Friday, February 15, 2008
By John McMullen
The Phanatic Magazine
The long-awaited heavyweight match between Internet street fighting legend Kevin "Kimbo Slice" Ferguson (2-0) and former UFC star David "Tank" Abbott (9-13) set for the nearly sold-out BankUnited Center at the University of Miami.
The show is scheduled to air on SHOWTIME at 10:00 p.m. (et).
"Tank is full of shit if he thinks I can't take his punches," Kimbo said on Friday at a pre-fight press conference. "I'm bringing the whole thing to the cage. I am bringing the hood with me to this cage."
"This fight means a lot to not only me but the entire city," Kimbo, a native Floridian, added. "This is big time. That is why I am going to break his rib, break his nose, break his arm."
Slice and Abbott had been scheduled to fight each other on October 12 of last year in Atlantic City's Boardwalk Hall for the Cage Fury Fighting Championships promotion. However, the promotion ran into financial difficulties and was forced to cancel the card. EliteXC was able to secure rights to the fight late last year.
"Kimbo is tough streetwise, but he is behind the times as far as putting it all together," Abbott said. "The only thing he has done that is only remotely close to me is he has been in a few street fights. And I don't even consider those fights.
"Kimbo is going to get hurt, that's for sure. The way I am and the shape I'm in right now I can't fathom a human being who can take five minutes of my shots. I am on fire right now."
In addition to Kimbo-Tank, the SHOWTIME telecast will include: Antonio "Big Foot" Silva (9-1), a highly-touted Brazilian and one of the world's top heavyweights, versus former UFC champion Ricco Rodriguez (27-7).
"My opponent is a talented fighter," Silva said. "I am very excited and really anticipating the fight. Saturday night is going to be a great stepping stone for my career."
Rodriguez, who tested positive for both marijuana and cocaine after a November 2006 win over Imani Lee, is coming off a high-profile stint on VH1's Celebrity Rehab.
"Win or lose, six months from now Antonio and I will be fighting again, probably for a title," Rodriguez added. "We are the two best fighters in this organization right now. Tank and Kimbo are just tomato cans. We are the two real fighters."
Meanwhile, England's James "The Colossus" Thompson (16-7) will battle unbeaten Brett Rogers (7-0) of St. Paul, Minnesota in a heavyweight match.
"Brett Rogers is a big guy, a strong guy," Thompson said. "He has quick hands, but I'm not sure if he has been challenged yet. He has only fought seven fights, and I am the biggest of his career."
Australian Kyle Noke (14-3-1), the bodyguard of the late Steve "Crocodile Hunter" Irwin, meets Scott Smith (14-4) at 185 pounds; and Edson Berto (14-4-1), the son of pro wrestler Dieuseul "Haiti Kid" Berto, faces MMA veteran Yves Edwards (32-13-1) at 160 pounds.
"This is a tough fight. I respect him a lot," Berto said of Edwards. "I looked up to him, but once we get in the ring I am trying to win. When I get in the ring I don't see Yves Edwards. I see someone who is standing in my way, someone I have to beat."
A non-televised undercard streamed live at ProElite.com will include: Rafael Feijao (4-1), of Brazil, vs. John Doyle (6-2), of Allentown, Pennsylvania, at 205; Mike Bernhard (3-0), of Miami, vs. Lorenzo Borgameo (2-0), of Miami, at 170; Eric Bradley (2-1), of Las Vegas, Nevada, vs. Mikey Gomez (6-3), of Orlando, Florida, at 170; Mario Rinaldi (6-2), of Miami, vs. Dave Herman (9-0) of Indiana at 265; Jon Kirk (10-2), of Houston, vs. Yosmany Cabezas (4-0), of Tampa, Florida, at 185 pounds, and Moyses Gabin (1-0), of Miami, vs. Jirka Hlavaty (1-1), of Miami, at 265.