Daily Independent (Ashland, KY)

Local Sports

July 2, 2013

Hanshaw: FNF should boost career despite first pro loss

Boxer retains focus following experience on national stage

ASHLAND — After an exceptionally strong first round, Travis Hanshaw felt his legs weakening in the ring halfway through the second.

Ukrainian boxer Taras Shelestyuk took advantage, handing Hanshaw his first professional loss by unanimous decision at Veterans Coliseum in Jacksonville, Fla., on Friday night as part of ESPN’s “Friday Night Fights.”

While the Boyd County native’s match couldn’t squeeze into the two-hour aired broadcast, Hanshaw was pleased with the overall experience.

“This is going to boost my career up big-time,” said the 21-year-old Boyd County High School graduate. “They usually try to get people from small towns so the other fighter has an easy win.”

It was anything but easy for Shelestyuk, a 2012 Olympics bronze medalist. In fact, the southpaw said this, through an interpreter, to Hanshaw afterward: “That was the hardest fight I’ve ever had.”

Shelestyuk, 27, improved to 4-0 while Hanshaw’s record went to 7-1.

During the first weight check on Wednesday, the scales showed Hanshaw was 9 1/2 pounds too heavy.

“My scale that I use had me going fine,” Hanshaw said. “So I don’t know what went on there. I’ve never had a weight problem.”

Hanshaw succumbed to a strict diet of ice cubes and sweated it out in a sauna for the next two-plus days before weighing in 12 pounds lighter on Friday. He weighed in at 150.8 pounds, with Shelestyuk at 151.4.

The two nearly fought a few hours early, as things got heated during the official weigh-in.

“He kept smirking at me ...” Hanshaw said. “... I put my head on his forehead and said, ‘You’re going to get it bad.’”

Hanshaw said there was mutual respect shown following the fight. Hanshaw even requested a rematch, to which Shelestyuk responded with a simple “no.”

The scorecard read 42-39, said Hanshaw. It was his first loss since his amateur days, probably around the age of 12 or 13, he said.

“I’ve faced a lot of people in my life, and he was a great left-hander,” Hanshaw said. “All credit to him on that, he came to fight.”

When asked about the short notice of the light middleweight bout — he was contacted just a week and a half prior — and the challenge of dropping weight rapidly as being factors, he said they might have been. However, he didn’t want to use those as excuses.

“The first round, I jabbed him, stuck to the game plan,” Hanshaw said. “Everything was going smooth. The second round, it was the same thing. Then I felt my body go.

“I still landed some good punches. People were impressed with me.”

Those tuned in to ESPN2 back home in Boyd County came away disappointed and disgusted because of no air time.

A slew of comments from the Ashland area bombarded the Friday Night Fights Facebook page, and Hanshaw received a great deal of encouraging feedback from his fans.

Hanshaw said his match would have been seen had the co-main event resulted in a knockout.

The rare loss (Hanshaw was 123-6 as an amateur) plunged the right-hander into short-lived depression. He credited his hometown for quickly helping him return to optimistic form.

“That’s why I love where I’m from,” he said. “My whole dream was to be an undefeated champion, that’s why I was down. But they picked me right back up.”

Hanshaw is hoping for a high-profile fight soon, tossing around the KFC Yum! Center in Louisville as a possible site.

To keep up with Hanshaw and his fight information, check out his Facebook page. He also invites people to follow him on Twitter (@Rattlesnake606).

AARON SNYDER can be reached at asnyder@dailyindependent.com or (606) 326-2664.

Text Only
Local Sports
  • Kittens call on Ingram

    Somebody had to follow Dave Miller.
    Scott Ingram is pleased to be the coach to fill the vacancy for the man who built Ashland Blazer softball into a perennial state Top 25 program. The Kittens have won the 16th Region championship every year since 2009.

    July 29, 2014

  • 0729kypgaJr0034.jpg Golfers go out with an encore

    Evan Goble said he “wasn’t completely ready for a playoff” on Monday.
    That didn’t stop him from holing two pressure-packed playoff putts to win the 13-14-year-old division of the final event of the summer on the Kentucky PGA Junior Tour at Bellefonte Country Club.

    July 29, 2014 4 Photos

  • EKC Grid-O-Rama set for Aug. 15-16

    The annual Eastern Kentucky Conference football scrimmage contests are set for Aug. 15-16 at Fleming County and Raceland.

    July 29, 2014

  • Holliday embraces high expectations

    As Marshall football prepares to return to the gridiron to begin fall practice Aug. 4, this season the program finds itself labeled something that it has not been in many years: a favorite.

    July 29, 2014

  • Mobley, Jude key for EKU

    Eastern Kentucky coach Dean Hood has revamped the Colonels’ defense in hopes of containing OVC opponents’ spread offenses.

    July 29, 2014

  • ZACK KLEMME: Punchless Reds wasting solid pitching

    The last nine days have been an exercise in understanding just how slim the margin for error is for baseball teams — even good ones — that can’t score.

    July 27, 2014

  • 0726fbPrac0079.jpg Practice rolls on as kickoff approaches in less than 5 weeks

    As high school football teams strap on helmets and prepare for Friday nights next month, the theme of the first couple of weeks of practice for most is simple.
    You gotta work. Hard.
    And if you don’t, it’ll be exposed come Aug. 22.
    “Everybody looks good in helmets,” Ashland coach Tony Love said with a grin. “We’re all undefeated. There’s a lot of work to get done.
    “Our coaches and kids, we all know it, and that’s why they’re here and we’re here, and we’re gonna push hard every day.”

    July 25, 2014 4 Photos

  • kenzie-breaststroke.jpg Pennington makes push for Nationals

    Swimmer Kenzie Pennington had one last chance to make the cut for this year’s YMCA Long Course National Championships.
    The 15-year-old from Ashland didn’t disappoint.

    July 25, 2014 1 Photo

  • Salyers shoots 75 for title at Lakeside

    Baylee Salyers of Flatwoods shot a 3-over par 75 at Lakeside Golf Course on Thursday to win the Girls Open division of the Walmart Kentucky PGA Junior Tour event.

    July 24, 2014

  • 0724putnamwebshot.JPG Laying the foundation Workers are finishing the foundation for the locker room on the home side of Putnam Stadium on Tuesday. The Ashland Tomcats open the football season on Aug. 22 against Newport Catholic.

    July 23, 2014