Last week, Gary Shaw hinted that he was close to signing a deal with Kimbo Slice that would put the former backyard brawler/EliteXC headliner into a boxing ring. I suppose this report from ESPN makes it official.
At Gleason’s Gym in Brooklyn, New Jersey-based promoter Gary Shaw recently told ESPNNewYork.com that he was confident he would soon have a deal signed with Slice. After weeks of negotiations with Slice’s advisor “Icy” Mike Imber, Shaw told ESPN that he’d inked a deal and that Slice would debut sometime between October and December, depending on how much progress he makes with trainer Clemente Medina, a California-based tutor.
And what sort of aspirations does Shaw have for Kimbo you might ask? With the proper training, Shaw says Kimbo could be competing for a heavyweight title in as little as 5-6 fights.
“He could easily be at the same level as guys the Klitschkos have been fighting,” said Shaw, who gave a shout-out to son Jared, who turned him on to the much-downloaded backyard brawler several years ago. “Maybe I’m wrong, maybe he’s coming to boxing too late, but I don’t think so. He’s not a beaten-up athlete. He’s a natural, with that bob and weave like Mike Tyson.”
“I’ve always said he could be a world champion,” said Shaw, who was an executive at Elite XC, the promotional outlet which staged Slice’s first four MMA bouts. “I believe in that more than ever. This is not the era of Tyson, Holyfield and Lennox Lewis.”
Despite the switch to the sweet science, Kimbo says he hasn’t closed the door on MMA. He just felt it was time for a “career move,” and even though he “feels like a baby all over again,” he’s eager to get in the ring and “break some ribs” and “knock people the f— out.”
But if Kimbo couldn’t do that in MMA with 4oz. gloves, how is he going to do it in boxing?
Update: Roy Jones Jr. gives his stamp of approval and wouldn’t mind getting in the ring with Kimbo when he’s ready.
I think it’s a beautiful thing for him to try the sweet science. I’d have to see what he’s weighing if he wants me to come in there and give him a try at it, but if he want it that bad, I might give it to Kimbo. It’s a great opportunity for him. It’s a great fight for Florida. Boxing needs all it can get right now, so if the fans get interested in wanting to see that, we can do that… Kimbo’s got a lot of heart, he’s got a lot talent, and it took a lot for him to get where he got in MMA. I think his main skill is boxing anyway. I think he’ll be fine with it… He has a fighting background, so he’s been fighting a long time now, so it won’t take him long (to get up to speed). He just needs a quick 2 or 3, maybe 4 fights, and we’ll be ready to throw… You can’t take nothing away from Kimbo. Like you said in the beginning, when you first saw Kimbo, he started showing very good boxing promise. He showed a lot of boxing promise when you first saw him on YouTube. You know, you can’t really just put it on the heavyweight division. Even if the heavyweight division was good right now, he’d still be the guy, because look at what Mike Tyson did. He’s a guy that’s capable of doing that. I mean, Mike Tyson was a powerful puncher, just like Kimbo is.