Debuting as a pro at age 36 in the boxing ring would be most difficult for even the most stellar athlete in the world. But any red-blooded male who has frittered away some time on the internet knows that Kimbo Slice has a pretty darn good idea how to fight.
Slices backyard brawls have done bangup business on YouTube since 2003, and he leveraged that into a stint in the MMA world. For the last three years, Slice fought in a cage, with decent success. He went 4-2, 1-1 in exhibitions, but parted ways with the UFC after a loss in May. On Thursday night, he told TSS that hed be making the leap from the cage to the boxing ring, and would debut as a heavyweight before the end of the year.
I do not expect boxing to be easier than MMA, he told TSS. I love fighting. And I realize I have to run before I walk.
Slice is being promoted by Gary Shaw, the New Jersey dealmaker who had a run in MMA, as head of Elite XC, which spotlighted Kimbo. His son Jared told him about the heavyweight champion of YouTube a few years back, and Shaw had immediate dreams of selling out arenas in Japan, in Europe and the US because he saw a combination of ferocity and charisma.
Kimbo is a star, Shaw told TSS. Ive walked down the street with him, and he draws a crowd. I have champions, guys 25-0, who nobody knows. But I think he can be a real star. I believe he can help the heavyweight division. God knows, if any division needs help, its the heavyweight division.
Neither Slice nor Shaw, refreshingly, are presenting this as a done deal, insuring that Slice can come to the sweet science and topple a Klitschko today, or maybe ever. Shaw knows that he is 36, and maybe the window of opportunity is too tight to slither through. Slice, too, held back from making any bold pronouncements of toppling beltholders. Guys like the Klitschkos, they can keep their belts, he said. I want to hurt you. Im coming to bang. (Off topic, did the producers of the A-Team movie drop the ball when they picked Rampage Jackson to play BA Baracus over Slice?)
Shaw said Slice will start an immersion in the techniques of boxing Monday, and that he will work with Alfredo Angulos trainer, Clemente Medina. He has already been doing strength and conditioning work with Darryl Hudson, and Shaw says he thinks Slice will be in far better shape than he was in the UFC. Slice agreed (I had a good team in MMA, but this take things to another level), saying that he was more top heavy before, and that his cardio, and his balky knees, are tip top.
The date of Slices debut will depend on his progress. It could come in early October, or December.
Ill be training for twelve rounds, he said, but Ill be looking to try and knock people out. Im not gonna be coming to play pattycakes. Im gonna knock the bakers man the f--- out.
Check out more choice Kimbo quotes here: sports.espn.go.com/new-york/news/story
Who will win #HOPKINSKOVALEV