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Ravens safety Tom Zbikowski has pulled out of his June 4 boxing match and will return to the gridiron, according to the Los Angeles Times.
Boasting a 3-0 fighting record since the NFL lockout began in early March, Zbikowski was scheduled to take on cruiserweight Mike Howell at the Staples Center in Los Angeles.
“It’s time to start the transition back to football,” Zbikowski told the Times in text messages. “My teammates are starting to organize some workouts, so it’s just time to head back [to Baltimore]. Wish I had more time to do both.”
Several Ravens players attended a voluntary workout organized by wideout Derrick Mason at Towson University Tuesday morning. The conditioning-focused sessions will continue Wednesday and Thursday, as well.
Cornerbacks Domonique Foxworth and Josh Wilson, along with safety Haruki Nakamura, were the only members of the secondary to attend.
Zbikowski last fought April 23 in Oklahoma, scoring a first-round technical knockout of Blake Warner. Following the bout, Zbikowski allegedly tested positive for THC, which is found in marijuana, but a suspension from the local boxing commission was lifted days later when he produced a clean test.
Promoter Bob Arum told the Times that Zbikowski’s decision to begin training for football was not related to the drug test.
The report stated that Zbikowski wanted to show his teammates “that I’m getting ready for this upcoming season. It’s going to be a big year for the Ravens and I need to be ready.”
He also said, “It was a very tough decision for me. It was a tremendous experience fighting for Arum again.
“As tough as it is to turn yourself into a fighter, it’s equally as tough to transition into an NFL player.”