Tom Zbikowski hangs up gloves

Updated: May 24, 2011, 3:28 PM ET
ESPN.com news services

Tom Zbikowski is hanging up his boxing gloves for now so he can "transition back to football."

The Baltimore Ravens safety has pulled out of his June 4 fight against Mike Howell at Staples Center so he can join his teammates for informal workouts during the lockout.

"It was time to start the transition back to football," Zbikowski told the Los Angeles Times in a text message. "My teammates are starting to organize some workouts, so it's just time to head back (to Baltimore). Wish I had more time to do both."

Zbikowski was 3-0 in his return to the boxing ring during the NFL's work stoppage and is 4-0 in his professional boxing career.

Zbikowski, 75-15 as an amateur, turned pro in 2006 while still at Notre Dame.

Zbikowski had a suspension rescinded in April over a disputed drug test. Promoter Bob Arum told the Times that Zbikowski's return to football had nothing to do with drug testing, however.

The Chickasaw Nation Gaming Commission said that THC, the active ingredient in marijuana, was present in the post-fight drug test Zbikowski took after his last fight in Oklahoma. He was suspended 45 days, pending another test.

Zbikowski took another test at an independent lab in Chicago that came back negative, and the suspension was overturned.

The safety told the newspaper in a text that he is halting his foray into boxing because he wanted to show his Ravens teammates that he was serious about getting ready for the 2011 season. He said the decision was tough and he enjoyed the opportunity to fight for Arum again.

"As tough as it is to turn yourself into a fighter, it's equally as tough to transition into an NFL player," he told the newspaper.

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