Bronco McKart packs a punch on Toledo Fight NightWritten by John Rasche | | JRasche@toledofreepress.com
World Middleweight Champion Bronco “Superman” McKart has an impressive record for professional boxing matches. McKart’s record of 53 wins and nine losses with more than 30 knockouts proves that he is a force to be reckoned with. On April 28, he will enter Huntington Center’s boxing ring and defend the title.
Ladies and gentlemen: Welcome to Toledo Fight Night.
Turner Boxing Productions, in association with Tommy “The Hitman” Hearns and Knockout Entertainment, is presenting a professional boxing event at the Huntington Center with seven scheduled fights, back to back.
“We want to bring boxing back to Michigan and Ohio, but specifically to the Toledo area,” said Martin McManus of Knockout Entertainment. “We want to bring Downtown Toledo, which includes both sides of the river, back to life even more to show what a great city we live in.”
McKart’s fight, sanctioned by the Universal Boxing Organization (UBO), will be a battle that no boxing fan will want to miss. McKart holds title belts for both the lightweight and middleweight divisions. He will be facing Jose “Stinger” Medina, who has 17 wins against nine losses.
“Medina’s on a role,” McKart said. “I expect an absolute, tough fight, and that’s just how I want it.”
Toledo boxing fans will recognize Ed Wahl as he joins the event to make his professional boxing debut. Wahl has an amateur record of 158 wins to only 12 losses. In addition to being a National Boxing Foundation Champion, he is also a nine-time Toledo Golden Glove Champion and a three-time National Silver Glove Champion.
Toledo Fight Night is also an event devoted to America’s soldiers. The promoters will donate a minimum of $10,000 to Mikie’s Minutes, a nonprofit organization located in McKart’s hometown of Monroe, Mich.
Mikies Minutes was founded in memory of Sgt. Michael Ingram Jr., who was killed in action back in 2010 during his time in Afghanistan. Calling home was often a financial hardship for Ingram, as well as for many soldiers overseas. After his death, Ingram’s father vowed to do all that he could to ensure troops overseas could obtain free phone calls home.
By providing U.S. soldiers serving in the field with free calling cards, Mikie’s Minutes gives them the opportunity to connect with loved ones back home. Founded only last year, Mikie’s Minutes has provided thousands of calling cards to U.S. military men and women posted all across the world.
“I knew Mikie since he was 8-years-old,” McKart said, reflecting on his personal relationship with the soldier. “He was a nice, polite, respectable kid. When he died, I just couldn’t believe it. When we were planning Toledo Fight Night, I said that we should help Mikie’s Minutes because I knew him personally. He was a great guy.”
The patriotism does not end there. More than 1,500 tickets to the event will be given free-of-charge to soldiers, both active and reserve, as well as to veterans. One hundred more tickets will be donated to the Toledo-Lucas County Police Athletic League. Additional proceeds will go to Heroes in Action, a local military outreach that ships care packages to soldiers overseas.
“The night is to honor our servicemen and women,” McManus said. “We have not forgotten that you are still in war and fighting for all of America. We will always remember the sacrifices you have given, and continue to give, to our country for our freedom.”
All veterans interested in attending the boxing competition should contact Heroes in Action at (419) 699-3439, McManus said.
Toledo Fight Night emphasizes one more theme: safety. In order to discourage drinking and driving, the three event coordinators asked several downtown businesses to offer an alternative.
The Lunch Hour, 332 N. Erie St., promises to stay open until 3:30 a.m. the following Sunday for anyone with late-night munchies or in need of coffee to sober up.
The Park Inn and the Grand Plaza Hotel are offering $69 rates on Saturday night only for those who mention the boxing event.
Many taxicab services will be available throughout Downtown as well.
Tickets are $17 to $77 and can be purchased on Ticketmaster.com, at the Huntington Center Box Office, or in any local Kroger.
Toledo Fight Night will begin at 7:30 p.m. on April 28. The Huntington Center is located at 500 Jefferson Ave. The doors open at 6:30 p.m.