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Kimbo Slice vs. Hasim Rahman: A Bad Fight in MMA or Boxing



In Thursday's episode of ESPN's MMA Live, Franklin McNeil calls a potential fight between Hasim Rahman and Kimbo Slice, "a tremendous fight," adding, "I think Kimbo could give him a tough fight, even in boxing." I've already made clear that I think Kimbo vs. Rahman is a bad idea, but since McNeil's comments indicate that it's an idea getting some momentum, let me go into a little more detail about why I don't like it.

The reasons I disagree with McNeil in calling this a "tremendous fight," if conducted under MMA rules, include:

1. I don't think Rahman is serious about learning mixed martial arts. His comments on MMA indicate that he thinks he can just waltz into the sport and beat anybody, simply because he's a boxer who used to get into street fights when he was a kid. Sorry, Hasim. It doesn't work that way. I don't know what kind of street fights you've been in, but I can guarantee that they didn't prepare you for going to the ground with anyone who has even a modicum of Brazilian jiu jitsu skills.

2. Despite Rahman's lack of seriousness about learning the finer points of MMA, I think he'd easily dispatch Kimbo becaues I don't think Kimbo is a legitimate athlete. He's a tough-looking guy who got rich and famous because he got into some brawls that got posted on YouTube, and I don't begrudge him his fame and fortune. But as a professional MMA fighter, Kimbo has never done anything the least bit impressive, and if he were serious about learning the sport, Kimbo wouldn't have wasted his chance to train with an MMA legend, Bas Rutten -- who was so dismayed by Kimbo's approach to training that he no longer wants anything to do with Kimbo.

3. A Kimbo-Rahman MMA fight would be bad for the sport. It would get major mainstream media exposure, and that means a whole lot of people who don't know anything about MMA would see the fight and get the wrong idea of what MMA is all about.

But while I don't much care for the idea that a Kimbo-Rahman match-up would be a tremendous fight in MMA, where I really disagree with McNeil is when he says Kimbo could give Rahman a tough fight in boxing. Rahman has been a professional boxer for 15 years, and he has 55 professional fights under his belt. He's a former undisputed heavyweight champion of the world, and although he's nowhere near as good a boxer now as he was when he knocked out Lennox Lewis, he's still a competent professional.

Kimbo, on the other hand, has never boxed at all. Guys who have never boxed don't just walk into a boxing ring and give a legitimate pro boxer a tough fight. And we already know, based on his loss to Seth Petruzelli, that Kimbo doesn't have a chin -- which means Rahman, who still has a powerful right hand, would only need to connect once to knock Kimbo out. Not only do I not believe Kimbo could give Rahman "a tough fight" in boxing, I would be absolutely stunned if Kimbo even lasted a round with Rahman in a boxing match.

As a fan of both boxing and MMA, I think Kimbo fighting Rahman would be bad for either sport. I hope there aren't any promoters out there who believe this would be a tremendous fight.