OWINGS MILLS, Md. — Baltimore Ravens safety Tom Zbikowski isn’t going to let a pending lockout stop him from competing in professional sports as the heavyweight boxer is set to fight on the undercard of a Las Vegas boxing promotion run by Top Rank.
Zbikowski is set to fight an undetermined opponent on March 12 at the MGM Grand, his agent confirmed.
"The lockout is a motivating factor for Tommy and he does love boxing," agent Ralph Cindrich told National Football Post. "He loves football more. This came up because of the lockout and he wanted to keep active. It does go a long way to keep you in better condition.
"In Tommy’s case, it’s his way of wanting to stay competitive. He’s a great kid. The guy trains hard and he’s tough. I don’t know how this throws him off that much as far as football. It just builds him up that much. He’s got tremendous upper body strength, leverage and speed."
Zbikowski won his only previous professional boxing match, scoring a technical knockout when he was a Notre Dame football player.
The Chicago native is set to fight on a boxing card that’s highlighted by the big Miguel Cotto-Ricardo Mayorga bout. It’s being promoted by Bob Arum and the top fights will be televised on Showtime.
Zbikowski dealt with back and heel injuries during the regular season, but isn’t expected to have trouble being licensed.
The third-round draft pick is a restricted free agent. Technically, he’s not under contract since he hasn’t signed his tender.
What about the risk of injury?
When asked if he recommended that Zbikowski get in the ring, Cindrich declined to comment and emphasized it was a family matter and that they are fully behind him boxing.
Several teammates are expected to travel to Vegas to cheer on Zbikowski.
"He’ll get a ton of support from the guys," Cindrich said. "They’ll have fun out there and cheer him on just like Hines Ward is going to get support from teammates when he’s on Dancing with the Stars. It’s the same kind of thing."