Travis "The Terror" Clark is a busy man these days.
In addition to preparing for a professional heavyweight boxing match Saturday night during the 34th annual Ohio Valley Toughman Contest, the Morristown native is working his way towards the W.Va. state heavyweight title; is the top training partner for Bellator's Quinton "Rampage" Jackson; and has even dabbled in the acting business.
Clark will meet Martinsburg's Rocky Burch midway through Saturday's card in a 4-round bout inside downtown Wheeling's WesBanco Arena. Clark is looking to improve to 6-0, while Burch enters the squared ring at 1-3-1. The first Toughman match is scheduled for 7:30 p.m.
Both fighters are former Toughman champions, with Clark winning in Wheeling in 2008 and Burch in Martinsburg a year later.
"He's coming to fight," Clark, 6-1, 220, said of the 6-2, 220-pound Burch. ''He sounds like he's ready to fight. He's big and strong and confident. He's a game competitor who is coming to try and do what a lot of guys have tried, to knock me out, but it's not going to happen."
After spending the last couple of months in Mission Viejo, Calif., training with Jackson, Clark is glad to be back in the Ohio Valley, albeit for a short time.
"I'm really excited to be fighting in Wheeling," Clark admitted. "This fight means so much to me because of all my family and friends. This fight is basically for them. I really didn't need to take it, but it's a great opportunity for me to get out there in front of my two sons and their friends, and let them see me fight.
"Everyone in the Ohio Valley who loves me or hates me, and there are those people out there that want to see me get my butt kicked every time I go in the ring or cage, are going to buy tickets," he said. "I'm cool with that."
Although he loves the Ohio Valley, Clark, now 34, knows you have to make sacrifices along the way if you want to reach your goal.
"I still miss the valley when I'm in California," he said. "But sometimes you have to step out of that comfort zone to reach what you want to attain.
"The opportunities that are thrown at me are amazing," he acknowledged.
"I'm getting a little role in a movie and that's something that I'm working towards. I'd rather act like I'm getting hit in the face than actually getting hit in the face. That would be a good change of events."
He also mentioned he's been approached about some professional wrestling work.
"I'm an entertainer and I'll always be an entertainer," he stressed. "I like that part of my life."
Right now, he plans on entertaining the hometown fans Saturday night.
"Boxing is the thing that I'm doing right now," he explained. "I've got a goal planned out, and that is to win the W.Va. Heavyweight title. I've got one fight in already and this one will make two. I want to get another four and be 10-0 heading into the championship fight.
"I like boxing a lot," he added. "That's what I started out doing. I like the cage, as well, but I know what I'm worth and the value that I have in my body. I'm tired of messing around with these mom and pop organizations.
"It's not worth it to me," he continued. "There is too much risk of injury, too much training and too much for too little."
He also said that boxing allows him to be more calm and relaxed, as compared to cagefighting.
"I like having fun and taking care of business," he said with a huge smile.
Speaking of taking care of business, Clark did just that in his last bout. The former Union Local state wrestling champion posted a unanimous decision over Justin Novaria.
"That fight went alright, but I didn't finish him like I wanted to," Clark said.
"He was a pretty big boy, however. I think I gave up 43 pounds. I'm walking around at 220-225, so I'm giving up some weight to those guys, but I'm faster and I hit harder. It works out for me."
Clark would like to thank Rick Link, his former coach at Union Local, for everything he has done.
"Coach Link took me in when I was headed down the wrong path in life," Clark recalled with a little emotion showing. "He directed me to the right path and I wouldn't be where I am today without him."
Clark is being sponsored by United Dairy in Martins Ferry and Maan Power Services of Bridgeport.
North can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org