KANSAS CITY, Mo. (KSNW) — Former Kansas City Chiefs running back Le’Veon Bell announced on Tuesday he would be forgoing football for the year to focus on a new career in boxing.
The announcement comes after Bell, who bounced around the National Football League (NFL) prior to signing a one-year contract with the Chiefs in 2020 and is currently a free agent, scheduled a boxing match with fellow free-agent running back Adrian Peterson on July 30.
“I’m eager, you know, I’m ready,” Bell said in a news conference on Tuesday. “The 30th can’t get here quicker.”
Later on, in the news conference, Bell said he doesn’t intend for the fight to be a one-off fight but rather “an introduction to everyone on what I’ve been doing.”
“Last year, I almost sat out the whole year, trying to focus on boxing, cause I kind of knew that’s what I wanted to transition to,” Bell said. “This year, I know I’m not going to be playing this year cause I want to focus on boxing.
Bell played in the Chiefs organization for one season, appearing in nine games and rushing for 254 yards. He found the end zone twice in those appearances.
After leaving the Chiefs, Bell played for the Baltimore Ravens and was released before signing with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in the middle of the season.
Bell’s opponent Peterson played college football at Oklahoma before being drafted by the Minnesota Vikings in the first round of the 2007 Draft. He played there for nine seasons before bouncing around the league, making stops in New Orleans, Arizona, Washington, Detroit, Tennessee and Seattle.
Peterson said he wants to continue boxing but doesn’t intend to stop trying to play in the NFL.
After being selected by Pittsburgh in the second round of the 2013 NFL Draft, Bell put up big numbers for the Steelers, rushing for 5,336 yards and 35 touchdowns over five seasons.
He missed the 2018 season due to a contract dispute, then signed deals with the New York Jets, Kansas City Chiefs, Baltimore Ravens, and Tampa Bay Buccaneers over the next three seasons.