Tommy Zbikowski: Trading in the Turf for the Canvas

As negotiations between owners and players have reached a standstill, the NFL lockout has already sent some players looking elsewhere for work. And when your job as an elite athlete is to keep yourself in top physical condition and hit people, boxing has an understandable draw. 

Baltimore Ravens safety and former Notre Dame captain Tommy Zbikowski(R),Chicago,Ill. talks with his new Hall of Fame trainer Emanuel Steward during a special media luncheon in New York City for his upcoming feature fight on the undercard of "Featherweight Fury" , Gamboa vs Solis on Saturday, March 26, at the Boardwalk Hall in Atlantic City. Photo: Chris Farina

Baltimore Ravens safety Tom Zbikowski has returned to the ring, where he had a stellar amateur career before being drafted to the NFL. He's already fought once this month, knocking out Richard Bryant in the first round. Since then, he has been working with legendary trainer Emanuel Steward, and finds himself on the undercard of this week's Boxing After Dark matchup between Yuriorkis Gamboa and Jorge Solis.

"He has a great natural rhythm and he's always in position when he is punching," Steward says. "He doesn't box like a football player. He boxes like a boxer." Bryant isn't the only NFL athlete trading in the gridiron for the sweet science, Vikings defensive end Ray Edwards is also on the same path, eyeing his first ever professional bout sometime in April.

Maybe now Andre Johnson and Cortland Finnegan (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SBT6MygnKKw) can finally settle things in the ring.

Catch highlights from Zbikowski's fight on Saturday night.

[SI.com

In Knockout, Martinez Keeps Belt and Raises Profile

"The last two weeks have provided something of a boxing renaissance. First, Pacquiao displayed his typical brilliance in his bout against Antonio Margarito, and now Martinez has delivered a knockout on HBO."

- Greg Bishop in The New York Times

Williams Ready for Action Saturday Night

It’s always dangerous to hope that a sequel will outdo the original (um, Tommy Gunn streetfight, anyone?), but Paul Williams isn’t afraid to make promises. The boxer says his second bout against Sergio Martinez this Saturday is going to blow the lid off their previous encounter. "This one will be more brutal," he says. "It will be more action and there will be more punches thrown. The same as in the first fight but 10 times more. ... It's going to be a good fight but I know I'm coming out with the win, either with a knockout or even a decision."

USA Today