Shaq ready to fight Canseco in MMA

By Larry Fine, Reuters

Posted at Mar 14 2012 03:24 PM | Updated as of Mar 15 2012 02:47 AM

Shaquille O'Neal won countless battles under the basket in his brilliant NBA career but is ready to get more physical, saying he is willing to face former MLB All-Star Jose Canseco in a mixed martial arts bout.

Canseco, 47, whose baseball comeback bid with the Quintana Roo Tigres of the Mexican League stalled last week when he was banned for declining to take a doping test, has been calling out the four-time NBA champion in messages on his Twitter account.

"I challenged him a long time ago. If he wants it done, he knows where to find me," O'Neal, who was listed at 7-foot-1 and 325 pounds in his playing career, told Reuters on Tuesday in a telephone interview from Florida to promote Dove Men + Care skin product.

"He can be high off whatever, and I'll be high off Frosted Flakes," O'Neal, 40, said about the popular breakfast cereal.

O'Neal retired from the National Basketball Association last year and is due to receive his doctorate degree in May from Barry University's School of Education in Miami.

Canseco, who admitted to using steroids in his Major League Baseball career and wrote books about their widespread use, said he was advised against taking the doping test because of prescribed medicine he takes to produce testosterone.

The Cuban-born Canseco has used Twitter to suggest a four-man MMA tournament in Las Vegas titled "Beef Bash 1" featuring him against O'Neal, and former National Football League player Herschel Walker against former boxing champion Mike Tyson.

Canseco lost his first MMA bout in 77 seconds against 7-foot-2 South Korean Hong Man Choi in 2009.