Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Tommy Zbikowski Gears Up For For Saturday's Heavyweight Bout

Baltimore Ravens safety Tommy Zbikowski is making the the most of the NFL lockout and piling up pro boxing fights faster than Chad Ochocinco changes names.  The NFL star Zbikowski worked out today in a Manhattan gym preparing for a heavyweight pro-fight on Saturday in Atlantic City--only two weeks after his last fight.

The former Notre Dame football star waited almost five years between his pro debut and his second paid bout, a first-round TKO against Richard Bryant on March 12.

Zbikowski's weigh-ins have lasted longer than his first two fights.  In his pro debut, June 10, 2006, 'Tommy Z', at the age of 21, TKO'd Robert Bell at 0 :49 into the fight at Madison Square Garden.  Bryant managed to last until 1:45 from the opening bell when Zbikowski  left the bigger fighter breathless after a nasty body shot.

The former- All-American  Zbikowski (2-0, 2 KO's), will fight Caleb Grummet (0-0-1) in a four-round heavyweight undercard of the featured WBA and IBF featherweight Championship bout between Yuriorkis Gamboa (19-0, 15 KO's) and Jorge Solis (40-2-2, 29 KO's) at Boardwalk Hall in Atlantic City.  It will be shown live Saturday night on HBO.

The 25 year-old Zbikowski worked out at Manhattan's Kingsway Gym on Wednesday after leaving a Facebook post seeking help with his fight gear color scheme for this Saturday's bout: 'Need help...Should I wear purple and black or purple and white trunks at the fight Saturday?'  Most of the responses sided with the purple and black, but there were a few Blue and Gold as well.

While many NFL players have been talking about crossing over to other sports including the NBA or, like Ochocinco, boxing, to help pay the mortgage should the NFL season goes kaput,  Zbikowski is punching ahead--literally and quickly.  It only took minutes after his March 12 win against Bryant that he announced fighting this bout only fourteen days later.

Today, Zbikowski said that he will keep busy during the NFL lockout and pro-boxing is more passion than moonlighting and, as long as the labor strife continues, he will box.

"Right now, this isn't a second career for me," said Zbikowski.  "It is a first career."

His father, Ed Zbikowski backed up his son's immersion into the sweet science the other day.  "It's not about money," he said.  "It's about earning respect on the boxing community.  It's also a great way to train for football if there is a lockout."

Well, there is a lockout.  Now Tommy Z gets to follow his dream while the NFL and team owners create a sports nightmare.

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