40th annual Toughman Contest starts tonight in Wheeling

WHEELING — Are you tough enough?

Two-hundred men and women from the tri-state area will find out if they are Friday and Saturday as the 40th annual Budweiser Original Toughman Contest invades downtown Wheeling’s WesBanco Arena.

The event is being promoted by Jerry Thomas’ West Virginia Sports Promotions, Inc. and is being co-sponsored by WTOV 9, Eagle 107, Jill’s Gentleman’s Club, ICR Equipment Rental & Supply, Thomas Auto Centers, The Wheeling/Ohio County CVB and The World Gym.

“Wheeling is the second longest event we have,” Thomas said during a telephone interview. “But it is one of the biggest. Actually, we skipped a year due to some scheduling conflicts or it would be tied for the longest.”

Thomas said 200 fighters is about as many as he can handle.

“We try and move things along fairly quickly. Once a bout is over, we’ve got two more fighters stepping in the ring,” he added. “We want to try and get the fans home at a decent hour.”

According to Thomas, advance ticket sales have been very strong, however, good seats are still available and are on sale at the WesBanco Arena box office, online at wesbancoarena.com or to charge tickets by phone, call 800-514-3849. Ticket prices are $23 for general admission seats and $27 for reserved seats. Additional fees may apply.

On Saturday, a W. Va. state super welterweight boxing championship fight pitting “Sergeant” Cody Wilson, of Fairmont, W.Va. (8-2, 6 KOs) vs. Dan Karpency, of Adah, Pa., (9-2-1, 4 KOs).

“This should prove to be a very entertaining fight,” Thomas revealed.

Two more weight classes have been added this year. That makes 10, five male and five female. The weight classes are: Lightweight: up to 139 lbs.; Welterweight: 140-159 lbs.; Middleweight: 160-184 lbs.; Cruiserweight: 185-215 lbs.; and Heavyweight: 216-400 lbs.

The champion in each weight class receives $1,000 and the runnersup in each weight class will each receive $500. Prize money for the women’s divisions may vary depending on the number of fighters. Each weight class champion will receive a Toughman jacket. Each weight class runner up will receive a trophy or plaque.

Each fight will consist of three one-minute rounds, with a rest period of one-minute between each round. The three-knockdown rule and standing-8 count will in effect. The ringside judges will use the 10-point scoring system.

The promoter will provide 16-ounce gloves, headgear and groin protector. Fighters must provide their own mouth guard.

Doors will open at 6 p.m. both nights, with the excitement beginning at 7 p.m. The presentation of the colors will be by the United States Marine Corps and the singing of the national anthem by Brandie Morris.

The event has been sanctioned and will be supervised by the West Virginia State Athletic Commission chairman Leon Ramey. Commission members are Tony Figaretti, Paul Thornton and Dr. Shawn Johnson.


Today's breaking news and more in your inbox

I'm interested in (please check all that apply)