Toughman champions are crowned
WHEELING – Six individuals were crowned the toughest in the tri-state area late Saturday night as the 34th annual Ohio Valley Toughman Contest concluded its two-night stand inside WesBanco Arena. Four men and a pair of women received Toughman jackets, a check and bragging rights after claiming titles in their respective weight classes.
Only one of the half-a-dozen was a repeat winner, that being Wellsburg’s Sasha “Cray Cray” Wallace who defended her women’s lightweight title. The other female winner was Cameron’s Brandie Wood in the heavyweight division. Winning championships in the four men’s divisions were Wheeling’s Chase “Bad A**” Bonnette (lightweight); Jacobsburg’s “All American” Alex Quinn (middleweight); Glen Easton’s Aaron “The Piston” Poling (light heavyweight); and Weirton’s Branko “The Serbian Prodigy” Busick (heavyweight).
The 36-year-old Wallace, who stood 5-6 and weighed 134 pounds, defeated Martins Ferry newlywed Margaret “Mag Pie” McCamick by unanimous decision in her third fight of the competition. The 29-year-old McCamick, 5-0, 129, had won her only fight Friday night.
“This (fighting in the Toughman Contest) had been on my bucket list for about a decade,” McCamick explained. “Fighting on my wedding day was very unexpected. I met my trainer in Miami, Fla., and he had proposed to me. After the win Friday night, we just decided to get married.
“He’s been training me and after Friday night’s fight, I was so happy,” she added. “That was my first fight and this is my second ever.”
She said her husband, Abdul, will be training soon at the Bull Pen Fight Club.
Wood, 5-5, 185, defeated New Martinsville’s Jessica Kanneg, 5-7, 180, for her title.
The 19-year-old Quinn, who went 45-0 on his way to OVAC and Ohio state wrestling titles in 2013 while at Shadyside High School, dominated his championship bout with Wheeling’s Justin “The Gator” Fife.
Quinn, 5-10, 158, looked sharp in his first time in the squared ring.
“I’ve said all of my career that I wanted to be an MMA fighter,” Quinn said. “That’s what I want to do. I’ll win whatever I have to to reach my goal.”
So, what was the biggest difference in wrestling and the Toughman?
“Getting punched in the face,” he replied without hesitation. “Wrestling they can’t hit you. It’s all about who scores the most points. Here, you have to protect your head at all times.”
Quinn trains at the Bull Pen Fight Club under the direction of Mike “The Raging Bull” Napple.
The 23-year-old Busick, the former two-sport all-Ohioan at Steubenville and current linebacker at California, Pa., posted a TKO over Cameron’s 26-year-old Jeffrey “Pit Bull” Petit.
The 6-0, 240-pound Busick was never threatened by the 6-2, 221-pound former Dragon multi-sport athlete.
“I’m very excited. It’s an honor,” Busick said. “Now I’ll get ready for my final season of football at Cal.”
Poling, who won the title in 2011, scored a very close split decision over 2013 titlist Josh “The Juice” Fisher of Bellaire.
- Wheeling’s Bruce Runkle will be taking a huge step in his professional boxing career when he fights on April 12 in Las Vegas. He will be competing on the Manny Pacquiao-Timothy Bradley II rematch in the MGM Grand Garden.
North can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org