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Kimbo Slice v. Boston Cop

Kimbo Slice vs. Boston Police officer Sean Gannon (2004)

We've smacked the Boston Police Department around a bit for its inability to solve a majority of the city's homicides, but let's give credit where credit is due: when it comes to unsanctioned, bare-knuckled, backroom beat-downs, the BPD can make a claim that no other department can: Boston's Finest have a record of 1-0 against Kimbo Slice.

As ESPN The Magazine reminded everyone in their Kimbo cover story this month, the only human ever to knock out the formerly homeless, ex-strip-club bouncer is active-duty Boston patrolman Sean Gannon, who beat Kimbo senseless during a blood-soaked 2004 brawl in a still-undisclosed location somewhere on the east coast. Such is Gannon's fame from the match that he's still a draw, even when he's not fighting: he's scheduled to sign autographs at a local WCF mixed-martial-arts contest in Wilmington on June 20.

The video of the Gannon/Kimbo Slice fight (see above) brings new meaning to the phrase "police brutality" -- although, to be fair, it's hard to tell who got the worst of it. Kimbo collapses first, but Gannon takes a vicious punishment. In Kimbo's defense, Gannon executes a couple of expertly-rendered knees to the face -- which, from the reaction of Slice's handlers, is apparently beneath contempt even in no-rules, bare-knuckle brawls. (Ironically, it's perfectly legal in accredited mixed-martial-arts -- Kimbo learned enough about the power of a good knee to jam a couple into the head of former boxing champ Ray Mercer, whom he felled in one of his televised MMA bouts.)

You would think that the BPD would be proud of its homegrown mauler, or at least cynical enough to use Gannon as a crime-prevention tool: after all, what petty burglar wouldn't think just a few seconds longer about taking a swing at his arresting officer if he thought it might be the dude who beat up Kimbo? And, as the Washington Post reports (in a wonderfully-headlined piece entitled "Beat Cops: Why the Police Are Becoming Some of the World's Toughest Fighters"), other police departments are hiring fighters to train officers in MMA-style techniques -- we smell a cost-saver! Alas, even as Kimbo campaigns for another crack at Gannon -- even going so far as to offer his left nut as an incentive -- the BPD has put a muzzle on its hero. Maybe it's trying to giving bloggers another excuse to dredge up the whole 'roid-rage scandal. Or maybe it just doesn't want another Herald front page like this one.

In fact, the BPD did suspend Gannon from duty for his fighting -- although not for fighting Kimbo Slice. Instead, as ESPN reports, Gannon was flagged in 2005, after his Kimbo infamy led him to take a sanctioned out-of-state UFC bout. The two-week suspension Gannon earned for that fight may actually have been a mercy mission: Gannon got his face smashed in during the course of being TKO'd in the first round.

None of that has stopped rematch talk from reaching a fever pitch. ESPN predicts that "when the money is right—and insiders expect an agreement by year's end—[Gannon will] hope for permission to meet Slice in the cage, arguing that Boston cops have received approval to box. If told no, Gannon faces a decision: fight and deal with the consequences, or quit his job and chase an MMA career."

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