This weekends annual boxing tournament Fight Night will include competition from several Water Valley teenagers and young adults.
Tanner Shuffield, Cody Shuffield, Jonathan Colclasure, Cameron Brooks and Cody Person are expected to compete in the Friday night portion of the event, following the open round in Kappa Alpha’s annual boxing tournament. The tournament raises money and awareness for Muscular Dystrophy (MDA) and providing the Ole Miss community with one of the most memorable weekends of the spring.
Over the course of the weekend, fighters will compete in three brackets, which include the lightweight and heavyweight divisions in the Inter-Fraternity bracket, the sorority bracket, and the open-to-the-public bracket.
Steve Shuffield, who was a former world champion kick boxer, ranked sixth in the world, has assisted with the fundraiser for more than a decade. This is also familiar territory for this group who trains at Shuffield’s gym, Iron Man Self Defense Combat Center. They train at least two nights a week, in three-hour sessions.
Friday night’s fights will give the crew ring-time and experience as they look toward the future. Cody and Tanner Shuffield have been training since they were six years old, and both have been world-ranked in kickboxing.
“I hope Cody can go professional in the next six months,” his father, Steve Shuffield said.
In addition to holding a full-time job at Spencer Lee’s transmission shop, Cody practices daily. Last month he traveled to Biloxi to spar with Alan “The Talent” Belcher, a professional fighter who competes in Mixed Martial Arts (MMA).
“Cody did real well, Belcher taught us a few things on his ground work,” Steve Shuffield added. Part of the challenge to making the transition to a professional competitor is funding, along with winning fights. Cody currently needs corporate sponsors as he is scheduled to compete in national events later this year.
During the bi-weekly training at Iron Man Self Defense Combat Center as many as 25 participants train in boxing, kick boxing, wrestling and Jujitsu.
Trainers at the gym include Mike Gilcrest, Cody Shuffield, Tanner Shuffield and Colclasure. Wayne Porter also assists at the gym and with scheduling fights.
Training at the combat center is geared to include anyone who wishes to participate and ranges from basic self-defense to professional fighting.
“We are always looking for people who can help train or would like to participate,” Gilcrest said about the combat center. Gilcrest teaches Jujitsu, which trains fighters for position while grappling.
Local sponsors are also needed to offset expenses for the training and to compete at higher levels.