Tag:Tom Zbikowski
Posted on: June 12, 2011 12:36 pm

Ray Edwards next boxing match is off

Posted by Josh Katzowitz

After earning a hard-fought unanimous decision in his pro boxing debut last month, Vikings DE Ray Edwards was scheduled to return to the ring June 24 against Larry Butler.

The fight, however, has been canceled.

NFLers freelancing as boxers
That’s because, according to scout.com, Butler backed out of the fight. Perhaps Butler – who scored a TKO in his pro debut on the same card as Edwards’ first fight – got nervous while watching the highlights of Edwards’ win against T.J. Gibson (as seen in the video embedded below) and decided he wanted no part of him.

The Midwest Sports Council said in a statement that Edwards would return on a date TBA – it might be pushed back until July or August – and now, there’s a very real chance that the lockout could be over by then and Edwards could be back in somebody’s training camp (probably not the Vikings) sooner rather than later.

Like Ravens S Tom Zbikowski, Edwards might have fought in his last bout for quite a while.

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Posted on: May 24, 2011 5:21 pm
Edited on: May 24, 2011 5:39 pm

Tom Zbikowski stops boxing to focus on football

Posted by Andy Benoit
T. Zbikowski
For now, Tom Zbikowski is trading his boxing gloves for shoulder pads/cleats/other pieces of football apparel. The Ravens safety told the Los Angeles Times that he has canceled his June 4 boxing match at Staples Center to focus on his primary sport.

"It was time to start the transition back to football," he texted. "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."

Zbikowski went 3-0 in his return to professional boxing this spring. Overall as a pro, the 26-year-old from Notre Dame is 4-0, with three knockouts.

Ravens players held their first organized activities of the year on Tuesday at Towson University. Zbikowski was one of 27 Ravens to partake.

"It was a very tough decision for me," he said. "It was a tremendous experience fighting for (promoter Bob) Arum again. (But) as tough as it is to turn yourself into a fighter, it's equally tough to transition into an NFL player."

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Category: NFL
Posted on: May 23, 2011 3:37 pm
Edited on: May 23, 2011 4:54 pm

Hot Routes 5.23.11: Brady, Gisele frolic poolside

Posted by Will Brinson

Got a link for the Hot Routes? Hit us up on Twitter (@CBSSportsNFL).
  • You think Tom Brady spent his weekend sweating the Rapture? Hell no he did not. So what did he do? He spent his weekend at a resort in Mexico, frolicking around a pool on a waterslide with his mildly attractive soulmate, Gisele. Yes, there are pictures. And yes, it's entirely possible to enjoy the lockout without actually SAYING SO. 

Posted on: May 5, 2011 2:27 pm

Ray Edwards wants to be a boxer - maybe full time

R. Edwards might want to take up boxing full time (Getty). Posted by Josh Katzowitz

It sounds like Vikings DE Ray Edwards is serious about pursuing boxing as his full-time career. If the lockout ends tomorrow, it seems hard to believe Edwards will give it up to start at the absolute bottom of another sport. But he seems pretty adamant about his change in careers.

And at the very least, he seems pretty sure that his career in Minnesota is complete.

He told the Minneapolis Star Tribune that he won’t play for less money than what his backup will receive (what he means by that is the Vikings gave him a one-year, $2.8 million tender while Brian Robison signed a three-year, $14.1 million deal with a $6.5 million signing bonus), so assuming the Vikings don’t give him a better contract, he’s not interested in playing with them.*

*To be fair, there’s no doubt that Edwards is one of those guys who could get absolutely screwed if the NFL returns to the 2010 rules that restricted his free agency.

He might not be interested in playing at all for that matter, though the Falcons seem to have interest in him as a free agent. Instead, Edwards says he’s content to receive a $5,000 payday (and half of the gate receipts!) when he makes his career debut May 20 against 34-year-old T.J. Gibson – who’s about eight inches shorter and 45 pounds lighter than Edwards – at Grand Casino in Hinckley, Minn.

"I'm not worried," Edwards told the paper. "Nobody will get close enough to hurt me. I'm not making any guarantee, but I will get the job done. I'm not trying to go out there just to say that I did it."

But I would hold off on the comparisons between Edwards and Tom Zbikowski for now. Zbikowski had a long amateur career, and he had a strong foundation from which he could draw. And even then, he has struggled in at least one bout against a bottom-tier fighter.

Edwards, meanwhile, has trained somewhat seriously only the past two years and has no other experience. And while noted trainer Emanuel Steward was very complimentary when talking about Edwards’ abilities, we don’t know anything about his chin and his conditioning.

"I think it's very, very realistic for him to have an impact in the heavyweight division," Steward told ESPN (via the Star-Trib). "Ray is a natural boxer in terms of rhythm and coordination. But it's his speed that surprised me because he is such an extremely big guy.

"With the proper training and regular fights, I would say in about 10 months he could be a serious threat to any middle-of-the-road or Class B heavyweight. ... Ray would be a tough match for any heavyweight outside of the top 12 in the world."

