Le'Veon Bell suffered a unanimous decision loss to former UFC fighter Uriah Hall on Saturday in Glendale, Arizona.
Hall took the clean sweep, winning 40-36 on all three judges' scorecards.
Both fighters were on the receiving end of boos from the crowd in the early going. The two debutants set a slow pace mostly punctuated by jabs from Bell.
However, when Hall let his hands go, he was able to do damage:
SHOWTIME Boxing @ShowtimeBoxing
.<a href="https://twitter.com/UriahHallMMA?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@UriahHallMMA</a> hit Bell with the combo 👀<a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/HallBell?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#HallBell</a> | Order <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/PaulSilva?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#PaulSilva</a> now: <a href="https://t.co/hm8UTDacri">https://t.co/hm8UTDacri</a> <a href="https://t.co/phWYXFztLZ">pic.twitter.com/phWYXFztLZ</a>
Bell's best moment came in the third round when he was able to land a flush right hand:
SHOWTIME Boxing @ShowtimeBoxing
.<a href="https://twitter.com/LeVeonBell?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@LeVeonBell</a> stuns Uriah Hall In Round 3 😮<br><br>Order <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/PaulSilva?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#PaulSilva</a> now: <a href="https://t.co/hm8UTCSB2I">https://t.co/hm8UTCSB2I</a> <a href="https://t.co/ByU6Rw9UGo">pic.twitter.com/ByU6Rw9UGo</a>
However, that moment was short-lived as Bell struggled to mount much offense after that moment. Hall didn't necessarily impress either but was effective enough to get his hand raised.
Luke Thomas @lthomasnews
Hall just walking Bell down. He’s giving Bell free offense, but Hall doing a lot of head hunting that’s landing. He should be winning this fight, but the offense isn’t as varied as you might otherwise imagine.<br><br>Also, Bell looks really tired and now Hall starting to land heavy.
The bout, which took place on the Jake Paul vs. Anderson Silva undercard, marked Bell's first foray into professional boxing. He showed some promise in a fifth-round knockout win over fellow NFL alumnus Adrian Peterson in September.
The three-time Pro Bowler remains an NFL free agent after playing with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Baltimore Ravens in 2021, but he hasn't sounded like a player who is interested in getting back on the gridiron.
"I'm done with the football thing because I can't really go back and forth with boxing to football," Bell told Damon Martin of MMA Fighting before the fight. "It's so hard to box and still try to do football. Boxing is one of those things you've got to be all the way in on. That's something that I've been trying to do. It's boxing for me."
Now the question will be whether the 30-year-old continues to pursue the sweet science after tasting defeat.
As for Hall, it's likely that he's found a way to expand his combat sports career. He fought his way to a 17-11 record in the cage before retiring and pursuing boxing.
With the win over Bell, Hall has his sights set on another fight with headliner Jake Paul, provided he gets by Silva.
"Jake Paul, definitely. That was the motivation that really got me into this," he told Brian and Luke Campbell of the Morning Kombat podcast (h/t Keith Idec of Boxing Scene). "I said, 'If there's a potential chance to fight this dude, I'll do it so I can expose him.' That's it."
Hall fits the profile of a Paul opponent. The YouTuber's last four boxing bouts have come against former UFC fighters, and the formula seems to be working for him.
With Hall notching a victory over a celebrity athlete, the stage could be set for another Jake Paul vs. MMA fighter showdown.