Only two boxers from Mississippi County Boxing entered the tournament. This is the "Tournament of Tournaments" in the amateur boxing world, not only will fighters competing at the USA Nationals in Colorado become nationally ranked, but they will also try to qualify for the USA Boxing Team which travels the world competing against other countries. The main goal for these fighters is boxing in the Olympics.
Charlie Pollock, Mississippi County Boxing's 115-pound fighter, stepped into the ring with Bennie Blackmon of St. Louis for a 4-round match up. This was Pollock's first taste of tournament action since joining the team this past summer.
Pollock did well throughout the first round, staying well-paced with his opponent. He had established his jab and was catching Blackmon on the inside with good clean combinations. It looked pretty even at the end of the first round.
Going into the second it just seemed like Pollock could not get off on his punches very well, Blackmon was throwing hard and getting fatigued fast. Pollock was suddenly caught with an extremely hard body blow that sent him to the canvas. He was not able to continue and Blackmon was declared the winner by KO.
"Bennie hits real hard for 119 pounds, he is in good shape and he beat us today," stated coach Brad Wick.
Chris Gephart won on walkover, this meaning there was no one in St. Louis that signed up for that weight class. Gephart is now part of Team St. Louis as they will compete at the USA Boxing Regionals in February in Joplin, Mo. Teams from Oklahoma, Arkansas, Kansas and Missouri will be at the Regional Tournament.
"This is a good thing for Chris, he will get to showcase his talent and hopefully get to the Nationals in Colorado. I feel he has a great chance of going all the way," said Wick.
Gephart has accepted the task set before him and plans to take it to the end with high aspirations of bringing a National Championship back home to Mississippi County Boxing.
Mississippi County Boxing has a hectic schedule ahead of them for about the next five to six months with a lot of tournaments coming up in that time. Some of these tournaments are The Henry Armstrong Tournament in St. Louis, The Gateway Classic in St. Louis, The Arnold Schwarzenegger Boxing Invitational in Columbus, Ohio, and the Golden Gloves in St. Louis.
If you or your business is interested in supporting the team, contact Brad Wick at (573) 380-0383. Also watch for any of our fundraisers going around right now. All of these are to help us raise funds for a heater for our gym, to help with new uniforms for the team and for traveling over these next few months. You can also stop by the gym to watch any training and to meet the fighters.