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Kimbo Slice + Boxing = Why?

Dave Meltzer wrote the following during his Tuesday update on the Wrestling Observer website:

ESPN Radio in Southern California did two hours on the CBS deal… They also had Gary Shaw and Jim Lampley on. Shaw said MMA and boxing were two different sports and there was room for both of them. Shaw said that Kimbo today is a top ten heavyweight in boxing (amazing being that he’s never had a boxing match) and with 18 months of straight good training, he’d be No. 1.

I’ve spoken out about this before, but when Shaw goes into stereotypical boxing promoter mode he hurts his credibility with MMA fans. I realize a promoter’s job is to promote, but there’s just a certain threshold an MMA promoter shouldn’t cross and Shaw has crossed it again. What may have worked in boxing years ago doesn’t fly with MMA fans. MMA fans are very passionate and protective of their sport. Boxing fans are very protective of their sport (they can trash it but nobody else can), but these days aren’t very passionate.

The first point I’m going to call shenanigans on is the obvious, which Meltzer pointed out, is that it’s tough for a fighter to be top ten in a sport he’s never officially competed in.

But the bigger issue is this; what good is promoting Slice as a boxer? To my knowledge, ProElite doesn’t own any boxing promotions. Slice is by far their biggest cash cow and they need him focused entirely on MMA. When he’s available to fight, he needs to fight for EliteXC and nowhere else — whether it be in MMA, boxing, or YouTube street fighting.

Kimbo has embraced MMA and is fully dedicated to learning all of its intricacies. At age 34, time is not on his side. I’ve heard he’s a quick learner and I feel that if he continues on this path, he could be a legitimate top 10 MMA heavyweight in 2-3 years. In order to stay on that track, the last thing he needs to do is divide his time learning a separate combat sport.

Shaw is still a boxing promoter so I can understand how Kimbo doing some boxing helps him, but I don’t see how it helps ProElite. Floating Kimbo’s name in association with boxing does nothing for Slice’s MMA stock and somehow does even less for EliteXC. I don’t know anyone in the MMA industry that is interested to see what Kimbo can do as a boxer aside from Gary Shaw.

That’s not to say I wouldn’t mind seeing Kimbo take on some boxers (i.e. MIKE TYSON), so long as it is in an MMA-rules bout.

Kimbo has found a home in MMA. Why try and move him out of it?

  • Jiu-Jitsu Guy says:

    Amazing how much respect this guy gets when he hasn’t accomplished anything but a rigged victory (19 sec win looked questionable) and beating up a worn down Tank. Oh sorry, he is on YouTube beating up fat gangsters. I guess I forgot how challenging YouTube backyards fights can be.

    Kimbo needs to be handed to Frank MIr and put in his place, just like Lesnar. I will admit, however, that Kimbo has some skill, but he just hasn’t proven ANYTHING to me.

  • Shaw doesn’t just hurt his credibility with MMA fans with that claim, he’s embarrassing himself in his own world of boxing as well.

  • Evan says:

    As EliteXC grows it will be interesting following fans reactions to this Shaw buffoon. Especially the over sensitive MMA fan who hyperventilates in rage at everything Dana White says.

  • Rob Abreu says:

    I actually listned to that interview and email dave meltzer. If you want to listen to the interview itself check it out here.

    Scroll down a little and the interview is from Friday February 29th hour 2.

  • egad81 says:

    Sam…. I rarely ever disagree with you but on this one I must.
    I came to MMA by way of boxing and still a boxing observer by Gary Shaw is not far off the mark saying Kimbo is a top 10 Heavy in boxing.
    You will agree MMA is much harder then boxing. If you look at the list of top heavy boxers… they are all about the same level as Bo Cantrell.
    Sorry to say but Boxing pays fighters more then MMA does… How many multi million dollar MMA fighters are there?

    Its all about the dollar when the day is done.
    Would you hate on Kimbo more if you took the Boxing Titles and then MMA Belts?

  • Sam Caplan says:

    In order to be in the top ten, you either need to beat some guys already in the top ten or dominate a bunch of guys that are on the cusp of being top ten. How can Kimbo be a top ten boxer if his record is 0-0?

    Maybe Shaw is trying to say Kimbo has the potential to be top ten? If so, maybe that’s true and maybe it’s not. I don’t know, I don’t know about the heavyweight landscape in boxing to say. Regardless, who cares about Kimbo in boxing. This is MMA. Shaw should be talking about Kimbo’s prospects in MMA.

    Hey, if Kimbo makes a personal decision to pursue a boxing career, that’s his right. But why is Shaw encouraging it?

  • Ian says:

    >>Especially the over sensitive MMA fan who hyperventilates in rage at everything Dana White says.

  • Ian says:

    Not sure how I messed that up. Let’s try again.

