Boxers are tough men doing tough jobs. The money is not great and few will ever earn over $1,200 for a fight, not much considering the dangers involved. Only the military pays less for risking one's life. (I earned $90 a month combat pay in Viet Nam for the privilege of letting an entire nation try and kill me.)

Determination is seen on their faces during the weigh-in at Clearwater Casino, in Idaho. The casino, with the help of Sarah Weliver and Beat Boxing Promotions, is making an attempt to return boxing to the area. Years ago they held fights in a tent in the fledgling enterprise where people like heavyweight Chauncy Weliver brought the crowds to their feet. Then came a long period of stagnation before this attempted rebirth. No posters or signs have preceded this October 15th event so the estimated crowd remains unknown. So far only 250 tickets have been sold, not a promising amount. All the boxers know is, they will fight.

They mill about the empty event center waiting to step onto the scales. Concerned stares are followed by nervous laughter. They are hungry and want to eat, and get a good night's sleep - something almost impossible to do under such pressure. They will stretch about the bed of Clarkston's Motel 6 in a room too hot and thumb through the television channels only to find a vast wasteland populated mostly by commercials, canned laughter, and homicide.

With few exceptions these are new fighters, men making their pro debuts. Leo Bercier, a true professional and scheduled for the main event, has been around for many years, as has Daryl Gardner. Others, like Pat Ferguson, also on the main event, are trying to move up the boxing slope in an attempt to glimpse the top of the mountain and the pot of gold that awaits the very few boxers with the stamina, determination, talent, and luck, required to get there. Maintaining a foothold at the top is tricky and sharp cliffs, from which every fighter will eventually fall, await.

The day of the fight is all nervous waiting. Boxers mill outside their motel doors attempting to kill time. Their laughing is forced and distracting and they often fall into melancholy. Trips are constantly made to the beds in an attempt to relax and to sloop

Returning to the event center they undergo a pre fight check-up by the attending physician. Looking through the curtain they notice the center filling up. Before the night is over the fight will be sold out.

Nothing calms a fighter like finally facing his opponent. The first bout is an armature fight between Dan Alberthson and Orlando Garcia. Alberthson, the only fighter to wear head protection, is also the only one to end up in a pile of blood during his loss. The other fights were as follows:

 

Megan Martin by UD over Wendy Tony. Like most women’s fights, this one is non-stop and a real crowd pleaser.

 

Eric Hempstead by TKO over Warren Brockie. Brockie goes down at 1:06 of round 2.

 

Laramie Scott by UD over Merle Sijohn. Although he has no boxing skills, Sijohn refuses to go down and fights as best he can. He admitted to being out of shape because he was recently released from jail. With more time in the gym, or exercising in jail, he might prove a better fighter. For now he is all heart. He claims Scott is no fighter and carries no punch. Scott probably has a different opinion. Another bout between the two - one without excuses - would settle the question.

 

Cedric Hughey by TKO in round 1. Hughey proves remarkably fast for such a tall man. Villaro has the right idea by crowding Hughey to smother punches. When Hughey finds room he finishes the job.

 

In an exhibition bout teammates Sean Quinnett and Jacob Ruffin showcase possibly the finest boxing skills of the night.

 

Andrew Whitfield TKOs CJ Mount at 1:37 of round 1.

 

Austin Arnett TKOs Daryl Gardner at 1:26 of round 1. Anyone who allows Gardner to step into the ring again should be brought up on criminal charges. He has spent more time on the canvass than Omar the Tent Maker and any punch that comes within an inch of him lays him out. It is a wonder he does not do down just stepping into the ring. He is a nice man and someone needs to save his life and direct him into a safer and more productive activity. He has lost 9 fights by KO-TKO with only 1 win.

 

Patrick Ferguson TKOs Leo Bercier in a very satisfying bout. Bercier knows his boxing and is not one to give up without a fight. This was especially clear when Ferguson hit him square between the legs and he refused to go down, just winced, did not complain to the referee (who did not see the blow) and continued to fight. This was the perfect fight for Ferguson wanting to make his rise in the game. He is used to hitting opponents and watching them tumble like fallen timber. He might have been surprised when many of his blows did not discourage Bercier. Ferguson is a hot prospect and if managed correctly he should rise to the top ranks fairly quickly. Another 15 or 20 decent fights should give him the experience he needs and get him there.

 

The event was clearly a success. One thing that should be changed is the addition of a few hot dogs or snacks. Boxing matches can be long affairs and a few goodies will be welcome. Otherwise – good job Sarah and Clearwater Casino!


THIS IS HOW THE CAMERA SAW THE ACTION:

 

Two (2) 8X10 Pictures of fights are available by sending $25 to:

Richard Baker

8012 14th Avenue Court East

Tacoma WA 98404


( I cannot guarantee that fighters look good. That part was up to them )


Include the fighter's name and return address

 

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