You can take combat sports out of the carnival, but you can’t take the carnival out of combat sports.
No word as to whether funnel cake will be on offer, but this Friday night in West Virginia one of the combat sports world’s most unusual contestants will return. No, I’m not talking about Danny Bonaduce and his claim to fame as the toughest kid to come out of 70s family TV. And I don’t think we’ll see Vanilla Ice back in the ring anytime soon. But former Oakland Athletics legend and home run king Jose Canseco is stepping back into the boxing ring for his latest challenge.
Canseco first established his celebrity fighting bonafides back in 2008, with an amateur boxing match against former NFL running back and broadcasting commentator Vai Sikahema (a bout Sikahema won). But, the ‘Natural’ truly made his claim to fisticuffs fame a year later when he took the first, and only, pro MMA bout of his sports career. Canseco fought 7’ 2” giant Hong Man Choi at Dream 9, losing in just 1:17 seconds, via TKO, in one of MMA’s most comical David/Goliath pairings. All told Canseco stepped into the ring five times between celebrity boxing matches and mixed martial arts. The last of those being against noted vintner Tareq Salahi in 2011.
It’s never too late for a comeback, though, and at the well preserved age of 56-years-old Canseco is now set to take on Barstool’s Pardon My Take podcast intern ‘Billy Football’ in the main event of the media company’s Rough n’ Rowdy 13 amateur boxing event this Friday night on PPV. The boxing match is apparently the result of a longstanding beef between one of the podcast hosts, Dan Katz, and Canseco—after the podcaster claimed he’d fight Canseco on behalf of fellow disgraced MLB star Alex Rodriguez back in 2018.
A self admitted “coward,” however, Katz has found a champion to fight in his stead. One of the show’s interns, who spoke to TMZ recently about the whole event.
“They should take me seriously, because I’m an athlete first and foremost,” Mr. Football explained to the tabloid outlet. “I went into this extremely serious. Fight camp was rigorous to the degree that, you know, the type of training I’ve never even accomplished before. But, with this, it’s all gonna be—why you should take me seriously? It’s because I’m a competitor. I love to compete. And, to be honest, they’ve only seen the fun side of me on Pardon My Take, where I’m hanging out with my friends and guests, and shooting the shit. But, I have a very, very competitive side to me that’s going to come out Friday night.
“I think I’m going to shock Jose. I think Jose has misjudged me. And a lot of people would. They don’t actually know who I am and what I can, sort of, accomplish. So, it’s going to be very fun to shock the world. You know, show everyone that, ‘Oh hey, this guy’s for real! This isn’t just some shitshow that got thrown together.”
The 22-year-old went on to explain that his actual boxing training was “very little” because he was only given a month to prepare for the bout. But, he does feel like he’s used the time well to get into good condition and get used to being in the ring.
“I feel extremely confident about this fight,” Mr. Football explained. “I’m not concerned at all about the weight difference. Something I’ve learned in boxing is just, having big muscles and having a lot of mass on you, and having strength does not help you at all in the ring. Punch power does not translate; your bench press does not translate to punch power. I’m ready to go in here. I think I’m going to shock the world. I’m excited.”
Canseco is expected to enter the ring somewhere around 270 lbs, while his opponent will weigh in closer to 225. The PPV will cost $19.99 and is available at roughnrowdybrawl.com.