    “Especially the over sensitive MMA fan who hyperventilates in rage at everything Dana White says.”

    This is funny coming from someone who does the exact same thing anytime someone is even remotely critical of Dana or the UFC.

    In other news, Shaw needs to put down the pipe if he thinks Kimbo can hang with heavyweight competition. What does he have to base this on? A couple of youtube clips of backyard beat-downs and what equates to 2 minutes of MMA action against someone who took a dive and a 42 year old Tank Abbot?

  • Shaw is encouraging it because he’s mostly about the money and despite being so heavily involved in EliteXC’s doings, he’s still promoting boxing matches on a regular basis. Vazquez-Marquez III from his past weekend is an example of the fruits of his labor.

    It doesn’t matter how much we want Shaw to keep the focus on Kimbo strictly to the world of MMA. As long as Shaw is still running his boxing promotional company, I’m sure he’ll attempt to goad Slice into trying his hand inside the ring at least once or twice in between EliteXC fights. Just some more money in his pocket.

  • Evan says:

    “Not sure how I messed that up. Let’s try again.”

    No worries Ian…for some reason my browser randomly refreshes on this site as well. Maybe firefox is tripping out over one of the “plugins”

  • Derek B. says:

    Shaw is just trying to get money. He knows that a boxing match with Kimbo Slice in it will draw not only the boxing crowd but the MMA crowd as well. It sounds like he’s trying to push MMA fighters into boxing as well as trying to get boxers into MMA.

    I feel if they are 2 different sports Shaw needs to focus his time, money, and energy into one or the other.

  • ROBERT says:

    somebody like James Tony or Samuel Peter would kill kimbo in a boxing match.

  • Todd says:

    It just doesn’t sound to me that Shaw had any intention of having Kimbo box.At worst he was guilty of hyperbole.But,if you look at Kimbo’s current skill-set I think he’s closer to a top 10 boxer than a top 10 MMA artist right now.Think about it.Heavyweight is the shallowest division in boxing.Kimbo has quick hands ,good head movement and throws in combination.He hits like a truck,is intimidating as all hell(kinda reminds me of Ike Ibeabuchi).There are also alot more ways to lose an MMA match.I’m not in any way trying to say Kimbo should change sports.Just playing devil’s advocate a little bit.

  • Sam, great write-up. Both boxing and MMA promotions, as well as their fans, can play nice and get along in the sandbox. Boxing ‘is’ a component of MMA that the MMA practitioners embrace. Nothing like a knucklehead promotor (or promotion preseident) to make comments that hurt everyone…geez.

  • egad81 says:

    I would buy a Kimbo boxing PPV… and FYI he would DESTROY Peter and 3 of the top 5 Russians.
    Hell it will prolly be on Showtime…. Kimbo is a media monster and with his MMA training you know his cardo is better then most heavy weight boxers.

    I can tell you I would like to see Kimbo fight Chazz Witherspoon… Chazz is a local boxer ranked 38. LETS DO IT!

  • Tommy says:

    Don’t forget Shaw is also a boxing promoter.

  • TCR says:

    People want to see Kimbo in boxing for the same reason they want to see Anderson silva in boxing. People LIKE MMA fighters to beat the crap out of purist fighters at their own game.

    Just 1 fight, nothing fancy like a career.

  • Sam Caplan says:

    People want to see Anderson Silva box? Since when?

  • Sam Caplan says:

    “Don’t forget Shaw is also a boxing promoter.”

    I believe I mentioned that. But he’s also the president of EliteXC and Slice is signed to a contract with them. ProElite, the parent company of EliteXC, doesn’t own any boxing promotions. So how does Kimbo going into boxing help EliteXC?

  • TCR says:

    Sam: Even Anderson Silva wants to box 🙂

  • Sam Caplan says:

    TCR, do you have a link of him saying that?

  • Jeff says:

    Kimbo a top ten boxer? Who knows, I dont care. Kimbo is unproven? Thats forsure. I want Kimbo to fight someone good. If his next fight is against a no-name cupcake. I wont watch it. Its not fair to him or mma fans to keep feeding him scraps. Test him.

  • I'veActuallyBeenInAMuthafuckinFight says:

    Kimbo would fuck em all up with the quickness. How many of u have actually felt the effects of a blow like that man delivers???? u think that all the “top fighters” can dodge his shit like the Matrix?? thats fuckin absurd. A fighter is a fighter no matter what discipline…..and don’t even get me started on his chin, GOOD GOD! CANT WAIT TO SEE SOME “TOP FIGHTER” AKA GOOD GRAPPLER TRY TO SHOOT IN FOR A TAKEDOWN AND CATCH AN UPPERCUT RIGHT ON THE FUCKIN KISSER!!!!! LOL!!! OR A KNEE….get at me


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