February 8, 2007 issue

Tough Man Contest Comes To Boone February 23 and 24

Story by David Brewer

Calling all street fighters, bullies, bikers, athletes, bouncers, backyard boxers and otherwise tough men, ages 18 to 40, who think they’ve got what it takes to win the $1,500 cash prize at the upcoming brawl at the Boone National Guard Armory.

Being billed as the regional championship for the area’s “toughest and baddest men,” the brawl will take place on Friday and Saturday, February 23 and 24. Doors will open at 7:00 p.m. each night, with the fighting starting at 8:00 p.m.

The fight contest is an open sporting event sanctioned by the North Carolina State Boxing Association. There is no entry fee for those brave enough to enter the ring for three one-minute rounds of all-out brawling. No professional fighters of any kind will be allowed into the ring to participate in brawling action. Contestants can sign up at Watsonatta Western World or at the armory on Friday night, February 23.

Contestants will be divided into groups of 16 among the three weight divisions: middle weight (140 to 160 lbs.), light heavy weight (161 to 185 lbs.) and heavy weight (more than 185 lbs.). Contestants are required to take a physical exam prior to entering the ring.

Contestants are not allowed to wrestle or kick during the brawl. A referee will be inside the ring at all times to strictly enforce the rules. While in the ring, contestants will wear boxing gloves, headgear and other protective wear. A doctor will be ringside throughout as well as emergency medical technicians.

According to organizer and promoter George Hines, each night will feature approximately 24 fights in the single-elimination contest. If a contestant advances to Saturday’s round of fights, it is likely that the fighter will have to enter the ring more than once to win the championship. The $1,500 prize will be split between the winners of each division.

Hines, who promotes a number of tough man brawls in South Carolina, also promoted a similar event last year in West Jefferson and said that contestants are matched to those closest in weight, but the heavy weight category has a significant potential weight spread.

“Sometimes you get a 190 pounder against a 400 pounder,” said Hines.

When asked whether people sign up for the contest in order to settle personal scores, Hines said that occasionally two men will show up wanting to duke it out. But because of the matching by weight, there’s no guarantee that men wanting to fight will face each other in the wring.

Though not scheduled for this brawl, Hines sometimes includes a women’s division. Hines said that if the upcoming event produces a big turnout, he might consider adding a women’s division for a later Boone brawl.

Advance tickets to the brawl are $13 for adults and $15 at the door. Tickets for children 12 and under are $6. Purchase advance tickets at Watsonatta Western World on King Street in downtown Boone.


Want To Go?

Date: Friday and Saturday, February 23 to 24

Time: Doors open at 7:00 p.m.

Location: Boone National Guard Armory

Cost: $13 for adults in advance/$15 at the door/$6 for children 12 and under