With the lockout dragging on, Minnesota Vikings defensive end Ray Edwards makes his professional boxing debut at Hinckley’s Grand Casino. It was his first heavyweight battle against T.J. Gibson and it only lasted for four rounds.
Ray Edwards is the second NFL player to try his hands at boxing during the NFL lockout. Tom Zbikowski, knocked out Blake Warner on the 23rd of April, 2011.
In the first round, Edwards (6-foot-5) knocked down the much-shorter Gibson (5-9) with a right-left combo in the biggest development of the round. Both fighters exchanged punches early on.
During the second, Gibson took a left hook to the jaw that appeared to hurt him. Edwards scored more points as the third round went to him.
By the fourth round, Edwards used a left hook to knock Gibson nearly out of the ring toward the end of the fight. He and Gibson exchanged punches to end things. In the end, Edwards wins unanimously by scores of 40-34, 39-35, 40-34.
Edwards recorded two knockdowns in this fight and it will be interesting to see who he ends up facing on June 24 in his next fight. That’ll be scheduled at the Grand Casino Hinckley and if the opponent is a step up from Gibson, Edwards is going to need to be an improved boxer at that point.
Edwards’ trainer, Jeff Warner, told the StarTribune that the boxer might potentially face one-time street fighter Kimbo Slice: “I have no idea [if that will happen]. I don’t know if they want to fight MMA or fight in a back alley. I have no idea. But whatever they want to do, we’re just going to keep training right now and just keep going forward. We want to fight boxers because Ray is going to be a boxer. Bottom line is he’s a great football player and he’s a great boxer. He’s going to do both. I just want him boxing, I want him working off his jab and moving. There were times out there he looked incredible tonight and there were times he looked rough. I’m going to be honest with you. I’m not happy. We’re going to go back and we’re going to work hard on Monday, we’re going to work on some things. But overall I was happy. He did about 75 percent of his ability.”
Warner said he has not been approached by anybody from the Kimbo Slice camp. There was an earlier report that Slice’s promoter had issued a challenge to the Edwards camp. “If they want to call me, give me a holler, we’ll sit down and the bottom line is you put some numbers together we’ll do it,” Warner said.
As for Edwards’ next opponent, Warner said it would be good to have that set a few weeks in advance. “Just in case it’s a southpaw or something different so we can train for it,” Warner said. “But we train for everything.”
Edwards’ next fight will be on the 24th of June and Tom Zbikowski will also be back in the ring on the 4th of June against Mike Howell. With 2 NFL players now in boxing, it makes one wonder who’ll follow their in footsteps and if it’ll be soon.