July 14, 2008
How many times will former athletes get into a boxing ring before they realize the sport is NOT easy? Not every big guy can be a boxer. The 6-foot-4, 248-lb. Jose Canseco, a former baseball slugger who has been at the center of the steroids controversy, found out quickly that you don't mess with someone who has legitimately worked on his fight game.
Former Philadelphia Eagle Vai Sikahema, 45, definitely has skills and showed them while pummeling Canseco in 97 seconds.
Sikahema, a Golden Gloves champ before his football career with more than 80 amateur fights, was giving away seven inches and 43 pounds. The size disadvantage had zero effect on what looked and sounded like a very angry Sikahema:
"He's a very impressive-looking guy. But the guy is a walking corpse, because he's rotted inside out. He's a pathetic figure."
Not only did Canseco (pictured with ex-wife Jessica) insult boxers with this stunt, he actually had the gall before the fight to mention a mixed martial arts career. Canseco, 44, claims that he is a black belt in Kung Fu, Taekwando and Muay Thai:
"I wanted to get involved with MMA (mixed martial arts) and this is first step to it. Let's see what happens, how I do, how the fans like it. I'll have to see. If I go anything further than this I'll have to train a lot more, really take this serious. I really didn't take this serious at all. Hopefully we can have some fun."
Sikahema clearly wasn't on hand to have "fun" and Canseco learned that he'd better get serious if he ever tries it again. He may also want to stay away from Philly opponents:
"He came out here in first-class, (and is) flying home coach. That's how we roll in Philly," Sikahema said.
Canseco told Channel 10 NBC in Philly that he'd like to fight Sikahema again. If Sikahema won't do it, there's a line five miles long willing to challenge the former MLB slugger the next time around, according to Bernard Fernandez of the Philadelphia Daily News:
(Fight promoter Damon) Feldman said he has received nearly 2,000 e-mails from people who'd like a shot at Canseco, including, he claimed, third-party representatives professing to represent former champions Mike Rossman, Ray Mercer and Bobby Czyz. Canseco wisely has said he'd prefer not to mix it up with real pro fighters, at least not initially.
Canseco went through this public humiliation for just $35,000. Better yet, Canseco may have fought for free. He owes his former lawyer Robert Saunooke $342,000 in overdue legal fees. Saunooke, who said he would double Sikahema's winnings, actually played football at BYU in 1988 shortly after Sikahema ('80-'85).