Ray Edwards began his boxing career with a win after earning a decision (40-34, 39-35, 40-34) over Duluth's T.J. Gibson in his professional debut at Hinckley's Grand Casino.
Edwards, perhaps better known around these parts as a 6-foot-5 defensive end for the Minnesota Vikings that seems hellbent on playing elsewhere if the NFL Lockout ever ends, weighed in at 258½ pounds to give himself a nearly eight-inch and 40 pound advantage over the former kickboxer he faced off against on Friday night.
ESPN's 1500 Tom Pelissero gave a running commentary of the fight, noting that Edwards scored a knockdown early in the first round with a combo to give the defensive end a big ego boost as well as a 10-8 lead on the judge's scorecards of the four-round fight.
After taking a couple of shots to open the second round, Edwards apparently used his sized advantage to throw Gibson to the ground resulting in a warning from referee Joe Cortez and no clear winner in the second round. The third round began with Edwards toying with the smaller Gibson, earning some boos from the crowd and probably another close round on the judge's scorecards.
In the fourth round, after some back-and-forth exchanges not worth getting excited about, Edwards was able finish the smaller Gibson off for good with a hook that nearly knocked him through the ropes according to Pelissero.
To support their teammate, the Star Tribune's Judd Zulgad reports that defensive tackles Kevin and Pat Williams and Fred Evans, linebackers E.J. Henderson and Jasper Brinkley, cornerback Antoine Winfield, safety Eric Frampton, quarterback Tarvaris Jackson and former Vikings defensive end Jayme Mitchell were in attendance to watch the match.
Edwards, 26, is under contract for at least one more boxing match after making a reported $5,000 as well as half the gate for Friday's event. There are numerous reports that former UFC fighter Kimbo Slice has already called out the Vikings defensive end for a future match.