ST. LOUIS -- For the past month Mississippi County Boxing has been on the road competing to tune up for a show coming up in Dexter at the Eagles Aerie #4062 on Highway 25.
"They really want this show in Dexter to be a good show..", stated Coach Brad Wick. "We got some awesome kids getting ready, I know the crowd will love it."
The most recent show they traveled to was in St. Louis on Sunday. Matt Gephart and Mike Warren, or the Mississippi County Boxing Gym, were slated on this card at Bastante's Restaurant. The crowd was ready and fired up for an evening of boxing.
Warren stepped in against Ed McGuinness of the Cherokee Gym in St. Louis. The bout was stopped 51 seconds into the first round by the referee giving McGuinness the win by TKO.
The last fight of the evening was to be the test for Matt Gephart, not only was he going in against a good fighter, but a nationally ranked fighter, Louis Halloway Jr. of the Midwest Warriors Gym in St. Louis.
Halloway Jr., a 19-year-old and very well experienced fighter in the amateur rankings, just finished competing at the PAL Nationals in California the week before losing to the #2 Ranked fighter, William Rosinsky of New York, N.Y. in the Quarter Finals.
"I was anxious to see how well Matt would hold up to this kind of pressure, I took the fight for him to get the experience for him of being in the ring with someone that good," said Wick about the match up.
The first round started and Halloway looked as if he was going to go all out, but it did not phase Gephart. They took a little time to get the first punch off as Gephart stayed moving in the ring and not allowing for Halloway to get off the first punch. As the first exchange got off, Gephart looked good, landing a few counter punches on Halloway and quickly moving out.
"We seemed to irritate Halloway by not standing there with him and fighting, but that was our whole fight plan, stick and move and not stay in front of him," Wick said.
Halloway would step back and make a taunting gesture for Gephart to come out and fight him, but Gephart kept his cool and stuck to the fight plan he had going. Both fighters seemed to be even on the cards at this point.
The second round began same as the first, but with a few more exchanges. Both fighters getting off shots on each other and Gephart steadily moving around the ring and Halloway getting more and more upset with this tactic. It seemed to work well for Gephart who appeared to be ahead at the end of the second round.
The third round was an exciting round for both fighters. There were some exchanges that were heard throughout the crowd and the crowd began cheering more for Gephart to get after Halloway and for Halloway to get Gephart. Neither one of these fighters were going to give up at this point, the exchanges kept flying and at the end of the third it appeared to be about even for both fighter.
"I was going nuts in the corner with Chris Gephart, who worked the corner with me to help with his brother Matt that evening. He was just as much shocked as I was about how well Matt was doing against Halloway," Wick said.
The fourth and final round began as both fighters tapped gloves to start the round, it appeared that there was some desperation on Halloway's part to want to get this fight over with, but Gephart stayed right there with him on the exchanges and as before, stayed moving around the ring. Both fighters showing more fatigue towards the end of the round were just using all they had left to throw punches at each other. The final bell rang and both fighters hugged each other and the crowd was going crazy, obviously the fight of the night in most peoples opinion.
"I told Matt that there was a possibility that he could have won that fight, I was happy either way, Matt just fought the toughest fight he was going to have in a long time and he did an awesome job," said Wick about Gephart.
The decision was in and was a surprise split decision, giving the fight to Louis Halloway Jr. 3-2.
"I congratulated Louis after the fight, he was not to happy about the way we fought him, but we fight our fight, not theirs," Wick said.
"He hit hard and was fast with his punches, I think his aggression and maybe a few more landed punches is the only thing that gave him the win. I stayed moving and would not let him get his punches off and he was getting mad about that," said Gephart on his fight. "Coach told me to fight my fight and not fall into his traps, that's the only way you could fight a puncher like that."
The next fights for Mississippi County Boxing are going to be on Oct. 29 at 7p.m. in Dexter at the Dexter Eagles Aerie #4062 on Highway 25. There will be 15 exciting matches lined up with fighters coming from St. Louis, Hannibal, Poplar Bluff and also from the Mississippi County Boxing Gym. Tickets are on sale now, you can call for reservations on the VIP and Ringside Seating. Just call 573-714-8114 or 573-380-0383 for information.
If interested in being a sponsor for the show contact Coach Wick for information at 573-380-0393.