Baltimore Ravens safety Tom Zbikowski is done with boxing and headed back to football. (Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images)
Though the NFL lockout is ongoing, players have started to informally gather for workouts, and Zbikowski wants to be part of that with the Ravens.
"It was time to start the transition back to football," Zbikowski told the Los Angeles Times in text messages. "My teammates are starting to organize some workouts, so it's just time to head back" to Baltimore. "Wish I had more time to do both."
... "It was a very tough decision for me. It was a tremendous experience fighting for Arum again," he said. But "as tough as it is to turn yourself into a fighter, it's equally as tough to transition into an NFL player."
Zbikowski went 3-0 in his 2011 boxing run, beating a series of fighters with even less experience than he had. He was used mostly as a marketing tool by Top Rank, which I guess some would consider successful, but well, I don't remember an uptick of interest in any show he was on, just an uptick of interest in what Zbikowski himself was doing. Cotto vs Mayorga and Vazquez vs Zappavigna wound up with no more notoriety because of Zbikowski being on that March 12 card. But hey, whatever.
Zbikowski turned 26 on Sunday, so I guess if he decided for some reason to leave football for boxing (I don't know why he would, he's much better at football), he could have time to develop into a legitimate fighter, and the good news is that he has the right backing from Top Rank in that regard. They can protect and develop him. But he's a football player, and he knows that. One thing you can say about Zbikowski is that he's not delusional about anything. He left that up to some of the people who talked about his boxing career. Zbikowski was always realistic and said "the right things." Best of luck to him this season, if he gets to play football at all.