The Register-Herald, Beckley, West Virginia

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October 30, 2013

Rough N’ Rowdy returning to BeckleyRough N’ Rowdy returning to Beckley

Are you man enough?

That’s the $1,000 question looking to be answered this weekend at the Beckley-Raleigh County Convention Center as the Rough N’ Rowdy Brawl returns to Beckley, following a successful debut in January.

“We’re glad to be back,” Rough N’ Rowdy promoter Chris Smith said. “We liked the show in January, but we were hurt by the snow storm. We had just come off doing the event in Summersville the weekend before, which was tough. So we didn’t have anything going on this weekend, and it worked out great. We’re looking to have a pretty good show.”

The feature attraction will be a wide-open heavyweight division, which will include five former runners-up looking to win the vacant heavyweight championship.

“Once a champion wins two tournaments, they’re finished in the state of West Virginia,” Smith explained. “So we have five former runners-up who are coming back. They’re local and eligible to return. It should be really interesting.”

Among those five will be one-half of a brother-and-sister duo that has impressed crowds at amateur boxing events in the past, Dell Long II from Artie. He’ll be joined by Joey Hill of Rock Creek, Ryan King of Oceana and Joe Mauller and Anthony Foster, both of Summersville.

The lightweight division champion, Brandon Blaylock of Itman, will return to defend his crown, but Travis Wilman of Dorothy looks to stand in his way.

“It’s going to be pretty competitive,” Smith said.

Internet video sensation Bucky Boyd, “The McDowell County Giant,” will be making his return to the ring. Boyd, a 7-foot, 400-pound mastodon, who resides in War, lost to Daniel “The Tree” Shrewsbury in an event last year. Video of the first round knockout quickly went viral.

“Bucky is a rock star,” Smith said. “Bucky fought ‘The Tree’ in Welch, and all these websites picked it up. He got hundreds of thousands of views. Now ‘World’s Dumbest Videos’ on TruTV loves Bucky Boyd. They’re going to feature him when their new season comes out.”

Boyd has been called out by Andrew “The Belly” Kinkaid, a 5-foot-10, 384 pounder from Beckley.

“That’s going to be exciting,” Smith added. “Two guys who don’t know how to fight very well will be very entertaining.”

The women’s division will feature Marissa Long, sister of Dell, whom Smith admits is the likely favorite to win the lightweight title.

“She’s tough,” he said. “I just don’t really see anyone competing with her.”

Smith hopes to one day promote a fight between two of the area’s best women fighters in Long and January’s lightweight division champion Hope McNeely.

“Hope has won two championships, so she can’t compete right now,” he added. “But I’d love to have them in a professional bout. I think it’d be incredible.”

Before Long looks to McNeely, she’ll need to go through former champion Amber Morgan of Charleston and Fayetteville High School basketball standout Avina Sedlock, who will be joining the Marine Corps after graduation.

Tickets are currently available at the Beckley-Raleigh County Convention Center business office and will be available at the box office the night of the fights.

“Every box office window will be open,” Smith added. “We will definitely get them out of the cold.”

Prices are $15 for adults and $5 for children. Reserved ringside seats are available for $20, while limited VIP seating is available for $30.

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

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