The Register-Herald, Beckley, West Virginia

Latest Sports

April 6, 2013

Toughman contest a family tradition

As Judas Priest’s “Breaking the Law” was  blaring over the public address system  at the 34th Annual Southern West Virginia Original Toughman Contest, Marissa Long was breaking the will of her opponent, Michelle Whitehead.

For Marissa, it’s just carrying on a longtime family tradition.

Marissa and her brother, Dell Long made history Friday night in becoming the first three generation fighters in the 34 years of  the  contest.  

Their mother, Monica Williams  Long, was the lightweight champion in 1994 and 1996. Her father, Eddie Williams, fought in some of the early contests in the 1980s.

“My dad had a big boxing club when I was growing up, and there were always guys in there working out for the Golden Gloves. I was playing around one day, and my brother said I should fight,” Monica said.

She thought he was joking until two weeks later, when she received a packet in the mail. Her dad, Eddie, looked at her — smiled — and said  she had two months to train.

“It was a challenge for me. I had no idea how to throw a  straight punch,” Monica said.

She learned, though.

And the rest was history.

Monica was in the crowd cheering, alongside her  father, watching as her two children stepped between the ropes, noticeably  nervous.

Those nerves would prove to be unfounded.

She watched on as both of her children were victorious in  the opening round of the fights.

The 6-foot-1, 240-pound Dell defeated Jason  “The Convict”  Minton by a TKO when Minton was unable to return to fight at the  end of the  first round.

“It’s such an adrenaline rush!” Dell said. “It feels so  good.”

Carrying on that tradition is what it’s all about for the  22-year-old.

“It means so much to me,” he said. “It makes me fight 10 times harder.”

He wasn’t too worried about his little sister’s fight, either.

“I know she’s got it,” he said. “I ain’t worried.”

Got it, she did.

Marissa dominated her opponent from the opening bell to the end of round three. There was joy on her face as official Butch McNeely raised  her hand.

“I was really nervous,” Marissa said. “I wanted to fill my mom’s shoes. I didn’t know if I was going to be as good as her, but I feel I did pretty good.”

Both Dell and Marissa will have the opportunity to cement the Long family name tonight, as they make a run for the championship.

n n n

Also competing was former Independence High School wrestler Shawn “The Warrior” Sexton.

Sexton came to the ring looking composed ahead of his victorious fight with Steve Carte. He’s spent the last month working out with  legendary boxing trainer Carl Murdock in Mt. Hope.

“I’ve been working on cardio, speed work and  bag work,” Sexton said.

Sexton was a runner-up in last month’s Rough N’  Rowdy Brawl  in Welch. He hopes to come away with a championship this time  around.

“I enjoy boxing a lot,” he said. “I just want to win. It puts me back in competition and I enjoy that.”

n n n

The 34th Annual Southern West  Virginia Original Toughman Contest will continue tonight at the Beckley-Raleigh County Convention Center at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are available at the convention center  box office.

— E-mail: jrollins  and follow on Twitter at @JDanielRollins

Text Only
Latest Sports
  • 041914 old white Old White to celebrate 100 years

    The home of The Greenbrier Classic will be having a birthday today, and the celebration should be something special.

    April 19, 2014 1 Photo

  • Mullens, Pineville to meet in Anderson Memorial

    After many years away from the sideline, legendary Mullens High School coach Don Nuckols is returning to the game of basketball.

    April 19, 2014

  • 041914 D'Antoni Lakers mum on D’Antoni

    Mike D’Antoni was still the Los Angeles Lakers’ coach when he left their training complex to spend the Easter weekend out of town with his family.

    April 19, 2014 1 Photo

  • 041914 gibby WVU trying to find speed on defense

    Tony Gibson took over as West Virginia’s new defensive coordinator over the winter with the goal of trying not to do too much to rock the boat. As the fourth coach to hold that spot in as many years, the Van native — in his second stint as a Mountaineer assistant — knew that his players needed some stability.

    April 19, 2014 1 Photo

  • 041814 Sisler Diamond Classic continues today

    Fayetteville pitcher Kaitlyn Sisler pitched five innings of shutout softball as the Pirates beat Oak Hill 10-0 Wednesday in the Diamond Classic in Fayetteville.

    April 17, 2014 1 Photo

  • D’Antoni’s Lakers future still unclear

    With the Los Angeles Lakers season officially over — the Lakers beat the Spurs 113-100 Wednesday but finished 27-55 overall, the most losses in the club’s history and the franchise’s worst winning percentage since the Minneapolis Lakers in 1957-58 — Marshall fans will be keeping a close eye on what’s going on in Tinsel Town over the coming days.

    April 17, 2014

  • Turnbull’s tenure dominates WVU wrestling history

    Did Oliver Luck really do a thorough job in deeply evaluating Craig Turnbull’s 36-year career as wrestling coach before firing him?

    April 17, 2014

  • WVU’s top football prospects working out for NFL teams

    As we draw ever closer to the NFL Draft, the prospect workouts for teams are picking up steam for former Mountaineers. Both running back Charles Sims and defensive end Will Clarke have a busy road ahead.

    April 17, 2014

  • 041814 james monroe Crusaders make history in loss to James Monroe

    The first season for Greater Beckley Christian’s baseball team has been met with growing pains — to say the least.

    April 17, 2014 1 Photo

  • 041714 millard Kickoff time set for WVU-Alabama

    West Virginia football fans can now start counting down to the exact minute, instead of just the day.

    April 17, 2014 1 Photo