Don't worry though, not in one of those Albert Haynesworth road-rage ways: this was legit. Ray Edwards squared off against TJ Gibson, a former kickboxer (if you don't know, let me assure you- there's a world of difference) who weighed in at 36 lbs less than Edwards and is 8 inches shorter. (I tried to find the stats on reach, but was unsuccessful- that said, with an eight inch height advantage, I imagine Edwards won in that stat as well.) While he won the unanimous decision, the title to this story is a bit tongue-in-cheek: while I personally didn't see the fight, it was apparently not exactly a fireworks show.
Read on after the jump for more information on the fight, as well as some surprising Vikings-related tidbits that this story provides.
One important note is that Edwards at one point threw Gibson to the mat, a foul in boxing, and something a future champ really shouldn't do. Later, however, he did register a knockdown with a hook. I've gotta be honest here- if Edwards didn't KO a guy who is considerably smaller than him, and who's training is primarily notin boxing, this doesn't bode well for his future. Even Edwards admitted that he's ‘got some things to work on'. (He also apparently was abstinent for two months prior to the fight, following an old theory in combat sports that abstaining from physical pleasures of the flesh will increase your ability in the ring/ cage.)
Apparently, fans weren't pleased either. Choruses of 'boos' and chants of 'overrated' were heard throughout the fight. Again... not a promising beginning.
Tommy Zbikowski aside, I've often said that a transition from football to boxing isn't going to be easy, even if Edwards has spent four years cross-training in the sport. Edwards has another fight scheduled for the future, and as of this writing the opponent hasn't been named. There is a rumor floating around, however, that former MMA ‘star' and UFC heavyweight Kimbo Slice could be squaring off against Edwards. Gotta be honest... former MMA fighter vs. ‘former' NFL player reeks of circus side-show to me. As a pugilist sport fan, that's one fight I would want nothing to do with.
One very interesting note regarding this fight is the number of Minnesota Viking defensive players who showed up to support Edwards. Pat Williams, Kevin Williams, Antoine Winfield, E.J. Henderson, Everson Griffen, Jasper Brinkley, and Eric Frampton were all in attendance... which is very striking to me. Perhaps there is more support for Edwards in the locker room than some of us were previously thinking, and perhaps this could be something Vikings FO staff (none of whom were in attendance) might wish to make a note of. Aside from Jared Allen, I'm seeing pretty much every defensive leader our team's got in that list. (Tarvaris Jackson was also in attendance, apparently the only player from the offensive side of the ball there.)
To further the tangent, Pat Williams was interviewed briefly at the fight, and said that he had spoken to Leslie Frazier during the 24 hours the lockout was lifted. Apparently, his comments regarding trust did not extend to our Head Coach, and Williams even went on to say that there was a 50/50 chance that the Williams Wall will get one final run in Minnesota this coming season.
Man, who knew so much Viking news would be found in a boxing match?