It’s a common thought around the world of sports that athletes from one discipline can play a different game and actually perform well. Many NBA players have stated they could go to the NFL and dominate, while some NFL stars think they can hold their ground against the best basketball players in the world.
The NFL has seen some former players take on different challenges after their careers on the field ended. Greg Hardy is one of the most recent cases, as he went to try to have a career that never took off in the UFC.
Other players have tried boxing, like Chad Ochocinco did a couple of years ago. Sometimes players put on a decent show, and other times, things go completely wrong for them. The most recent case happened to a former defensive tackle, who dared to challenge a Mexican boxer only to find out that was a costly mistake.
Heard Tried His Best
Kellen Heard, a former defensive tackle, was very vocal about his chances to beat “10 Mexican boxers” in the ring, but had to eat his words after fighting an undersized fighter that proved to be a big challenge for the former lineman. Heard played before for the LA Rams, who have a long-lasting feud with the Broncos, which you can learn more here. However, he wasn’t ready for the difference between the field and the ring.
He had to face a 175-pound Mexican boxer, which appeared to be an easy matchup for Heard. In the first moments of the fight, the 38-year-old looked comfortable against his opponent, but things quickly changed in favor of the Mexican fighter.
After landing some good punches, Heard got easily tired and that’s when his opponent saw a chance and took it. Some well-aimed punches made Heard go away from the other fighter, who didn’t stop and kept attacking the former NFL player.
Heard kept receiving punches from the undersized boxer, who never stopped until Heard requested a break, visibly tired and frustrated with the attack of his opponent. Contrary to his initial thoughts, he was proven wrong and couldn’t even take a 175-pound fighter in a practice fight.
Heard, just like other athletes, boasted huge confidence coming into this fight. However, that wasn’t enough to beat his rival despite the size and weight difference. Things started very promising for him, but everything went south as the match progressed, resulting in a quick ending.
Mexican boxers have a rich history and disrespecting them was costly for Heard. With big champions in history like Julio Cesar Chavez and one of the best fighters of the last decade, Saul Alvarez, it’s clear that Mexican fighters are not to mess with.
It’s All About Adrenaline
As Ochocinco mentioned after his exhibition match in 2021, boxing is anything but easy, and the feelings can be similar to those before a football match.
“[The feeling is] similar to that of a football game,” said Johnson.
“Yes, I’m scared. I [was] scared before every football game. Any competitive event before you go into it, there’s a sense of nervousness and fear, it’s supposed to be,” he added..
“[I’m] not literally scared to the point where, ‘I don’t want to do this,’ but yes, scared, of course. There’s just nervousness, butterflies — it just comes with anything that you do competitive-wise.
“I’m outside of my element. It’s something new for me, something I’ve never done before to this magnitude. Obviously I’ve been in the ring [before], I’ve sparred for years, but now, it’s the real deal. People are watching.”
Heard was born in 1975 in Wharton, Texas, United States. After starting his path at East Bernard High School, he continued playing in the University of Memphis. Even though he posted interesting performances in college, Heard went undrafted in the NFL Draft.
He started his professional career with the Oakland Raiders in 2010, signing with them as an undrafted free agent. He would spend three more years in the league, bouncing around practice squads until his final waiver.
After ending his tenure with the Raiders, the Buffalo Bills signed him in the same year. In 2012, the St. Louis Rams claimed him off waivers in September. Two months later, he was released by the team.
Heard ended up signing with the Colts a couple of weeks after being released. Indianapolis released him in August 2013, which meant the end of his NFL career.
After impressing in high school, his college career wasn’t as good as expected. He couldn’t recover his level in the NFL as he never stood out to remain in the league for an extended time. Heard recorded 27 tackles and two sacks during his time in the league before ending his career in 2013.
What he’s up to at this moment is unknown, but it’s clear that he’s not thinking of fighting another boxer, let alone a Mexican one. His tenure in the ring ended quickly and it doesn’t seem like he’s resuming it anytime soon.
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