HUNTINGTON — The 31st Toughman Contest concluded Saturday night with five champions crowned in Big Sandy Superstore Arena.
Chris Miles, head coach of the Spring Valley Timberwolves wrestling team, won the first bout of the night to advance to the semifinals. Miles defeated Vanceburg, Kentucky’s Nathaniel Lightner by unanimous decision in the heavyweight class.
Gabriel Freyre won the first middleweight fight by defeating Dennis Sanchez of Chesapeake in a unanimous decision.
The next four bouts were decided by TKO with Isaac Thompson (heavyweight), Keyshawn Stover (light heavyweight), Colby Pearson (middleweight) and Noah Sias (lightweight) all advancing.
Deric Gibson of Huntington won a unanimous decision over Timothy Brust of Fraziers Bottom, West Virginia, in a heavyweight fight. Brust, known as “The Chickenman” because of the chicken costume he wore to the ring when coworkers paid the biologist to do it.
Portsmouth, Ohio’s Antoine Davis advanced in the light heavyweight division by unanimous decision over Nathan Pickens of Washington, West Virginia.
Michael Lyons of Ashland defeated Devin McKenzie from Minford, Ohio, by decision in the middleweight division and former Spring Valley wrestler Kaleb Creamer defeated Braden Barr of Morehead, Kentucky, by decision to advance in the lightweight division.
Huntington’s Kevin Jackson won a unanimous decision in a heavyweight fight with Adam Chinn of Proctorville, Ohio.
Michael Greathouse of Ironton won by TKO in the second round of his light heavyweight fight over Brian Sharp. Eddie Osborne won by unanimous decision in the middleweight decision while Trent
Blankenship won a lightweight fight by first-round TKO.
Richard Bowens drew Stover in the first match of Round 2 in the light heavyweight semifinals. Stover landed several punches to Bowens’ head that drew blood and the fight ended with a TKO in the first round.
In the following heavyweight match, Miles earned a first-round TKO over Thompson who had to be helped from the ring by paramedics. Miles drew Gibson for the heavyweight semifinals after Gibson defeated Jackson by a second-round TKO. With little downtime between the semifinals and finals Miles had the benefit of rest with the delay getting Thompson out of the ring and the middleweight fight between Freyre and Pearson going the full three rounds.
Pearson won by split decision to advance and Pritt won by unanimous decision over Lyons to advance in the middleweight class.
Miles vs. Greg May of Huntington followed immediately with Miles taking a split-decision to advance to the championship against Gibson.
The final round featured the lone-women’s bout with Hailey Pennington of Huntington taking a unanimous decision versus fellow women’s lightweight fighter Scarlett Whitley of South Point, Ohio. Whitley had won two previous Toughman contests but was a runnerup each of the last two years.
Sias won his third and final Toughman championship with a 2nd round TKO of Blankenship in the lightweight championship. Pearson defeated Jason Pritt from Salt Rock to take the middleweight championship. Davis defeated Stover with a unanimous decision in the light heavyweight championship fight.
In the evening’s final bout, Gibson won against Miles by split-decision.