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NFL’s Zbikowski scores a first-round TKO with a body shot

Steve Cofield
Boxing

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Las Vegas _ Tom Zbikowski is accustomed to crushing ribs when he's on the football field. He used the same principle tonight in the ring at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas.

Zbikowski, a safety for the Baltimore Ravens, drilled Richard Bryant with a left hook to the ribs. The flabby Bryant stood for a second and then crumbled to the floor. He rose to his feet at the count of seven, but referee Russell Mora didn't he feel he was able to go on. Zbikowski picked up his second professional win at 1:45 of the first round.

Zbikowski, a former All-American at Notre Dame, last fought in 2006. With the NFL lockout looming, Zbikowski decided it was time to step back in to the ring. He fought 100 times as an amateur and said before the fight, he's always wanted to get back in the ring.

As an opponent, Bryant was about what you'd expect a guy with one pro fight to face. Give Bryant some credit, he stood toe-to-toe with the NFL player and blasted him with a few thumping rights. Zbikowski, giving away 32 pounds, walked right through the shots. If Zbikowski chooses to makes a run at a legitimate boxing career he'll have to go to battle at cruiserweight, one of boxing's least glamorous divisions. He plays football around 215 pounds. He weighed in yesterday at 193.

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