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Toughman Contest comes to Meridian

By By Will Bardwell / staff writer
Feb. 24, 2004
Meridian is about to be hit by the Toughman Contest.
The Toughman World Championship Series, featured on the cable TV network FX, will come to the Frank Cochran Center on Friday and Saturday. Action begins at 8 p.m. both days and is open only to contestants living within 75 miles of Meridian.
Billed as "Golden Gloves for grown-ups," the Toughman Contest pits local amateur fighters who oftentimes step between the ropes for the first time. Fighters who have had more than five sanctioned amateur wins in the past five years are ineligible, as is anyone who has a professional record.
Rules for the event are virtually the same as sanctioned boxing, but several noticeable differences exist. Each contest consists of three one-minute rounds separated by 45-second breaks. Fighters will be equipped with headgear, a kidney protector and gloves weighing 16 ounces twice as much as standard boxing gloves.
While safety precautions are taken a three-knockdown rule is in effect for each round and physical exams are taken before and after each fight the Toughman Contest has been criticized as overly dangerous to contestants. The same events taking place in Meridian on Saturday have been banned in a handful of major cities, including Indianapolis.
Tickets are on sale for $15 apiece and available at the Quality Inn Hotel, Redneck Taxidermy and Music Emporium. Information for interested registrants is available by calling 1-800-99-TOUGH.

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