Jose Canseco vs Herschel Walker? Nah! TLDR at bottom
Jose Canseco returning to Bay Area for new kind of bash
Jose Canseco is coming back to the Bay Area, with football legend Herschel Walker in his sights.
"Herschel is going down," crowed Canseco, who is hoping to take on the former NFL running back turned mixed martial arts fighter.
Sure, the 45-year-old Canseco's only professional fight was a disaster. He was quickly beaten down last May by 7-foot-2-inch Hong Man Choi of South Korea.
But there's a bigger roadblock: Walker has shown no interest.
In a video posted on the website of Canseco's promoters, Walker, 48, said he is a serious fighter and isn't interested in taking on the former Oakland Athletics great.
"It's a joke," Walker said.
But Canseco has started a rigorous training regimen and has a plan to lure Walker into the ring.
Via http://cansecovswalker.com, the former outfielder and his promoters are pushing Walker and his handlers for a match. There's a petition fans can sign if they want to see the fight take place.
"This is a total freak show and hilarious, so I wanna see it," one fan chimed in.
It's the same kind of in-your-face online approach Canseco's promoters used to get him back in the ring.
Renowned Pleasant Hill, Calif.-based martial arts instructor Cesar Gracie will be training Canseco when he arrives in the Bay Area in a few weeks. The arrangements were made by promoters Terry Burton, of San Ramon, and Ryan Villarante, of San Francisco.
Burton, an amateur fighter with Team Gracie Fighter, said the Canseco-Walker idea hatched a few months ago after Walker's professional fighting debut. Members of the Gracie team thought Walker's performance was strong and talked about who would be a good opponent. Burton said Canseco, a well-known athlete from the same era who has been dabbling in professional fighting, was an obvious choice.
They made a cell phone video inviting Canseco to train for a fight with Walker, and put the video on YouTube. They didn't know if Canseco would see it, but a week later he called.
For the past six weeks, Burton and Villarante have been meeting with Canseco near his Northridge home to train and work on sparring. When Canseco comes to the Bay Area, he will spend at least six weeks in intensive training at schools run by Gracie and the team's featured fighters around the Bay Area.
Gracie is looking forward to molding the 6-foot-4, 250-pound Canseco. If Canseco commits, Gracie said he can make him a good fighter.
"To me it's a challenge," Gracie said.
The trainer admits a Canseco-Walker matchup would be a spectacle, but he says it's a spectacle sport, in which fighters enter a caged ring and beat each other.
Canseco's promoters say they don't want to create a circus atmosphere, and will start Canseco against fighters about his age and skill level.
Canseco knows some may see this as a stunt, but he says he's serious about fighting. He participated in martial arts during his baseball years, and then tried it professionally, but he found it hard to get takers.
Canseco did fight former child star Danny Bonaduce to a draw, but in his one professional fight, against Choi, Canseco was badly beaten. He said he didn't train enough, had a bad knee and that he couldn't overcome his opponent being almost a foot taller and more than a decade younger.
He said a fight against Walker would be different, and followed with some smack talk worthy of a seasoned fighter.
"He showed me nothing as an athlete," Canseco said of Walker's professional fighting experience.
Mike Afromowitz, spokesman for Strikeforce, which has Walker under contract, had no comment on a possible matchup. He said Walker will return to train with the company, in San Jose, but has no fights scheduled.
In the interview video conducted by Burton and posted on his website, Walker was adamant about not fighting Canseco, at least in the ring.
"He can come to my backyard and we can throw down right there," said Walker, who offered to buy Canseco the plane ticket to Dallas.
Gracie team watches Herschel Walker beat some poor unathletic guy.
Gracie team think Canseco should fight him in old man type fight
Gracie team call Canseco like Ghost Busters
Canseco go train
Herschel Walker not interested in fighting Canseco, invites Canseco to backyard brawl
Not even K-1 interested in Canseco freak match again
Hong Man Choi of South Korea beats them both on the dance floor
We are all one.