If Edwards is serious about not returning to Minnesota, we might actually get the chance to see if Steward is right. But I can just about guarantee one thing when Edwards talks about bringing home the world heavyweight championship (to do so, he’d have to beat current champs Vitali and/or Wladimir Klitschko): he’s got absolutely no shot of doing that.

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Posted on: April 28, 2011 4:57 pm

Tom Zbikowski's good name cleared

Posted by Andy Benoit
T. Zbikowski
The cloud of confusion hanging over Tom Zbikowski’s failed drug test has been lifted. The Ravens safety is in the clear.

Zbikowski had tested positive for marijuana following his boxing bout Saturday night. However, so did five other boxers that night. Zbikowski’s second test came back clean, and on Thursday the Chicago Sun Times reported that the Chickasaw Nation rescinded his 45-day suspension.

“We’re grateful the Chickasaw Nation acted in such a expeditious manner,” said Mike Joyce, Zbikowski’s manager. “We knew Tommy has never used any illegal or banned substances.”

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Category: NFL
Posted on: April 26, 2011 4:10 pm
Edited on: April 26, 2011 4:50 pm

Zbikowski fails drug test, then passes

Zbikowski Posted by Josh Katzowitz

Just because NFL players aren’t being drug-tested during the lockout doesn’t mean they still can’t test positive if given the opportunity.

That’s exactly what’s happened to Ravens S Tom Zbikowski – who improved to 4-0 with three knockout s in his boxing career after dominating Blake Warner last Saturday in Thackerville, Okla., but then tested positive for marijuana afterward.

His manager, Mike Joyce, told the Chicago Sun-Times that his fighter would be retested today. And he seemed somewhat outraged about the positive drug test. He might have a point – five fighters from that card have tested positive (which is extremely hard to believe).

“We’re appealing it,” Joyce told the paper. “After the fight, all the fighters tested were positive. They had you pee in a cup and put a strip of something in there. I’ve never seen results where you get them the day of the fight. It was like a home pregnancy test or something.”

Making matters a little more sketchy is the fact the Chickasaw Nation Boxing Commission was the one testing him. I’m a pretty big boxing fan, and I don’t know anything about that commission. Unlike the commissions in Nevada, New York and California – which are among the most highly-respected commissions in this country – you almost have to assume that, even with the positive test, Zbikowski still is presumed innocent.

Said Joyce: “He’s taken all sorts of tests for the NFL and he’s never tested positive ... ever.”

If his second test comes back positive, he would be suspended 45 days.

UPDATED 4:49 PM ET: According to Aaron Wilson of the National Football Post, Zbikowski has passed the second drug test, meaning it showed no traces of THC. Joyce told Wilson that those results will be given to the boxing commission.

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Category: NFL
Posted on: April 24, 2011 7:16 pm

Zbikowski's side career continues to succeed

Posted by Josh Katzowitz

The last time Ravens S Tom Zbikowski was in the boxing ring, he didn’t look great in winning a unanimous decision against former cage fighter Caleb Grummet. On Saturday, Zbikowski returned and gave perhaps the best performance of his career, scoring a first-round TKO against Blake Warner at the Winstar Casino in Thackerville, Okla.

"This was my best win since coming back from a five-year layoff," Zbikowski told the Oklahoman, via the Baltimore Sun. "I felt composed and relaxed out there."

And it seems that working out with legendary trainer Emanuel Steward at the Kronk Gym in Detroit is beginning to make him a more well-rounded fighter as well.

With Warner keeping his hands high on defense, protecting his head, Zbikowski attacked the body, forcing Warner to lower his arms. Then, with Warner leaning in, Zbikowski pounded him with a right uppercut, forcing the referee to halt the bout with 40 seconds left in the round.

"I'm a body puncher, and he was really leaning back in his stance, which was making it tough to get a clean shot," Zbikowski said. "I had to get him leaning forward and the body shots did that.

"That was my cleanest knockout yet. It was a quick uppercut. I'm actually excited to see the replay myself.”

Zbikowski improved to 4-0 with three knockouts.

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Category: NFL
Posted on: April 13, 2011 1:08 pm
Edited on: April 13, 2011 1:11 pm

Hot Routes 4.13.11: Now with even more sabotage

Posted by Josh Katzowitz

  • CBSSports.com’s own Mike Freeman, who’s been breaking news like crazy lately, writes that the NFL is trying to sabotage the NFLPA’s draft week events. 
  • Will already told you about the arrest of Titans WR Kenny Britt. Now, Britt has been charged with three counts (including eluding an officer, a felony), and his court date is set for April 19.
  • Although Peyton Manning has been awfully quiet about the birth of his twins, the Indy Star did some digging and found out they actually exist. So, an official Mazel Tov to the Manning family.
  • 49ers coach Jim Harbaugh asked an interesting question of QB Alex Smith: does he have baby deer skin or skin like an armadillo? He thinks the latter. I’m not sure I even knew armadillos have skin. I thought they had scales.

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The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com