Orleans Saint, Adrian Peterson will take on former Pittsburgh Steeler Le'Veon Bell in an exhibition match on July 30th in Los Angeles.

Attentie-Attentie via
Attentie-Attentie via

At first blush, this might seem to be an oddity of sports but actually, there is a long and storied, okay maybe not storied, history of former footballers taking off their helmets and lacing up the gloves to take part in the "sweet science".

For me, my first introduction to NFL stars climbing into the boxing ring happened in the late 70s when Ed "Too Tall" Jones decided to leave the Dallas Cowboys for the chance to demonstrate his pugilistic skills. The attempt at pro boxing didn't pan out for Jones who returned to Dallas after taking just one year off to explore boxing.

You might also remember an "exhibition" if you want to call it that between Alonzo Highsmith and Mark Gastineau. If you don't remember, just try and look away from this video.


Are you digging all that mid-90s style and splendor? I thought so.

So the fact that NFL players like to fight is not anything new. The reported bout between Peterson and Bell is set for July 30th at Arena in Los Angeles. The exhibition bout between the two former all-pros will be on the undercard of Social Gloves 2. 

The event is being promoted by an influencer on YouTube, Austin McBroom. He, McBroom, according to ESPN, will take on another YouTube influencer AnEsonGib. That's going to be your main event, by the way.

The card also includes a bout between former NBA player Nick Young and Rapper Blueface. You know, depending on how the bout goes he might have to change his name to black and blue face, that is assuming Young can use his reported reach advantage to get in more jabs and punches.

Hannah Folsien/Getty Images
Hannah Folsien/Getty Images

Both Adrian Peterson and Le'Veon Bell are NFL free agents. I am sure this boxing match is going to make NFL front office personnel want to rush to sign them both, NOT. Instead, it appears, to me anyway, that this is a case of two former pro athletes who are facing their own mortality in the world of sports.

I can't blame them for wanting to go out with a bang. But if this NFL boxing match is like a lot of the others that have been put together, I am guessing that "bang" will be more of a whimper. It's sad when athletes get old. It's even sadder when they just won't accept it. Does anyone, in particular, come to your mind?

brett favre
Leon Halip/Getty Images

Since the match is still in the "reported" stage Las Vegas has not issued a betting line and because this is an exhibition between two untried and untested opponents Vegas just might stay away totally. This will be the first attempt at boxing for both men.

I just hope nobody gets hurt and everybody gets to walk away with at least a little dignity. By the way, Bell is still hoping to connect with an NFL franchise for the upcoming season. Peterson says he plans to eventually retire from the league as a member of the Minnesota Vikings.

But no matter the outcome of this match neither guy will be as legendary as Charlie Powell. You don't know Charlie Powell? He played in the NFL and minor league baseball and boxed all at the same time. And he fought real boxers, guys like Floyd Patterson and Muhammad Ali. He didn't win but at least he didn't face Mark Gastineau.

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