GLENDALE, Arizona – Le’Veon Bell’s second attempt at boxing wasn’t nearly as successful as the former Pittsburgh Steelers star’s first appearance in the game seven weeks ago.
Retired UFC fighter Uriah Hall applied pressure at the bell throughout their four-round cruiserweight bout Saturday night at Desert Diamond Arena. Hall and Bell both boxed professionally on the Jake Paul-Anderson Silva undercard, but Hall’s fighting skills were evident in their debut.
The 38-year-old Hall won by one point, 40-36, on the cards of judges Eric Curcio, Dennis O’Connell and Chris Wilson. New York’s Hall expressed respect for Bell’s strength and willingness to try boxing, but reiterated his desire to “expose” Paul if Paul beats Silva in the main event of Showtime’s five-fight pay-per-view show.
Bell, 30, sacked Adrian Peterson, the fifth player in NFL history, with a right hand in the fifth round of their Sept. 10 showdown at California Banc Stadium in Los Angeles. Unlike Hall, Peterson has no experience in combat sports and appeared apprehensive about exchanging blows with Bell in the fourth round before the stoppage.
On Saturday night, two big rights by Hall landed with about 1:20 to go in the fourth round. Bell started to win after that, but he tried to fight until the end of this last round.
Bell connected with a right hand that put Hall back with less than 40 seconds on the clock in the third round. Before that point, the third round appeared much like the first two – with Hall pressing the bell for the retreat, which would not go down.
Hall beat Bell and threw jabs in the second round, when Bell bounced back and drew boos from the crowd. Back-to-back right hands by Hall backed Bell into the ropes with about 35 seconds to go in the second round.
Hall pressed Bell as soon as their fight began. Bell tried to size up his taller opponent and stood on his back foot for the first three minutes of their fight.
Keith Idec is a senior writer/writer for BoxingScene.com. He can be found on Twitter @Idecboxing.