In the latest chapter to “celebrity boxing”, former NFL star running back Le’Veon Bell faces ex-UFC fighter, Uriah Hall. Though retired, Bell and Hall are not washed up and can still put on a show. However, Bell finds himself facing steep boxing betting odds as he looks to outdo Hall at his own game.
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Bell vs Hall: The Latest Edition of the Circus
Bell and Hall will fight on October 29 as part of the undercard of Jake Paul vs Anderson Silva. The bout was announced to be a four-round professional contest. They will wear 10-ounce gloves and fight at 195 pounds.
Most Valuable Promotions co-founder Nakisa Bidarian said of the fight: “I’m just as excited to watch Hall versus Bell as I am for Paul versus Silva. You have a legitimate top-10 MMA striker versus a world-class athlete who has proven he has true boxing skills and knockout power.”
A four-time All-Pro in his best days in the NFL, Bell last played for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers during the 2021 season. He was cut from the team in January 2022. Prior to signing with Tampa Bay, Bell had already expressed interest in pursuing boxing as a career. Seven months later, he faced and defeated fellow running back Adrian Peterson.
LE’VEON BELL JUST KO’D ADRIAN PETERSON AND MADE HIS KNEES BUCKLE
— Barstool Sports (@barstoolsports) September 11, 2022
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Bell was the betting favorite on the online sportsbook as he was younger and had been training in boxing longer than Peterson. Now, Bell faces a significant step up in competition against a former UFC fighter who was ranked in the top 10.
Hall retired from MMA following his defeat against Andre Muniz. The 38-year-old holds notable victories over two former UFC champions Silva and Chris Weidman. As a striker, Hall gained notoriety with a viral knockout on The Ultimate Fighter. Eight of his 10 wins in the UFC came via knockout and he holds a career knockout-to-win ratio of 76.4%.
Simply put: Hall is a knockout artist and one that can still “bang” as he starched Silva just two years ago.
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Does Bell Have A Shot?
A bet online on Bell will pay $330 for every $100 bet (+330). This means Bell has roughly a 21.9% chance of defeating Hall. Optimistically, this is a bit low and Bell may be underestimated here. Yes, as far as combat sports experience, Bell is disadvantaged. Knocking out a fellow NFL player is one thing. But beating a trained fighter with a second-degree black belt in Karate and 17 years of pro experience?
This is boxing odds though. Hall won’t be able to throw his signature kicks, which is a big part of his arsenal. And as a fighter, Hall has a tendency to overthink. In his UFC career, Hall averaged 3.23 significant strikes landed per minute. That is not that much considering he spent most of his fights standing.
We’ve seen how Tyron Woodley, a former UFC champion, threw too few strikes against Jake Paul in their first bout. Even when Woodley had Paul on the ropes, literally, he seemed to take his foot off the pedal. It’s possible for Hall, who has often been criticized for lacking “killer instinct”, to not throw enough punches at Bell.
As for Bell, the chippy 30-year-old could box like he has nothing to lose. Beating or knocking out a former UFC fighter would elevate his stock and open bigger bouts for him. However, he cannot get too aggressive as Hall is a counter-puncher. One mistake and Hall could make Bell eat canvas.
Either way, there are only four rounds to this match. Bell may not beat Hall. But if he can survive to the final bell, that may still be a feather in his cap.