I have nothing against Kimbo Slice. Honestly, I'm a Kimbo fan. I root for the guy to do well in MMA because he's a funny dude, a charismatic, TV-ready star, and he's really genuine.
But after he got stopped in two rounds by Roy Nelson on The Ultimate Fighter last night, his chances of having a legitimate future as any sort of viable fighter are slim. Not that Nelson isn't a good fighter; he is. The "chance" Kimbo had to beat him was only a UFC marketing creation. Kimbo never really had a shot. Let's not forget that this is the guy that was decked by a jab from Seth Petruzelli, a largely unheralded 205-pound fighter.
But Ben Grossman of Broadcasting & Cable believes Kimbo is just what boxing's heavyweight division needs. Needless to say, I absolutely, 100% disagree and think this is really kind of dumb, but here's what he had to say:
Now let’s talk about the heavyweight division in boxing. It’s a disaster. ... Basically, the heavyweight division stinks because there are two brothers who in essence share the heavyweight championship, and they have vowed never to fight each other. The problem is that there is no one – and I mean no one – within sight of the Klitschkos from a talent perspective. Every couple months, one of them goes out – usually in a packed arena in Germany – and disposed of some falsely built-up contender with a very methodical approach that rarely fails – and worse yet – only moderately entertains.
Now I am not saying throw Slice in there against a Klitschko tomorrow, I’m talking about some fights to get his feet wet and build some interest. The tune-in would be great from the outset to see if one of the best-known brawlers is better suited for the ring than the octagon. Plus his personality could absolutely carry an installment of HBO’s award-winning 24/7 reality series leading up to a fight.
But no matter who he fought, Slice would do something to heavyweight boxing that no one has been able to do in too long – get people to remotely care.
It's a wonderful thought, isn't it? This thought that Kimbo Slice could do anything in heavyweight boxing. Let's be very honest: Slice is too old and too green to become a top professional athlete in any sport. His "sledgehammer hands" have proven out against guys in parking lots and backyards, and against an ancient, indifferent Tank Abbott, but I didn't see him knocking James Thompson around the ring, plus he looked ridiculous against Petruzelli and struggled to do anything with Roy Nelson.
The fact that people don't care about the heavyweights in boxing is only a mild issue. It's not the biggest deal in the world. It really isn't. I know it used to be the glory division and people still pine for those days, but the tough luck and truth is that those days are over, and nobody is going to single-handedly "save" the division, either.
Slice "getting his feet wet and building interest" in boxing would probably go about how well his sanctioned MMA career has gone. Eventually, some journeyman would knock him out. It would happen. It's not that it might happen, it's that it would happen. If Kimbo Slice had gone into boxing twenty years ago, he might have really been quite good. He's got the dedication and the natural athletic ability to have done very well, but he's going to be 36 in February.
And a "24/7" for a Kimbo Slice tune-up fight? Not a chance.
How many boxing matches have the Klitschkos had in their lives? They were both acclaimed amateur fighters, with Wladimir winning the gold in the 1996 Olympics at super heavyweight, and they've had tons of pro fights, too. They're both currently as close to untouchable as it really gets. Slice having a few tune-up fights at 36 years old isn't going to prepare him for a dedicated, eat-sleep-and-breathe boxer like either of the Klitschkos, not to mention the fact that both of them jab a little bit harder than Seth Petruzelli.
From the beginning, Kimbo looked bad. He was extremely slow, moved gingerly, and left his chin wide open. He put his whole body into every jab, and frankly fought scared. ... There have been rumors for days about putting Kimbo against a standup fighter in December to give him a chance to get a knockout. Maybe it will work. But Kimbo will never be a competitive UFC fighter; he's too old to catch up in the wrestling and jiu-jitsu departments. I hate writing this, because Kimbo is so easy to like. I want him to be good. If he was a great fighter, he could be such a massive crossover star. But we're yet to find that star that is both a great fighter and a media icon.
If Kimbo is looking slow against Roy Nelson, how's he going to look against even a decent heavyweight boxer? Furthermore, outside of Petruzelli dropping him, we really know nothing about his chin.
I hope Kimbo finds a way to stay in MMA and do well and make some money. But any idea that he's got a better chance in boxing is ridiculous. If anything, he'd probably be worse off.