Ex-UFC champ Arlovski ready to box

Former UFC heavyweight champ Andrei Arlovski will fight a four-round boxing exhibition against former heavyweight boxing contender Fres Oquendo on Feb. 27 in Miami.

Arlovski, 31, who signed with Oscar De La Hoya's "Golden Boy Promotions" in February, 2009, was scheduled to make his pro boxing debut last April while he was considered among the top five MMA heavyweights in the world. At the time, Arlovski was being trained by famed cornerman Freddie Roach. But Arlovski put that on hold to play a role in the sequel to the movie, "Universal Soldier."

MMA losses to Fedor Emelianenko on Jan. 24, '09, and to Brett Rogers in June took the luster off Arlovski's attempt to become an MMA/boxing crossover star.

The plan now is to take two MMA bouts after the boxing exhibition, and then Arlovski will try to make his pro boxing debut later in the year. Arlovski ultimately is hoping to get a rematch with Rogers, and possibly Emelianenko.

"I'm excited for this exhibition," Arlovski said. "This is a really good start for me.

"I need a couple of fights back in MMA, then I'm hoping to make my boxing debut in the summer, or by the end of the year."

Oquendo (31-5-0) last fought in July, when he knocked out former champ Bruce Seldon in the ninth round.

Arlovski and Oquendo both fight out of Chicago. Mike Garcia, who trains former WBC lightweight champ David Diaz, has been training Arlovski.

Proceeds from the exhibition will benefit "The Consequences Charity" in Miami, which is aimed at reducing adolescent criminal behavior. For more information, visit www.theblacksannualgala.org.