Beast of the East

Bob Sapp, footballer-turned-kickboxer, has taken Japan by storm. Now he wants to win over America.

Updated: April 28, 2003, 1:00 PM ET
By By Shaun Assael, ESPN The Magazine
Tokyo is a city of uniforms. Girls on school trips in navy-blue sailor skirts. Salarymen in smartly tailored black suits. Ladies who lunch in kimonos. A bunch of them are bustling past one another in a swanky hotel lobby when an elevator opens. As Bob Sapp bounds out, it's hard to decide what's more startling -- the sight of a 375-pound American in denim shorts or the sound of his deep voice rumbling, "I'm hungry for pancakes. Time for Denny's."