Daily Independent (Ashland, KY)

Local Sports

September 12, 2013

Kentucky Toughman kicks off Friday

El Hasa Shriners Temple first site of statewide event

CANNONSBURG — Tom Hanshaw couldn’t help but notice a Toughman Contest trend.

“It seemed like everybody that was fighting and winning in West Virginia were from Kentucky!” Hanshaw said. “We have MMA, pro boxing and amateur boxing in the area. Why not Toughman?”

Hanshaw and East Coast Promotions will formally introduce the Kentucky Toughman competition on Friday and Saturday outside of El Hasa Shriners Temple on U.S. 60 near Boyd County High School.

Fights will begin promptly at 7 p.m. each day, capped off by main events featuring Tom Hanshaw Jr. on Friday and Travis Hanshaw, a state welterweight champion, on Saturday. Action will be moved inside if weather becomes a factor.

As of Wednesday, 30 boxers were registered to participate. Those interested in fighting can register up until noon on Friday. Fighters are to be between 18 and 39 years old and can’t have any professional experience. They will be divided into three weight classes.

More Toughman events will follow, with sites to be determined. Winners from each event will do battle in the state finals, which is tentatively slated for December in Louisville. There, fighters will vie for $25,000 and a chance to advance to national competition in Detroit.

A ring girl competition is also set for this weekend, as a crew of young ladies will be chosen to grace the ring other Kentucky Toughman events.

According to Tom Hanshaw, his house and nearby gym have been buzzing with those clamoring to climb inside the ropes this weekend.

“We’ve got some hellacious tough men,” Hanshaw said. “I mean, these guys are bad.”

He has pinpointed a possible pre-fight favorite. Jeremy Martin, an 18-year-old from Ashland, “is killer,” Hanshaw said.

Hanshaw said he is hopeful that the weekend is successful, but he is aware of past letdowns.

“It’s been tried, it’s failed,” he said, adding that there was a similar event in Pikeville at one time.

Some of Travis Hanshaw’s earliest childhood memories of the boxing ring occurred at Toughman Contests. He remembers one, in particular, in which South Point native Nikki Eplion fought in the main event.

Now, Hanshaw is the headliner. He will face Clifford McPherson, a 5-foot-10 welterweight from Cleveland. McPherson is 2-15, according to boxrec.com.

Hanshaw suffered his first loss as a professional in June, when Ukrainian Taras Shelestyuk defeated him by unanimous decision in Jacksonville, Fla.

Redemption road begins now for the boxer who turns 22 next week.

“That left a bad taste in my mouth,” he said. “That was my first loss in a long time.”

As much as he’s looking forward to getting back in the win column, Travis Hanshaw is also excited to be a spectator this weekend.

“I love Toughman,” Travis said. “It’s just people who want to win so bad. They won’t stop throwing punches. It’s always the guy who nobody expects to win.”

Advance tickets are $20 general admission, $30 priority seating and $50 ringside. At the door, each costs an additional $5.

Visit kytoughman.com, follow @KYToughMan12 on Twitter, and/or call (606) 232-1772 or (606) 325-6082 for more information.

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

1
Text Only
Local Sports
  • Genuine throwback

    Todd Eastham is disproving the old cliche, “Those who can, do; those who can’t, teach.”

    July 23, 2014

  • MARK MAYNARD: Looking for those who inspire

    Inspirtation, they say, comes from within. It is defined as an inspiring or animating action or influence.

    July 22, 2014

  • 0722KYPGA_152.jpg Jones tops Gillum in playoff at Eagle Trace

    Ashland senior golfer Logan Jones didn't shoot his average Monday.
    He didn't mind.
    His three-over par 75 and one-hole playoff win over Elliott County junior Ryan Gillum gave him the Boys Open division title in the Kentucky PGA Junior Tour stop at Morehead State University's Eagle Trace Golf Course.

    July 21, 2014 6 Photos

  • 102213_329a.jpg Raceland tabs Clark as new girls basketball coach

    Jason Clark has a reputation of being — to use his word — “passionate” on the Raceland volleyball sideline.
    He plans to bring that same approach as the Lady Rams’ new basketball coach.

    July 21, 2014 1 Photo

  • 0305region2_389.jpg Pass the Mayo: East sophomore PG, Lady Raiders preparing for winter run

    East Carter sophomore point guard Kristen Mayo has played basketball for as long as she can remember.

    July 18, 2014 2 Photos

  • 0718spinda.jpg Steelers super fan Spinda to be recognized in Florida

    Shawn Spinda doesn’t have to use speech to profess his passion for the Pittsburgh Steelers.
    All it takes is a quick glance for a person to get the picture.
    But to absorb the whole picture, you’ll need to clear your schedule.
    Spinda is one of several fanatics who will be recognized at the Sports Fans Conference in Orlando, Florida, which is set for Aug. 28-Sept. 1 at the Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin Resort. He is a “What a Fan” NFL Fan of the Year nominee.

    July 17, 2014 1 Photo

  • 0703rfLL0204.jpg Little League State Baseball: Ready to run

    Morehead 11- and 12-year-old All-Star baseball manager Toby Gardner collectively likened his team to a racehorse.

    July 16, 2014 1 Photo

  • 0717prokick1.jpg Prokicker.com camp Eleven Ashland Tomcat football players were part of the Ray Guy Prokicker.com camp at Huntington High. The high-profile camps are put on all over the country. Rick Sang, an Ashland native who befriended Guy 20 years ago, is the camp's founder.

    July 16, 2014

  • 0716fbpractice0105.jpg Four-down territory: Making summer football practice pit stops

    ARE YOU READY FOR SOME FOOTBALL?
    The popular Monday night catchphrase filled my room on Tuesday morning as my new alarm sounded off at 7 a.m.

    July 16, 2014 5 Photos

  • 0716softball.jpg KHSAA pushes presence of masks

    Fairview’s Sydney Ekers and Lewis County’s Kelsey Rizzo didn’t wear masks to play softball until after they were struck in the face by line drives.
    The Kentucky High School Athletic Association has made a recommendation that it hopes will reduce such instances.

    July 16, 2014 1 Photo