Boxing promoter and former EliteXC head Gary Shaw has been attached to crossover star Kimbo Slice’s planned boxing debut since step one. After Slice was released from the UFC following a loss to Matt Mitrione, it was announced that he would make his professional boxing debut with the assistance of his old EliteXC boss. Speaking with ESPN.com recently, Shaw indicated that many of the criticisms Slice received during his time as a MMA fighter (namely that he was not dedicated to training) are applicable to his boxing preparations and that Slice’s lackadaisical approach to training have brought about cause to postpone Slice’s professional debut.
“Right now he’s vacationing in Florida. He went home for Thanksgiving,” Shaw said of Slice. “His pro debut will be put off until at least the beginning of next year,” Shaw said. “He needs more work and more sparring.”
Shaw told ESPN that he set Slice up with trainers Clemente Medina and Darryl Hudson in Southern California but that he questions the amount of work Slice has been putting in towards his debut.
“I had him in California sparring and in real training with Clemente and Darryl Hudson,” said Shaw. “He was given all the tools, but he continues to get offers from MMA and offers to be in movies and it’s hard to keep him focused on training camp. That’s the story more than anything else.”
Shaw expressed his desire for Slice to turn pro in order to capitalize on the “it-factor” the Bahamian fighter possesses; the same characteristic that drew in his legion of internet fans as well as the fans he earned during his time on The Ultimate Fighter.
“I’m hoping he will turn pro,” Shaw said. “People of all ages recognize him, so when you’re with him it’s like you are with a huge star, but he’s never been in a boxing ring for a real fight. It’s like with Mike Tyson and Manny Pacquiao — when they walk into a room, they own the room. When Kimbo walks into a room, Kimbo owns the room and it’s all about Kimbo. When everyone recognizes you and you believe you are a huge star, and you get all of these offers, it’s hard to go to a gym and work like you’re a rookie. But he’s coming back to California to train after the holidays. Hopefully, he means after the Thanksgiving holiday.”
Slice’s mixed martial arts record currently stands at 4-2. His two losses came against Seth Petruzelli and Matt Mitrione, both via TKO.