YouTube, the In­ter­net and Kimbo Slice; ahh, Amer­ica

The Covington News - - News - By Josh Briggs

Kimbo Slice. Have you heard the name be­fore? If not, don’t bother. His 15 min­utes are up.

Slice is (or was be­fore Satur­day) a mixed mar­tial arts fighter who made his name on the In­ter­net be­fore be­ing over­hyped and pretty much ex­ploited.

If you missed it, Slice (whose real name is Kevin Fer­gu­son) was sup­posed to fight Ken Sham­rock at an EliteXC match Satur­day night. In­stead, he fought a no­body named Seth Petruzelli and lost in 14 sec­onds. That’s not the prob­lem.

Slice be­came pop­u­lar through the un­der­ground Mi­ami street fight­ing scene. His eight fight videos, read­ily avail­able on YouTube, show a large, freak­ish black man beat­ing up on peo­ple. It’s the kind of the seedy un­der­belly stuff that makes the In­ter­net so ap­peal­ing to some and re­pul­sive to oth­ers. It’s also a great ex­am­ple of how the In­ter­net is so pow­er­ful.

I have no beef with Slice/Fer­gu­son. He’s had a rough life and from what I’ve read, he’s a stand-up guy who takes care of his kids. He once had as­pi­ra­tions (and ap­par­ently enough skill) to play col­lege foot­ball but Hur­ri­cane An­drew de­stroyed those plans when it cut his se­nior sea­son of high school foot­ball short. He’s been home­less. He’s been a bouncer and body guard. He’s been places I have never been. What is the prob­lem is how we were all duped by the hype.

Slice gets paid well to fight so he’s go­ing to do what he has to do. EliteXC gave him an exclusive con­tract in 2007 to be its main at­trac­tion. But every­one from CBS to ESPN put so much mar­ket­ing and ef­fort into this guy’s im­age that he never had a chance.

Many who have viewed his fights said he never fought any­body tough. The one tough guy the pun­dits said he did fight, for­mer Bos­ton cop Sean Gan­non, beat him. Now pub­li­ca­tions such as Sports Il­lus­trated are say­ing the EliteXC could go out of busi­ness. Why? Be­cause the start-up firm put ev­ery­thing it had be­hind Slice. It proved to be a farce.

The In­ter­net has many great at­tributes. In­for­ma­tion is ev­ery­where (even though much of it is bo­gus) and news is avail­able al­most min­utes af­ter it hap-

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