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Local amateurs to duke it out at Toughman Contest

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Toughman Contests fall into the everyman wing of combat sports " a tradition in pugilism where fighters converge to wail on each other to see who is the baddest amateur fighter in town. The metro will get to find out who's top dog Friday and Saturday at the Oklahoma City Farmers Public Market.

"Toughman is for the amateur. Who's tougher: a plumber or a roofer? We'll find out," Toughman representative Steve Coppler said. "Years ago, Toughman was more about the guy who was a drywaller and came out in his jeans, but now the fighters take it much more seriously and are training at gyms or with their friends."

ATHLETICISM
Eric Pollard will be competing and is hoping to use the event as a step before turning pro as a boxer. As a former football player with the Lawton-based Oklahoma Rebels and a runner on the U.S. military track team, he said is counting on his natural athleticism to give him the edge.

"I'm an athlete," Pollard said. "A lot of people don't have the stamina it takes to win Toughman."

Coppler said he sees lots of fighters taking the same route as Pollard these days.

"Traditionally, most pro fighters got started in amateur boxing, but that has dwindled in popularity, and they see that in Toughman, they can get their face on TV," he said. "These guys just want to show that they are the toughest in their market. They want to be the ones walking around town in the Toughman championship jackets." "Charles Martin

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