Say it 'aint so, Kimbo

By Patrick Murphy

On Saturday, October 4th, Kimbo Slice was scheduled to faceoff against Ken Shamrock live on CBS’ “Saturday Night Fights.” However, just hours before the fight was scheduled to take place, Shamrock was declared unfit to fight due to a cut that he had suffered over his left eye in training. EliteXC, the organization that was hosting the event, scrambled to find a replacement fighter. Only an hour before the fight, Seth Petruzelli, a former UFC fighter, agreed to take on the larger-than-life Slice in the main event.The fight was scheduled for three 5-minute rounds, but it lasted all of 14 seconds. Hailing from the streets of Miami, the 6-foot-2, 235 lb Slice is a brawling fighter. The 6-foot, 205 lb Petruzelli has a martial arts background. The 14 seconds that the fight lasted was more than enough time to accentuate the difference in fighting styles. At the sound of the bell, Slice immediately went after Petruzelli. Slice threw a few punches that Petruzelli brushed off. Petruzelli went to kick at Slice, but quickly pulled back and landed a quick right hand to the face that stunned Slice enough to bring him to his knees. Petruzelli landed a flurry of punches to the head, and when Slice was unable to defend himself, the referee called the fight.

Born Kevin Ferguson in Nassau, Bahamas, Kimbo Slice was a star linebacker at Miami Palmetto High School. However, his hopes for NFL stardom were dashed when he was displaced by a hurricane. Slice worked as a bodyguard to support himself. He went from nothing to a celebrity seemingly overnight when his street fights gained immense popularity on Youtube. Some of his videos currently have over 7 million views. The videos showcased Slice mauling anyone who dared to challenge him. Whether he knew it or not, by making these videos Kimbo was tapping into a market that would propel him to stardom.

On October 11, 2007, Slice was signed to a multi-million dollar contract with EliteXC. Slice was quoted as saying, “EliteXC and CBS are a good thing for the sport. This is making the sport bigger and better. If it wasn’t this big, think about what you and I would be doing.” Personally, I would have saved myself a wasted half hour last Saturday night.

One can only speculate what will happen to Slice as a result of his first professional loss last Saturday. The loss was devastating to Slice, who is still an extremely unproven professional fighter. However, Kimbo’s rags to riches story and his larger than life personality will continue to bring big ratings, and his willingness to fight anyone anywhere leads me to believe that we have not heard the last from Mr. Slice.