PARKERSBURG — The place to be for fight fans at 8 p.m. today is inside Wheeling’s WesBanco Arena for Rough N’ Rowdy 17 presented by Barstool Sports.
“We have 26 fights scheduled,” said Jerry Thomas, president of West Virginia Sports Promotions Inc., who noted the action will be called by Barstool Sports’ Dave Portnoy and Dan Katz. “We have five title fights on the card.
“We have three fighters from Parkersburg on the show. The fights are all three one minute rounds. Even though the fighters are amateur fighters, the event is sanctioned as a semipro event because the fighters have no head gear and wear 16 ounce gloves. It’s going to be wild and woolly.”
The scheduled main event is a heavyweight battle pitting reigning and 6-0 Barstool champ Bobby “Lights Out” Laing, who previously beat former NFL gridder PacMan Jones, against 2-0 Noah DeCapria.
“It’s top of the line and it’s going to be a first class event,” added Thomas, who noted tickets are $25 for general admission, $40 for reserve seats or fans can order pay-per-view for $29.99 at buyrnr.com to catch all the action which includes a ring girl contest. “It’s going to be a quality product.
“It’s the first time in Wheeling for Barstool and there’s been a huge amount of interest. We turned down around 240, 250 fighters. Every fighter gets a minimum of $250. The winner gets $750. Of course, the championship bouts will get more than that. We’ve worked hard on this for six weeks.”
Dawghouse Promotions’ Mike Sheppard will have his gym represented by Tonya “Hard Hands” Hopkins, Dave “Gumby” Hardman and Trevor “Pretty Boy” Bell.
“It’s a big deal,” Sheppard admitted. “Rough N’ Rowdy is a big thing because Barstool Sports owns it and they advertise it big time.
“They’ve had some big name athletes in there boxing like PacMan Jones and Jose Canseco. They got a big following.”
Hopkins is set to face Kacey Wheeler of Fairfax, Va., Hardman squares off against Jamie Pugh from Fayetteville, N.C., and Bell will take on Shane Reed from Coker Creek, Tenn.
“They are all ready. They’ve all been training,” added Sheppard. “Trevor and Tonya, their last fight there two or three weeks ago, both of them won the state amateur titles. The state amateur rules are two minute rounds.
“This is three one minute rounds. You can’t really box and do much good. You got to get in there and get with it, keep your hands up, fire punches and be aggressive. It’s pretty entertaining.”
Sheppard added of Hardman “he’s cracking. I’ve been spending a little extra time with him on technique and just being aggressive. Fighting the one minute rounds is a different pace.
“I’ve seen the guy he’s fighting before and I think he’ll be just fine. He likes to put on a show. He’s a real character, but they are all excited about it. It’s a lot of exposure. People all over the world watch this. Not just a few thousand, a lot of people watch.”
Doors open at 7 p.m. and tickets can be purchased in advance online at wesbancoarena.com or by calling 1-800-296-3897.
Contact Jay Bennett at [email protected]
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