Edwards set for pro boxing debut

  • Article by: MARK CRAIG , Star Tribune
  • Updated: April 12, 2011 - 11:31 PM

Ray Edwards the boxer is moving on while the NFL stands still.

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Vikings defensive end Ray Edwards (right, with Tarvaris Jackson) is moving ahead with a boxing career while the NFL stands still.

Photo: Jeff Wheeler, Star Tribune file

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Ray Edwards the boxer is moving on while the NFL stands still.

The Vikings defensive end signed a contract on Tuesday for two professional fights. His ring debut at any level will be a four-round main event against a yet-to-be-determined opponent on May 20 at Grand Casino Hinckley.

"It's something I've always wanted to do in my life," Edwards said during a break in his training at Higher Power Training in Eden Prairie. "I can't put my eggs all in one basket, waiting for the NFL to settle the lockout. You never know when this lockout is going to end."

Edwards, 26, began incorporating boxing into his football training routine four years ago. He became more serious about boxing when the lockout became a probability about two years ago.

The 6-5 Edwards looks to be in prime fighting shape. He has just 8 percent body fat and weighs 255 pounds, which is about 13 pounds below his playing weight. His boxing trainer is Jeff Warner, a former professional heavyweight boxer and a pastor at the Rock Church Center in Burnsville.

Edwards signed for a guaranteed $5,000 plus 50 percent of the May 20 gate proceeds. If the lockout continues into June, he'll fight again under the same terms that month at Grand Casino Hinckley.

Edwards' future with the Vikings is in doubt. He is unsigned heading into his sixth season and could be an unrestricted free agent, depending on the terms that will govern the new labor agreement.

Edwards isn't expecting to re-sign with the Vikings, but he hasn't ruled it out. He said right now he's more focused on his boxing career than his football future or news about the lockout. With his size, strength, speed and quickness, Edwards has high expectations for his boxing career and believes he will surprise people who underestimate him because of his inexperience.

"There's always going to be people tell you that you can't do something," Edwards said. "It's up to you to make sure you prove them wrong by going out there and believing in yourself. I'm not trying to go out there just to say I tried it. I'm going out there trying to be the best."

Preseason games set

The Vikings don't know if they will even play preseason games because of the ongoing NFL lockout, but they know their opponents.

The NFL released its preseason schedule on Tuesday uncertainty surrounding the labor situation. Here is the Vikings' schedule: Week 1 at Tennessee (Aug. 12 or 13); Week 2 at Seattle (Aug. 19 or 20); Week 3 vs. Dallas at Mall of America Field at Metrodome (Aug. 26 or 27); Week 4 vs. Houston at the Metrodome (Aug. 31 or Sept. 1).

Exact dates and times were not released.

The Vikings were assured of playing their first two games on the road while the Metrodome roof is being repaired. The project is expected to be completed by Aug. 1.

The schedule comes with an asterisk, however, because there's no guarantee the work stoppage will be over by then.

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Atlanta - WP: E. Stults 4 FINAL
Detroit - LP: J. Chamberlain 2
Washington - LP: X. Cedeno 2 FINAL
St. Louis - WP: M. Wacha 6
Philadelphia 4 FINAL
Pittsburgh 18
Baltimore 6 FINAL
Tampa Bay 6
Miami - LP: D. Haren 1 FINAL
NY Mets - WP: R. Montero 7
San Diego 6 FINAL
Cincinnati 3
San Francisco 5 FINAL
Chicago Cubs 8
Colorado 2 FINAL
Oakland 11
LA Angels - LP: N. Tropeano 3 FINAL
Seattle - WP: T. Walker 5
Cleveland 4 FINAL
Chicago WSox 1
Kansas City 11 FINAL
Texas 7
Los Angeles 4 FINAL
Arizona 2
Toronto 7 FINAL
Houston 4
Minnesota - LP: C. Johnson 2 FINAL
Boston - WP: J. Masterson 14
Boston 116 FINAL
Charlotte 104
LA Lakers 113 FINAL
Philadelphia 111
Houston 96 FINAL
Toronto 99
Milwaukee 88 FINAL
Atlanta 101
Sacramento 83 FINAL
Memphis 97
Utah 104 FINAL
Minnesota 84
Phoenix 86 FINAL
Portland 109
Tampa Bay 5 FINAL
Montreal 3
Vancouver 4 FINAL
St. Louis 1
Calgary 5 FINAL
Dallas 3
Los Angeles 1 FINAL
Chicago 4
Edmonton 4 FINAL
Colorado 1
Buffalo 4 FINAL
Arizona 1
ULM 58 FINAL
Loyola-Chicago 65
Dayton 70 FINAL
(1) Connecticut 91
(6) Tennessee 48 FINAL
(4) Maryland 58
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Date/Opponent Time W L Score
2014 preseason     
Aug 8 - vs. Oakland 7 pmX10-6
Aug 16 - vs. Arizona 7:30 pmX30-28
Aug 23 - at Kansas City 7 pmX30-12
Aug 28 - at Tennessee 7 pmX19-3
2014 regular season     
Sep 7 - at St. Louis NoonX34-6
Sep 14 - vs. New England NoonX30-7
Sep 21 - at New Orleans NoonX20-9
Sep 28 - vs. Atlanta 3:25 pmX41-28
Oct 2 - at Green Bay 7:25 pmX42-10
Oct 12 - vs. Detroit NoonX17-3
Oct 19 - at. Buffalo NoonX17-16
Oct 26 - at Tampa Bay NoonX19-13 ot
Nov 2 - vs. Washington NoonX29-26
Nov 9 - Bye
Nov 16 - at Chicago NoonX21-13
Nov. 23 - vs. Green Bay NoonX24-21
Nov. 30 - vs. Carolina NoonX31-13
Dec 7 - vs. NY Jets NoonX30-24 ot
Dec 14 - at Detroit 3:25 pmX16-14
Dec 21 - at Miami NoonX37-35
Dec 28 - vs. Chicago NoonX13-9

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