For a while, the person who trained Le’Veon Bell for the exhibition boxing match seemed to be playing an elaborate joke on him. Then Adrian Peterson went straight to the hard right.
The running-back former Pittsburgh Steelers were victorious in an infrequent Social Gloves showdown against a friend who returned to the NFL on Saturday despite an embarrassing first-four-round show of form. Each boxer only landed a handful of blows—and very few, if any, major hits—announcers sullenly trying to justify what audiences were paying.
Bell, in particular, seemed to be fighting somewhere on Nate Robinson’s level, almost bowing at the waist every time he tried to throw a punch, and was knocked down by a single punch in the second round.
But, of course, boxing matches can be decided in one punch, whether it’s from Deontay Wilder or a former Pro Bowler trying to change sports. In the fifth round, Bell caught Peterson with one of the hardest hits of the night and stunned the former MVP to continue.
This wasn’t the craziest ending of the night, however, as former NBA guard Nick “Swaggy P” Young saw his boxing debut come to an end when rapper BlueFace flew through the ropes after contacting TikTok influencer Minikon, a last-minute replacement.
The match was dubbed as Young laying on the mat in clear pain.
Fortunately for Peterson and Young, there weren’t many people to witness his downfall. According to a report from DexertoOnly 200 tickets were sold at the Social Gloves event, held at the 22,000-seat Banc of California Stadium in Los Angeles, and organizers eventually resorted to handing out 1,000 tickets.
Even in this attempt to increase participation, there were enough empty seats in sight. Oakland Athletics blush. The gap was almost always visible during the broadcast, but emerged via the dismal social media video.
No matter how he gets there, Bell can at least call himself a winner. That’s good, because the former All-Pro apparently wants to make a career out of it.
Bell said he was staying away from football to focus on boxing before the game, and reiterated it after Saturday’s win. When asked if he wanted to go pro or stick with the celebrity boxing circuit, he replied “hell yes”.
“I want to see how far I can go. I want to test my limits,” Bell said after the match. “I’ll keep going, I’ll see what happens next. I’m going to enjoy tonight, don’t get me wrong. I’ve worked hard for too long. I’ll enjoy tonight, then I’ll take care of everything. Later.”