Tommy Z Will Be Backed By Miguel Diaz, Not Steward
By Lem Satterfield
Baltimore Ravens' safety Tom Zbikowski told BoxingScene.com that he will likely be without legendary trainer, Manny Steward, for Saturday night's heavyweight clash opposite Blake Werner of Oklahoma City before Werner's partisan fans
at WinStar Casino in Thackerville, Oklahoma.
The 6-foot, 26-year-old Zbikowski (3-0, two knockouts) is coming off of last month's tougher-than-expected, unanimous decision over Michigan's Caleb Grummett, his first under Steward, that was contested at the Boardwalk Hall in Atlantic City.
Steward has been busy training former WBC light heavyweight king Chad Dawson (29-1, 17 KOs) for a May 21 bout with Adrian Diaconu (27-2, 15 KOs). Zbikowski spent the past few weeks training alongside Dawson with Steward at Detroit's Kronk Gym.
In place of Steward with Zbikowski could be Miguel Diaz, the former cut man who served as Steward's assistant against Grummett. Werner is 1-2, with one KO.
"We got mixed up on some travel plans, so I don't even know if I want to make him come all the way to Thackerville . I've got Miguel Diaz and R.W. Brown, who has been my personal trainer for football and boxing," said Zbikowski.
"Miguel's been there. He will be in his third fight with me. Emanuel's got a busy schedule," said Zbikowski. "He's got championship fighters. I wasn't going to be hurt that he wasn't going to make it to this fight. Emanuel knows that I'm going to take care of business."
Zbikowski-Grummett took place 14 days after Zbikowski's March 12, first-round stoppage of Richard Bryant in Las Vegas.
Zbikowski is trying to compete in as many professional boxing matches as possible, this, with the NFL owners and players association locked in talks to sign a new collective bargaining agreement and the Ravens' season on hold.
Zbikowski still was a junior defensive back at Notre in June of 2006 when he debuted as a professional with a 49-second knockout of Robert Bell at New York's Madison Square Garden.
Zbikowski's upcoming schedule is comprised of fighting once each in the next two months on May 21 at the Morongo Casino Resort and Spa in Cabazon, Calif., and again on June 4 at the Staples Center in Los Angeles.
The opponents for the last two fights of Zbikowski, who is campaigning as a heavyweight, still are to be determined.
After graduating in 2007, Zbikowsk, who was 75-15 as an amateur boxer, was drafted in the third round and 86th overall by the Ravens in 2008, played sparingly as a special teams player, and then he overcame back and foot injuries last season to start in six games.