Vikings' Edwards using lockout to attempt pro boxing career

Ray Edwards isn't content to stand still while the NFL lockout drags.

Like Baltimore Ravens safety Tom Zbikowskibefore him, the Minnesota Vikings defensive end will try his hand at professional boxing, signing a two-fight contract Tuesday, according to The Star Tribune.

Edwards will make his professional boxing debut May 20 at Minnesota's Grand Casino Hinckley, but his opponent has yet to be determined.

"It's something I've always wanted to do in my life," Edwards told the newspaper. "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, is guaranteed $5,000 for the fight, plus 50 percent of the May 20 gate proceeds, according to The Star Tribune, which reports the lineman has just 8 percent body fat and weighs 255 pounds, about 13 below his playing weight. He'll fight again under those terms in June if the lockout is still going.

Edwards is being trained by former heavyweight boxer and pro wrestler Jeff Warner.

Edwards, who's entering his sixth NFL season, is unsigned as he waits for the terms of a new collective bargaining agreement to determine whether or not he is an unrestricted free agent. He started 14 games for the Vikings last season, recording eight sacks. In 72 games, 58 of them starts, he has 29.5 sacks.

Edwards expects the same level of success in his boxing career.

"There's always going to be people tell you that you can't do something," he 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."

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