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Zbikowski interview: Ravens safety puts it all on the line

Steve Cofield
Boxing

The NFL season is in jeopardy, so several players are trying new endeavors. It's time to find some new cash flows.

Jets offensive lineman Matt Slauson is even moving back into his parent's house. Meanwhile, Bengals wide receiver Chad Ochocinco is challenging multiple MMA stars to fights. He's also called out Baltimore Ravens safety Tom Zbikowski.

It sounds like a lot of window dressing.

Zbikowski has gone one step further, he's really going to fight. For the second time professionally, he's stepping into the ring this weekend on the undercard of the Miguel Cotto-Ricardo Mayorga fight.

Zbikowski, who played safety at Notre Dame, said he's been driven to get back in the ring for a long time.

"As a young kid, when I was 19 years old, I dreamed nightly about being able to fight in the Olympics wearing the red, white and blue. You move on, but I'm thankful and I'm blessed that, you know,  I made it to the NFL and I graduated from college," Zbikowski told ESPNRadio1100 in Las Vegas. "My first fight was at Madison Square Garden and my second was at MGM Grand. I got a lot of things I have to be thankful for."

That first bout was back in 2006. His win over Robert Bell in 49 seconds also got the NCAA all worked up. Now that he's more established in the NFL and the league is facing a work stoppage, Zbikowski couldn't resist the urge.

"I love the limelight. I love the pressure of walking in. When you step into the area, when you start walking in, all eyes are on you," said Zbikowski. "People don't understand what it takes to walk into the ring, let alone be good. You're walking in and someone's about to take your head off. The type of embarrassment that could happen to you possibly?"

Zbikowski has no grand plan, but it sounds like boxing may be something he takes a run at following his football career.

"I fly by the seat of my pants. I wish I could really tell you. I have no idea what I'm going to do. I wish I could tell you," said Zbikowski.

The 25-year-old faces Richard Bryant (1-2) in Las Vegas on Saturday night.

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