Estranged adoptive brothers Ken Shamrock and Frank Shamrock have both signed contracts in principle to fight each other in 2009, according to a new article by Michael Woods of ESPN.com.
The two have expressed a public interest in fighting each other for the past several years and plans appeared to be in motion earlier this year to stage a fight between the two sometime in 2008. However, the proposed bout was put on the back burner following Ken’s first round knockout loss to journeyman heavyweight Robert “Buzz” Berry during a ProElite-promoted Cage Rage event in London this past March. Shamrock was released from his ProElite contract following the loss.
A further shadow of doubt regarding the bout was cast after Frank suffered a broken arm in a TKO (medical stoppage) loss to Cung Le during a co-promotion between EliteXC and Strikeforce later the same month.
Whether the bout comes off is far from certain, as Frank Shamrock went so far as to launch a “Blood Brothers” website earlier this year with a countdown to a pay-per-view event that was never formally set. However, the younger Shamrock is quoted as telling ESPN.com that both have agreed to move forward with the fight.
“We’ve both signed a contract to fight each other,” Shamrock, 35, is quoted as telling ESPN.com. “Ken is down with it. We talked about it two years ago, and we’ve agreed materially to fight.”
Older brother Ken, who is 44, doesn’t often agree with his brother but apparently is on the same page publicly for once.
“Will the fight happen? Absolutely,” the older Shamrock told ESPN.com. “He’s got a buttkicking coming to him. Everything I’ve learned, everything I have bottled up in me, is going to come out on him. I’ve still got love for Frank, but I’m angry at him.”
As of now, the report should be taken with a grain of salt until a promotion attaches its name to the bout. Both Shamrocks are highly-skilled in the art of self-promotion and this latest news could be nothing more than a case of the cart being put before the horse.
However, it does appear that officials with ProElite and EliteXC could have potential interest in the bout.
“They’re talking about doing it and we’re interested in the fight,” EliteXC Head of Fight Operations Jeremy Lappen is quoted in the article. “It’s a storyline everyone can relate to, Cain versus Abel.”
If ProElite moves ahead as the promoter of record in regards to the bout, the event will likely have to be distributed on pay-per-view as opposed to CBS or SHOWTIME. After Ken Shamrock was medically disqualified the day of a planned main event last weekend vs. Kimbo Slice on CBS’ Saturday Night Fights, Lappen refused to rule out working with the older Shamrock again. However, a source close to CBS speaking on the condition of anonymity informed FiveOuncesOfPain.com that the network had no interest in ever promoting a bout involving Ken Shamrock again.
Trying to sell a Shamrock vs. Shamrock feud without a marketing partner such as SHOWTIME and CBS could be difficult. While Lappen has been quoted in recent months as saying that EliteXC plans to hold several PPV events next year, it remains to be seen whether it could properly promote such a bout to the general public in its weakened financial condition.
It also remains to be seen just how accepting the public will be of seeing two brothers resort to violence in order to settle a grudge that has lasted for years. Both Ken and Frank are the adoptive sons of Bob Shamrock, founder of the Shamrock Home for Boys, a safe haven for troubled teenagers. They weren’t introduced to each other until Frank’s late teens and according to both brothers, neither ever shared a particularly close relationship. However, it was Ken who helped bring Frank into the sport and served as his primary mentor until the two parted ways in the mid-90s. According to Frank Shamrock, the two severed ties over philosophical differences regarding the direction of Frank’s fight career while Ken Shamrock has attributed their issues to Ken’s perception that Frank disrespected their adoptive father on multiple occasions.