Dave Meltzer wrote the following during his Tuesday update on the Wrestling Observer website:
ESPN Radio in Southern California did two hours on the CBS deal… They also had Gary Shaw and Jim Lampley on. Shaw said MMA and boxing were two different sports and there was room for both of them. Shaw said that Kimbo today is a top ten heavyweight in boxing (amazing being that he’s never had a boxing match) and with 18 months of straight good training, he’d be No. 1.
I’ve spoken out about this before, but when Shaw goes into stereotypical boxing promoter mode he hurts his credibility with MMA fans. I realize a promoter’s job is to promote, but there’s just a certain threshold an MMA promoter shouldn’t cross and Shaw has crossed it again. What may have worked in boxing years ago doesn’t fly with MMA fans. MMA fans are very passionate and protective of their sport. Boxing fans are very protective of their sport (they can trash it but nobody else can), but these days aren’t very passionate.
The first point I’m going to call shenanigans on is the obvious, which Meltzer pointed out, is that it’s tough for a fighter to be top ten in a sport he’s never officially competed in.
But the bigger issue is this; what good is promoting Slice as a boxer? To my knowledge, ProElite doesn’t own any boxing promotions. Slice is by far their biggest cash cow and they need him focused entirely on MMA. When he’s available to fight, he needs to fight for EliteXC and nowhere else — whether it be in MMA, boxing, or YouTube street fighting.
Kimbo has embraced MMA and is fully dedicated to learning all of its intricacies. At age 34, time is not on his side. I’ve heard he’s a quick learner and I feel that if he continues on this path, he could be a legitimate top 10 MMA heavyweight in 2-3 years. In order to stay on that track, the last thing he needs to do is divide his time learning a separate combat sport.
Shaw is still a boxing promoter so I can understand how Kimbo doing some boxing helps him, but I don’t see how it helps ProElite. Floating Kimbo’s name in association with boxing does nothing for Slice’s MMA stock and somehow does even less for EliteXC. I don’t know anyone in the MMA industry that is interested to see what Kimbo can do as a boxer aside from Gary Shaw.
That’s not to say I wouldn’t mind seeing Kimbo take on some boxers (i.e. MIKE TYSON), so long as it is in an MMA-rules bout.
Kimbo has found a home in MMA. Why try and move him out of it?