By Jay Cade
If you are a YouTube junkie and enjoy combat sports, then you’re definitely familiar with internet brawler turned MMA fighter Kimbo Slice. Even though he is new to sanctioned fighting, his name is as popular on internet search engines as fellow pro fighters Brock Lesnar, Floyd Mayweather Jr. and Manny Pacquiao.
Kimbo made his fame through backyard bareknuckle boxing matches that were posted on the internet. His next step was entering the world of mixed martial arts, and even making his way into the UFC and having a few fights there before being released.
One thing that stands out about Kimbo is his popularity, he brought in the highest ratings for the UFC reality show The Ultimate Fighter, and he was a big attraction for the Elite XC on CBS. His name is already well known and carries weight, he appeared in several commercial endorsements including a NIKE commercial featuring NFL running back LaDainian Tomlinson.
There is no question that the Kimbo name brings viewers in. Recently Kimbo Slice made his long awaited boxing debut against James Wade, he won the fight via brutal first round knockout. The fans went crazy and once the video of his fight went viral on YouTube it was already receiving thousands of views.
Video of KIMBO’s Pro Boxing Debut First Round KO
Kimbo first wanted to enter boxing several years ago, but was told that he would be too old for the sport, and since older guys seemed to have more success in the world of MMA, he decided to try his hand there instead. Kimbo did okay, but his bad knees were taxing him in fights and making it difficult for him to stuff take downs, he also struggled with the ground game. Kimbo trained his butt off to learn the sport and no matter what, he showed he had a fighting heart and no quit. Now that he has made his jump into the boxing world at the age of 37, and showed that his power and bob and weave style is perfect for the sport, the question remains if he can become a big draw in the sport like Pacquiao and Mayweather.
I personally think if Kimbo fights often and they put him on Showtime, ESPN Friday Night Fights, and big fight pay-per-view undercards like on the undercards of Floyd Mayweather Jr. or Manny Pacquiao fights, he could significantly boost ratings and pay-per-view sales and become something similar to what Eric “Butterbean” Esch was — a well paid novelty attraction who destroyed guys in 4-round fights. What surprises people about Kimbo Slice is his demeanor, he is soft spoken, and humble nothing like the street thug image people perceive him to be.
With how weak the heavyweight division has become, I believe if Kimbo shows he is a late bloomer and can go 10 or 12 rounds in a fight without fading, he could contend for a world title. One thing Kimbo is known for is the willingness to trade and go for the KO in fights, I think he would put up a better fight against the Klitschko brothers than their recent opposition. Kimbo Slice will go out swinging until it’s either his opponent on the canvas or him.
Kimbo bringing in more viewers to boxing is great for the sport, whether or not you like the guy, like Manny Pacquiao, he is one of the most humble fighters you will ever meet.
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