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Football: Zbikowski to make pro boxing debut at Madison Square Garden

Ken Fowler | Wednesday, March 29, 2006

Irish rising senior Tom Zbikowski will announce at an 11:15 a.m. press conference today in New York City that he will make his professional boxing debut June 10 at Madison Square Garden, ESPN.com reported Tuesday.

His father, Ed Zbikowski, told the Associated Press the four-round fight will not jeopardize his son’s NCAA football eligibility.

Zbikowski, Notre Dame’s starting strong safety and punt returner was unavailable for comment Tuesday, as was Irish head coach Charlie Weis.

The Chicago Sun-Times first reported Zbikowski’s decision to fight professionally Tuesday morning. The Sun-Times reported Zbikowski will sign an agreement with Bob Arum of Top Rank Promotions that would have the third team All-American fight three times within 12 months.

In an e-mail to members of the media, Notre Dame assistant sports information director Alan Wasielewski said there would be no official comment from the athletic department before the press conference.

“There will be no reaction to the Chicago Sun-Times story on Tom Zbikowski from the Notre Dame football program until the issue discussed in the article becomes official,” Wasielewski said in the e-mail.

The WBO junior welterweight title fight between Miguel Cotto and Paul Malignaggi will be the headline bout the night Zbikowski fights, the AP and Sun-Times reported. The Sun-Times article said Zbikowski’s fight would be included on HBO’s pay-per-view coverage of the event.