Almost 80 men and women have signed up to box at this weekend’s Coal Area Toughman Boxing Contest at Logan High School’s Willie Akers Arena.
Bell time is 7:30 p.m. on Friday and Saturday nights. The doors open at 6:30.
It’s the 26th-annual event at Logan.
The Toughman is an amateur boxing tournament for fighters with little or no experience. Each bout is set for three one-minute rounds.
Up to $16,000 in prize money will be handed out.
One of the best known boxers who have signed up is Mount Gay native and former Logan High School baseball standout Bo Darby. The 6-foot-2, 240-pound 25-year-old, has previously boxed at the Toughman.
“We have nearly 80 fighters,” veteran West Virginia Toughman boxing promoter Jerry Thomas said. “Bo Darby is back and he’s in the heavyweight division. He has boxed in the Toughman. He played high school baseball with Jordan Moore. Bo is one of the guys to watch. The overall field looks pretty good.”
A total of 16 men have signed up for the heavyweight division (185 to 400 pounds). Those are: Darby, nicknamed “The Real Deal”; Thomas “Red Topper” Baisden of Dingess; Reggie “Dillhammer” Dillingham of Charleston; Cameron Ellis of Gilbert; Scott “The Dream” Estrathers of Holden; “Walking Tall” Jon Hall of Neon, Ky.; Matt “The Hitman” Hizer” of Foster; Aaron “Mad Man” Martin of Ashland, Ky.; Steven “The Sniper” Miller of Omar; Adam Mitchell of Madison; Jonathan “The Undertaker” Mullins of Dunbar; Billy “The American Psycho” Sheppard of Delbarton; Brandon “Psycho” Sheppard of Delbarton; Cody Spears of Pilgrim, Ky.; Bill “Wildman” Stevens of Man; and Aaron Taylor of St. Albans.
Twenty-two men have signed on to box in the light heavyweight division (160-184 pounds). They are: Thibaut Carmignano of Charleston; Jonathan “White Lighting” Cossin of Charleston; David Dunlap of Tornado; Ralph Francis of Logan; Zach Gillenwater of Madison; Michael “The Convict” Hunter of Man; Jim “The Razor” Johnson of Belfry, Ky.; Terry “Redneck” Kidd of Charleston; John Kinser of Chapmanville; Bobby “The Beast” Laws of Lyburn; Charles “The Devil” Lilly of Charleston; “Irish” Anthony Looney of Logan; David Messer of Omar; Hakeem “The Dream” Norman of Logan; “Dangerous” Tim Sidney of Logan; D.J. Smith of Harts; Tommie Spears of Pilgrim, Ky.; Jessie “The Possum” Stollings of Grundy, Va.; “Dangerous” Denis Watts of Harts; Rodney “The Name Says it All” White of Beckley; Josh “Little Bubba” Wiley of Chapmanville; and Danny “The Hitman” Williams of Man.
A total of 21 men have signed on to fight in the middleweight division (140-159 pounds). Those boxers are: William “The Conqueror” Brown of Jeffrey; Laurence Champagne of Hanover; Timothy Cline of Warfield, Ky.; Heath “The Redneck” Cline of Simon; Theophislus (TC) “The Truth” Coats of South Charleston; Doug “Coal Blooded Killer” Depta of Man; Brandon Guthrie of Midkiff; Leonard Hall of Dingess; Cody “The Georgia Boy” Henderson of Wayne; Steven “Hitman” Hensley of Holden; Cameron Johnson of Charleston; Chris “The Gambler” Justice of Man; James “Just Wants to Fight” Lemons of West Hamlin; Micah Marcum of Kermit; Mason Meade of Pikeville, Ky.; Channing Preece of Kermit; Justin Runyon of Delbarton; Tim Spears of Pilgrim, Ky.; Matthew Thompson of Clendenin; Amos “Too Tall” Tincher of Milton; Shawn “Lights Out” Vaughn of Charleston; and Charlie “The Real Deal” Wade of Charleston.
Only 11 men have signed on so far to box in the lightweight division (up to 139 pounds). They are: Ricky “Rikewa” Bailey of Chapmanville; Gary “The Ghost” Blankenship of Bruno; Russell Bradford of Sarah Ann; Mike “The Welder” Brock of Barboursville; Brandon “Hitman” Frye of Logan; Paul Israel Jr. of Chapmanville; Robert “The Sniper” Kirby of Huntington; Andrew Pauley of Nellis; Christopher “Bad (Censored) Robinson of Henlawson; Nathaniel Shreve of Danville; and James “The Blonde Bombshell” Vance of Ranger.
“The men’s light heavyweight division is wide open for a new champion,” Thomas said. “There is no returning champion. The middleweight division it’s the same thing. At this point we are a little low in numbers in the men’s lightweight division. We encourage people to register. You can register all the way up to Friday evening at 4:30. You can enter on our website at wvtoughman,com or call us toll free at 1-800-296-3897.”
Six Toughwomen have signed up to box in the women’s divsion. They are: Amy “The Soldier” Hurley of McCarr, Ky.; Alisha Burton of Whitman; Ashley Osborn of Accoville; Beth Nicole Earnest of Holden; Kendra Gillman of Zanesville, Ohio; and Karisa “Devil Woman” Singleton of Cox Mills.
“We would also encourage some women to sign up,” Thomas said. “We only have six women at this point. We would like to see some more women sign up.”
* Thomas said there will also be a special group ticket package at this year’s Toughman.
“We have a new group sales package,” Thomas said. “The economy has been tough so we have held the ticket prices for the Toughman the same for five years with no increase. This year what we have done is that there is a group sales package for any group, business or organization. If you buy 10 tickets at any price level you get two free. If you buy 20 tickets you get four tickets free. If you buy 30 tickets you get six free. There’s no limit. If you buy 100 tickets you get 120. We’re getting some people who have already taken advantage of that. The sales package is only available until Thursday. You can’t do that at the gate. You can order tickets by phone.
* The lovely ring girls are also a big part of the Toughman entertainment.
On Wednesday night at 9 p.m. Top’s Dinner Club of Stollings will host the ring girl competition finals at the club. The top four ladies will be ring girls at this weekend’s Logan Toughman event.
Miss Ring Girl gets $1,000 on Saturday night.
The winner is chosen by audience participation.