Tom Zbikowski: Will Reefer Knock Baltimore Ravens Safety Out of Boxing?

Colin LinneweberSenior Writer IApril 28, 2011

Only pot can stop Zbikowski from dominating in the ring.
Only pot can stop Zbikowski from dominating in the ring.Hunter Martin/Getty Images

Baltimore Ravens safety Tom Zbikowski knocked Blake Warner onto Queer Street in the first round Saturday night at the WinStar Casino in Thackerville, Oklahoma.

Unfortunately, Zbikowski (4-0, 3 KOs), a two-time third-team AP All-American, tested positive for marijuana following the bout and he has been suspended for 45 days by the prestigious Chickasaw Nation Gaming Commission.

In a somewhat peculiar twist, five of the 16 fighters on last weekend’s card were found to have THC in their systems.

Zbikowski's manager Mike Joyce revealed Tuesday that the former Fighting Irish star is appealing the result of his drug screening.

"We pray that they act in an expedited manner," Joyce told The Associated Press. "We are going to try to keep fighting, to see if we can get the deal overturned."

Zbikowski passed a subsequent test Tuesday at a Chicago lab and the Illinois native could potentially have his ban lifted.

“Tommy Z” may not be forbidden from entering the squared circle because Oklahoma’s Gaming Commissioner, Jeff Keel, told Top Rank officials that the five accused individuals will be exonerated if they "submit to us a clean drug test in the next couple of days we will lift their suspensions."

Zbikowski, who compiled a 75-15 record as an amateur pugilist and advanced to the finals of the Chicago Golden Gloves, had agreed to fight May 21 in Cabazon, Calif., and June 4 at the Staples Center in Los Angeles.

Zbikowski promoter Bob Arum adamantly denied on that his fighter enjoys marijuana.

"Anybody could have a trace (of THC)," said Arum, who acknowledged during a 2000 federal trial that he bribed the International Boxing Federation (IBF) to attain a higher ranking for one of his scrappers.

"If you're in a railroad station or an airport and somebody is smoking a joint and you walk by, you can have a trace. Boxing commissions, knowing that, have elevated the level (of testing) for marijuana so that it doesn't pick up the traces. But this one did. I know Tommy doesn't smoke."

“Tommy Z” hired Hall of Fame trainer Emmanuel Steward to work in his corner last month.

The legendary Steward believes Zbikowski has not yet scratched the surface of his potential as a prizefighter.

“Tommy Z” is legitimately tough and with the NFL’s current labor woes he could become a force under the tutelage of Steward.

Zbikowski is “going to try to keep fighting” and, provided he is reinstated, that is bad news for cruiserweights everywhere.