UFC 118 has been a buzz due to James Toney's jump to Mixed Martial Arts, and now, there's another popular fighter who's crossing over. Kimbo Slice (4-2), is officially leaving MMA for boxing and could make his debut late this year. The UFC veteran and former YouTube star talked to ESPN about it:
"I feel like a baby all over again. I'm thinking about this at night. I'm gonna be a problem in the heavyweight division. I'm going to be coming in with a bad demeanor. I want to see what it's like to break some ribs, break a jaw with one punch."
"This is a career move. I love fighting. I like to knock people the [expletive] out. I love engaging. Maybe some people think I'm crazy."
Gary Shaw, former EliteXC
scumbag promoter, talked highly about Kimbo's chances:
"He could easily be at the same level as guys the Klitschkos have been fighting. 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. I believe in that more than ever. This is not the era of Tyson, Holyfield and Lennox Lewis."
Roy Jones (54-7 Boxing), who has long campaigned for a boxing match against UFC champ Anderson Silva, had good things to say about Kimbo. He went on to say that he's willing to take on the UFC veteran:
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.
Jones, who has a total of over 60 boxing matches, says that a guy like Kimbo would only need around 2-4 fights before facing someone of his caliber:
I don't know, with Kimbo, probably about 3 or 4. Because, you know, he's been in the ring a lot before, so it ain't going to take him as long it would take a normal guy. He has a fighting background, so he's been fighting a long time now, so it won't take him long. He just needs a quick 2 or 3, maybe 4 fights, and we'll be ready to throw.
And I think he's better suited for boxing too. That's why I said it would only take him 3 or 4 fights if he really loved boxing, because I saw from the very beginning that he was better suited for the sport of boxing.
You can't take nothing away from Kimbo... 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.
Roy Jones is 41 years old. He has clearly lost a step or two, and it was pretty obvious even before he lost his last two bouts. If matched up against Kimbo, he will be 5 years older, and severely outweighed. That being said, Slice doesn't have the skills to hang with most of the UFC caliber opponents, and there is even less reason to believe that he can do it against professional boxers, let alone a guy like Roy Jones.
Shaw says he has the "bob and weave" of a Mike Tyson, and Jones says he has his power. That's bordering on blasphemy.
Boxing's heavyweight division may be paper thin, but I'd be absolutely surprised if Kimbo Slice would be able to tear through it. I'd still watch though, and I bet a bunch of other dudes would do so as well. That's what they're trying to achieve here anyway, so I guess it could be a success, sort of.
After the jump, a bonus quote on what Jones thinks about Randy Couture vs. James Toney.
Roy Jones says that UFC 118 bout between Couture and Toney is good for both MMA and Boxing:
Well, I think it's a wonderful fight. I think it's a great thing for MMA and for boxing because it gives us a chance to cross over again and meet in the middle and I can't wait... I gotta go with my boy James.