Kimbo Slice on Boxing Career: 'My Goal Is to Do Damage'
Kimbo Slice, who has ended a three-year MMA run by signing a deal with promoter Gary Shaw to begin a boxing career sometime in the fall, spoke to FanHouse on his new endeavor.
In signing the deal with Shaw, the 36-year-old Slice, whose real name is Kevin Ferguson, has rejoined the man who promoted him "in the beginning of his MMA career for his first four fights," according to Shaw.
Slice trained under the watchful eyes of Darryl Hudson and Clemente Medina at the Maywood Gym in Calif., 20 minutes from the Los Angeles Airport.
"I have a real contender who is a heavyweight athlete, but Kimbo is a work in progress. I have surrounded him with good talent in Darryl Hudson and Clemente Medina," said Shaw.
"Kimbo Slice has got the 'It' factor. He reminds me of Mike Tyson. Not many fighters have the 'It' factor," said Shaw. "You can have world champions and they can walk down the street in New York City and maybe two people will recognize them. You walk anywhere with Kimbo Slice, and everybody knows Kimbo."
FanHouse: So with today [Monday] being your first officially training as a boxer, how did that go?
Kimbo Slice: My day went good. it was a very good day. I believe these guys are really breaking me in kind of gently. You know what I'm saying? We did a little bit, not a lot, you know? They're bringing me along slowly, you know? I'm feeling pretty good. I'm kind of enjoying it.
You know? I'm hoping to really get in there and kind of f**k somebody up. I want to do some damage, you know? That's my goal. I want to do some real damage. My goal is to do damage.
Where were you training today and how long will you remain there?
I'm here in California, but I'll be back at the crib, you know? I'm back and forth. I don't really have a home base to work out in right now, you know? I'm up in the air. I'm just hoping to find a good, home gym. Again, even with training, I'm not even sure who my actual guys are going to be.
But right now, I have Darryl working with me big time, and he's been with me for a couple of weeks now. Darryl's been my strength and conditioning guy, for now, and he's building me up. He's building me up pretty decently. I've worked out today with Clemente.
Again, you know, hopefully, with today being the first day of everything, I don't know who I will be with in the future. But for sure, I do know that Darryl will be one of the guys that I do want with me in my corner.
What do you make of James Toney's performance during his loss over the weekend to the MMA's Randy Couture?
I never disrespect nobody. That's one thing that everybody knows about me. All of my fans, my family, my friends, all of the people who are close to me. I'm not a disrespectful a**ed person, you know what I mean? I respect the fight game to the fullest. James Toney, you know what I'm saying, he's got to work at it just like I did.
And he would be good. He's got a helluva punch. He's a fighter. S**t, I have nothing but love and respect for James Toney. When I play the game, 'Fight Night,' James Toney is one of the guys I play it with. S**t, I like James Toney. I hope that he sticks with it and gives it a chance.
If James Toney sticks with it, given a chance, James is going to knock somebody the f**k out. Once James does that, then nobody is going to have S**t to say about him, and I truly believe that.
What are your goals with boxing?
Among my goals are that anybody that I get into the ring with, I'm going to crush them. I'm not trying to pitty-pat. I'm not trying to play games. I've got three minutes to smash them. I'm going to go ahead and I'm going to smash them. I've got three minutes to smash, and I'm coming in to do damage.
You know what I'm saying? I've been a part of the MMA for a minute, and it kind of put me in there out of my element. Boxing is kind of like what I like to do best, being that it's something that I really enjoy doing.
I realize that you're probably going to compete as a heavyweight, but what do you feel that your ideal fighting weight will be?
I'm not sure what my fighting weight is going to be, because it fluctuates. Probably over 200 pounds [Laughs.] But with training, I have a tendency to drop weight tremendously, you know what I'm saying. I can get down to 215 pounds, or I could go up to as much as 240.
Anywhere between there, you know, and it's going to be a hellafied fight. I haven't weighed myself today, but last week, I weighed myself and I was at 218. But that was lasts week.
What is your timetable as far as winning a title, and will you measure your success ultimately by whether or not you win a title or your number of knockout -- what?
Again, I'll kind of leave those things to my handlers, my matchmaker, Gary Shaw and those guys. I'll let those guys sort of figure it out. They can put two and two together and I'm sure that they will get four out of it.
How many times a year would you like to fight?
You know, I would like to fight as much as possible. You know? If I fight tomorrow, and I smash the dude, and I dont' have no injuries, then I'll want to fight again next week. Or I'll fight again that same week, you know? It's just, you know, line em up.
James Toney went after a big named MMA guy right out of the blocks. Would you like to do similarly or what level of opponents would you like to face, initially?
I don't really want to answer that, you know? Because if I start getting into picking my opponents, then I don't think that that's fair for me as a fighter. The purpose of being a fighter is to fight anyone in front of you, and whoever is in front of you. You don't have a choice.
And I kind of respect myself in that I don't want to have to say, 'I don't want to fight this guy,' because that means that I'm punking out. I don't want to have a say so in that matter, and I never will. If my trainers train me the right way and the way that I'm supposed to be trained, then I'll smash whoever is in front of me.
I don't know if it was James Toney's call. I don't know if he called out Randy or if they put him up against Randy because he said that he wanted to go against Randy. If that's the case, and I said, 'Hey, I want to fight this guy,' then how would the UFC be then? If you could call out anybody you want to fight and then fight them.
Are you prepared, at this point, to start calling out any of boxing's big name guys or are you going to leave that up to your management?
I don't call people out. I don't do that.
Do you have any sort of gauge on how much you believe that your own general name recognition will help you from a promotional standpoint in boxing?
Chances are, we'll be a sell out. Where ever we fight, I'm sure that it will be a sell out. People got love for me, you know? They know that when this mother f**ker comes, I'm coming, and I'm coming to fight, you know what I'm saying? I'm coming to smash somebody, and I'm not going to stop until I do.
Being that you are 36 years old, how much is your age a factor?
Man, I'm still doing back flips with my kids, man. Man, age? I don't even feel that s**t. I have a son who is 18, and my other son is 16. Man, we race each other. We still have contests to see who has the best abs. So, s**t, I'm right with those guys. I'm still there.
I'm an athlete, you know? My blood's still pumping. My kids are outstanding athletes. One of them is an outstanding halfback, and my other one is a wrestler.
What is your MMA future?
I really don't know, because I love doing what I'm doing, and I want to be focused on one thing at a time. I don't want to try to juggle, because I'm not a juggler. I'd rather just focus on boxing right now, because this is where I'm at.
Will you define your career on whether or not you win a heavyweight title?
Man, if I win a title, boy, whew! Man, that would be something. That would be a real, live Rocky story. To my fans, I'm coming to crush my opponents. I'm not coming to play games, pitty-pat or box, I'm coming to fight. I'm coming to destroy. That's my goal.
I want to see how many times I can break a dude's ribs. You've got to understand what I'm saying. I want to know how many punches I'm going to take before I break somebody's ribs. Or break somebody's jaw, you know what I'm saying? That type of s**t. The referee needs to stay out of the way and let me bang.
I can't tell Gary Shaw badly enough how bad I want this. I almost cried today because I wanted to learn a certain drill so badly, and they kept telling me, 'Kimbo, it's going to take time.' I want it now. I've got bad intentions here.
I don't know where this personality, this other me came from. Those are my personal feelings.