Former NFL player Ray Edwards, who made headlines by becoming a boxer during the 2011 NFL lockout, has signed a promotional agreement with Vito Mielnicki’s GH3 Promotions, the company announced on August 29.
Edwards played in the NFL from 2006-2012 with the Minnesota Vikings, who drafted Edwards in the fourth round of the 2006 NFL Draft,. He also had a stint with the Atlanta Falcons
Despite football being his first professional sport, Edwards said that he's always loved the sport and believes he has a chip on his shoulder as a boxer.
"I always loved boxing,” Edwards said. “I started doing it as an off-season workout and just really enjoyed it. It is a big deal for me to sign with GH3 Promotions. Vito Mielnicki has a good stable with (middleweight) Antoine Douglas and (super middleweight) Jerry Odom and this is the type of step I was looking for. I was looked down upon (as a boxing prospect) because I was a football player."
Edwards said that he's been in the same camp as WBC Heavyweight Champion Deontay Wilder (37-0, 36 KO), and that he has held his own. Edwards' trainer Kennie Johnson said that he thinks Edwards can become a quality boxer.
“He is developing into a good fighter,” Johnson said. “We started out with a guy who had a great physical presence, but he has been a fast learner and now it is time for people to see that. He is coming along well and when the competition steps up, we will see that he is a quality fighter. He is the hardest worker that I ever seen in the forty years that I have been around the sport."
The 31-year-old made his boxing debut during the NFL Lockout in 2011, defeating Tyrone Gibson via unanimous decision in a four-round bout. Since he was released from the Falcons in 2012, he started taking boxing more seriously and is now undefeated as a pro, sporting an 11-0-1 record with 7 knockouts.
Edwards will have his first fight of the new agreement on September 15. He will face an opponent to be determined on the CBS Sports Net televised undercard of the Dusty Hernandez vs. Harrison-Thomas LaManna welterweight bout at the 2300 Arena in Philadelphia.