Kevin “Kimbo Slice” Ferguson | Jeff Sherwood/Sherdog.com
Kimbo Slice has reportedly thrown in the towel on his boxing career before it started, and is now prepared to step into a different type of ring: the squared circle of professional wrestling.
The former backyard brawler, whose real name is Kevin Ferguson, will take on former sumo wrestler Shinichi Suzukawa on Feb. 5 at Inoki Genome Federation’s “Genome 14” event, set to take place at the Fukuoka Kokusai Center in Fukuoka, Japan. The event’s promoter, Japanese pro-wrestling legend Antonio Inoki, made the announcement at a Tuesday press conference in Tokyo.
Known in the sumo world as Wakakirin Shinichi, Suzukawa was scheduled to meet Bob Sapp in an IGF-promoted match on New Year’s Eve at “Dynamite: The Power of Courage 2010.” That match was scratched from the card after Sapp withdrew at the last minute. Suzukawa has previously faced MMA pioneer Mark Coleman under pro-wrestling rules.
Ferguson began his MMA career in 2007, rattling off three sanctioned victories against Bo Cantrell, Tank Abbott and James Thompson. The 36-year-old’s career hit a speed bump in the form of Seth Petruzelli, who knocked out Ferguson just 14 seconds into their EliteXC bout in October 2008. After the loss, Ferguson took part in the tenth season of “The Ultimate Fighter,” losing in his first fight to eventual winner Roy Nelson. The Floridian made his official UFC debut against Houston Alexander in December 2009, winning a unanimous decision. After being knocked out last May by fellow “TUF 10” cast member Matt Mitrione, Ferguson was released by the promotion.
In August 2010, Ferguson announced that he was leaving mixed martial arts in order to pursue a career in boxing under promoter Gary Shaw. However, he has yet to make his debut.