I know this may be deemed as sacrilegious to MMA fans but I thoroughly enjoyed the Kimbo Slice (born Kevin Ferguson) era in MMA. Granted, I can see where the disdain came from and if I was a career fighter toiling away on regional undercards I too would feel slighted by all the fame, money, and fanfare awarded to Slice. After all, how fair is it that a man who only popped into the public conscious after a string of bareknuckle street fights went viral on YouTube get fast tracked to MMA stardom when fighters who have devoted their entire lives to the sport go unnoticed.
But, in terms of simple unabashed fun and entertainment, you could do a lot worse than Kimbo Slice. The guy brought attention and eyeballs to whatever fight he engaged in. MMA is a sport; but one that is based on the promise of entertainment. Slice was entertaining whether you like to admit it or not. Either you rooted for him to deliver a highlight reel knockout, or you rooted for his opponent to end the farce, the fact remains you were tuned in to witness it.
Of course most of the myth of Slice has been whittled away following KO losses to Seth Petruzelli and Matt Mitrione. Holding a record of 4-2 in professional MMA is nothing to be ashamed of but it was painfully clear that Slice was incredibly green in mastering all the nuances that comprise MMA and at the age of 37, time was quickly running out.
This is why the recent news that the man they call Kimbo will now enter the waters of professional boxing came as no surprise. Two things we know, Slice has power and he likes to trade and bang. Boxing seemed like the perfect fit for him. Which is apparently why he is now going through with a boxing fight on August 13 at the Buffalo Run Casino in Miami, OK.
"Kimbo was always meant to be in the ring,” states Jared Shaw, Ferguson’s advisor in a distributed press release, “He’s one of the hardest punchers in the world and on Aug. 13, his journey to becoming America's heavyweight begins. The first stop will be Oklahoma in what will become the Kimbo Slice Express."
Let’s overlook the fact that Jared Shaw was one of the key individuals responsible for Pro Elite, Slices’ initial MMA promoter, collapsing. But while Shaw and his father Gary may not know MMA, they have made a career in boxing. Ferguson is reportedly training out in southern California with noted trainer Clemente Medina who has guided the career of junior welterweight contender Alfred Angulo.
It’s not clear how raw of talent Slice has in the sweet science but given that its boxing, and the Shaws are involved, expect nothing but the softest tomato can to step in the ring with him.