By J. Daniel Rollins
Register-Herald Sports Writer
Are you man enough?
That’s the question asked by the promoters of the Rough N’ Rowdy Brawl, which is coming to the Beckley-Raleigh County Convention Center on Friday and Saturday night for the first time.
There will be divisions for both men and women in three different weight classes: lightweight (140-159 lbs.), middleweight (160-184 lbs.) and heavyweight (185-400 lbs).
“We’ve had so much interest in this area,” Rough N’ Rowdy promoter Chris Smith said. “There’s been a lot of folks who know us from our events in Welch, Bluefield and Summersville who wanted us to come to Beckley. “
Smith, the winner of the 1993 Mean Mountaineer tournament, said folks should come expecting a night of full throttle action.
“We do not take any intermission, not a single break,” Smith said.
“We run straight through and average 12 fights an hour. The fighters are gloved up 3 or 4 fights ahead of time.”
Fans can expect plenty of drama as well.
“It’s intense action,” he said. “We play a lot of high energy music, a lot of opera or movie trailer-ish music and play up the rivalries.”
One such rivalry comes from Cabin Creek fighter “Nasty Left Hand Man” Rodney Stanley, who has recently posted a video on YouTube promoting his fight and discussing his hatred for the people of Beckley.
“We have a ton of local fighters and a lot of newcomers,” Smith said. “We attract a younger audience, since a lot of kids still in high school are fighting.”
One high schooler who will be fighting in the tournament is Wyoming County’s Hope McNeely. Hope is the daughter of Butch McNeely, who won the 1983 light-heavyweight division of the Toughman Contest.
“She’s printed t-shirts, and kids in Wyoming East are wearing them. They’re all excited,” Smith said.
Another fighter making waves before the event is “Midnight” Alyssa Mauler from Meadow Bridge. The 6-foot-2, 380-pounder recently won the Rough N’ Rowdy Brawl in Summersville and is looking to keep her dominating streak alive.
Potential fighters are encouraged to sign up by calling 1-800-59-PUNCH or by visiting www.boxingcontest.com and weigh-in will be Friday at 5 p.m. Also, if you’re more of a lover than a fighter, the event will also be having a ring girl contest.
Tickets are available at the Beckley-Raleigh County Convention Center. Ringside tickets cost $27, while reserved seating is $22 and general admission will be $17 for adults and $12 for kids 10 and under.
Fights will begin at 7:30 p.m. on Friday for the preliminary round and the single elimination tournament will begin at 7:30 p.m. on Saturday.