CAMPBELL - The leather will literally be flying Monday when the first round of the 25th annual K.O. Drugs High School boxing tournament is held at the St. Lucy Palermo Banquet Center in Campbell.
Opening night has 25 bouts scheduled in two age divisions - upperclass and lower class. Upperclass is for boys and girls in 11th and 12th grades. Underclass is for freshmen and sophomores.
The 25 bouts will include contestants representing five counties and 30 schools. Each fight is scheduled for three 45-second rounds. Fighters will wear 18-ounce gloves.
"We're absolutely pleased with the turnout and enthusiasm as we head into this year's milestone event," said Chuck Nelson, the tournament founder. "With 25 fights on tap for the first week, there are several school rivalries that will take center stage, so you can expect some heated action right from the outset."
Among Trumbull County fighters is featherweight Colby Tryon of Mathews, who is a defending champion. Tryon is a sophomore but will fight in the upperclass division because of his experience. His opponent will be Howland's Emad Mahmoud.
LaBrae lightweight Colton Elser will take on home-schooled Addison Richards in an underclass bout. Niles McKinley's Daniel Dilley takes on James Bauer of New Wilmington at cruiserweight. Girard's Steven May faces Terrell Neeley of Campbell in a heavyweight bout, while Warren G. Harding's Chance Rucker meets Tyler Sayers of Lakeview at super heavyweight.
In the upperclass division, Niles' Josh Mango faces Marlington's Jesse Chenevey at super middleweight. Jesse Burkey of Lakeview faces Harding's Andre Henderson at light heavyweight.
Included among Trumbull County fighters are Howland sophomore Brock Garretson and Nick Lardas of Niles.
Second-round action is scheduled Monday, May 20. The semifinals are Monday, June 3, with the finals set for Monday, May 10. Fighters can still enter today by registering at Dick's Sporting Goods in Niles from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. and at Dick's in Boardman from 3 to 6 p.m.
Tickets are $9 for students and $15 for adults and will be available at the door. Doors open at 6 p.m., with the first bout starting at 7 p.m. For further information, call Chuck Nelson at 330-423-2203 or Pat Nelson at 330-727-0932.