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Bullpen Fight Club members logging busy slates

March 26, 2013
By KIM NORTH - Times Leader Sports Writer (knorth@timesleaderonline.com) , Times Leader

If you're a fan of The Bullpen Fight Club, you may need to invest in a road map.

That's because the East Wheeling-based club will be busy over the next month or so as six members will be competing all over the tri-state area.

"We're going to stay busy," Bullpen Fight Club spokesman Mike Napple said recently. "We've got guys fighting all over the place, but that's a good thing."

Kicking off the action this Saturday will be Mixed Martial Arts professional Travis "The Terror" Clark who will meet Dominque "Non-Stop Action Packed" Steele during Caged Vengeance 13 inside the Stark County Fairgrounds Exhibition Hall. The two will battle in an 185-pound bout.

Doors open at 5 p.m., with action set to begin at 6.

Clark, who is 12-1 and also trains at Westside Barbell in Columbus, will be getting back in the ring for the first time in quite some time, but he's not worried in the least.

"There may be a little ring rust," he admitted. "But I'm looking forward to getting in there and taking care of business. I'm the strongest I've ever been and I'm healthy. My weight is down and I feel great."

The year 2012 wasn't the kindest to Clark as not only did he lose his first pro fight, but he also lost his beloved mother, Penny, and a couple other dear friends. He also battled through two knee injuries.

Steele, who is 14-4-1 and trains at Vision MMA in Cincinnati, is a Bellator/Strike Force veteran, according to Clark.

"He's a brawler and a real go-getter," Clark said. "He's never been finished, so that is what my plan is ... to finish him."

The North American Allied Fight Series is returning to the Canton area for the first time in several years.

"We've been looking to come back to Canton for quite a while," NAAFS President and CEO Greg Kalikas said. "We usually hold our events at the Memorial Civic Center, but that was unavailable for this event. The Stark County Fairgrounds were able to accommodate us for this event, and we are really happy to be there. I think this is one of the best events we've ever put on. It's one of our best cards ever."

ALSO scheduled to fight in future weeks are Wheeling's Bruce Runkle, Eric Bledsoe and Ronell Green, along with Bridgeport's Josh "The Cake" Baker and Josh Flowers.

Runkle is part of a Roy Jones Jr. and TNT Promotions card at Mountaineer Casino, Racetrack and Resort's "The Harv" on Saturday, April 6.

Runkle will meet East Liverpool's Joey "Hit Man" Holt in a highly anticipated 'Border War."

Holt recently withdrew from a cage fight against Bridgeport's Todd "Jiu Jiu" Bevan, but picked up this boxing match.

"He backed out of a cage fight with Todd, so we're glad to get him in a boxing match with one of our guys," Napple added. "He's supposed to an up-and-comer, but we're expecting to knock him off. Bruce should get some notoriety out of this match."

The main event on the card has former IBF and IBC World Champion Paul "The Pittsburgh Kid" Spadafora meeting former WBC Champion "Red Hot" Rob Frankel, of Denver.

Spadafora is a very impressive 47-0 and will be looking to get back into the world's Top 5 of the Junior Welterweight Division. In his last action, Spadafora earned a unanimous decision over top contender Solomon Egberime in December.

The action begins at 7:30 p.m.

On April 20, Baker, Bledsoe and Flowers will all compete in Canonsburg, Pa. during the Pinnacle Fighting Championships: Pittsburgh Challenge Series 2 action at the Ice-O-Plex at Southpointe.

The 5-5, 154-pound Baker, who is a spotless 5-0 as a professional, will meet veteran Anthony Durnell (12-3) in a Bantamweight bout. Baker, 24, has won four unanimous decisions, but is coming off a submission victory in his last outing.

The 5-9, 28-year-old Durnell, meanwhile, has suffered all three of his setbacks by submission.

Bledsoe, a 5-7, 170-pounder, ill be making his amateur debut as he faces Jarod Nawbrough (0-1). The 23-year-old Bledsoe captured the Middleweight title at the recent Ohio Valley Toughman Contest at WesBanco Arena in Wheeling.

Green, who recently signed a 3-year, 16-fight deal with Made Men Promotions out of Steubenville, is on a boxing card that same night inside the Serbian American Cultural Center in Weirton.

"We liked what we saw in Ronell. He's got a lot of potential," Made Men Promotions spokesman Angelo Magnone, a former Steubenville Big Red football player who also played at Bowling Green State University, said of the former Wheeling Park standout matman.

According to Napple, Green is going to real active in the next year or so.

"They are telling me that he could end up with as many as 20 fights in that 3-year period," Napple said. "The second year he has a fight scheduled for either HBO or ESPN."

During his high school wrestling career, Green became a 2-time OVAC Wrestling Champion 2005 and 2006, as well as second-place finish in 2007. He was also a 3-time W. Va. state wrestling champion.

His opponent has yet to be announced.

North can be reached at knorth@timesleaderonline.com

 
 

 

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