JOPLIN -- Chris Gephart traveled with Team St. Louis to Joplin this past weekend to compete in the Heartland Regional of the USA Boxing Tournament.
Gephart advanced to the finals Saturday night to compete against Arkansas' State Champion, Courtney Boden. This was the most talked about match-up of the weekend and was building up to be a great bout between two of the biggest guys in the whole arena that weekend.
The first round started off well with both fighters trying to establish their jabs against one another. Gephart was caught later in the round with a clean shot that gave him an eight count, but appeared to do no damage to him physically. He was able to finish out the round.
Going into the second it appeared that Gephart was starting to get to Boden with fierce body shots and clean right hands when he was suddenly caught with a right hook that caused him to get a bloody nose. The referee then stopped action for the doctor to look at the nose.
Gephart asked the doctor not to stop the fight and almost was able to when the second ringside doctor stated that he could not continue due to it still bleeding. It appeared that a single trickle of blood coming from the left nostril was enough for the doctor's to stop the match, giving Boden the win.
The crowd roared into "boos" as they disagreed with the sudden stoppage. Gephart appeared very upset at the decision to stop the match.
"I wasn't hurt, even when he caught me with the clean shots, I felt I could have gone on.", stated Gephart about the stoppage. "He(Boden) just wasn't "All That."
Chris Gephart is now preparing for some local shows coming up over the next month and getting tuned up for the Golden Gloves in April.
"I felt absolutely sick about the stoppage, I feel that when you have two big guys in the ring like this the referee's have to accept the fact that a bloody nose is considered extremely minor as an injury," said coach Brad Wick about the stoppage.
Mississippi County Boxing will be competing in Poplar Bluff on Feb. 25 at the Holiday Inn and then in Dexter on March 18 at the Dexter Eagles Club. A date for a show in East Prairie is in the works and will be announced as soon as it is put together. April is the start of the Golden Gloves Tournament. For information on how to get tickets or how to become a sponsor for the team, contact Wick at 573-380-0383.