Amateur boxing returns to Sioux City | Weekender | Sport

With a large working-class population, Sioux City has always been a boxing community.

Local practitioners of the sweet science such as Bill Engel, Nate Martin and Tony Drake have indeed become household names.

Nick Rogers appreciates this athletic history.

That’s why the martial arts promoter wants Way of the Warrior 4 to pay tribute to the pioneering boxers in the area while also giving some of the newcomers to the fighting world their big break.

“I want to honor the boxers who have paved the way and pushed the sport forward with a brand new crop of athletes,” Rogers explained.

Way of the Warriors, a boxing event in the US, heralds a night of amateur boxing action, with fights starting at 6 p.m. Saturday at the Long Lines Family Rec Center, 401 Gordon Drive.

There will be fifteen fights during the event, three of which will be title matches. Ages 10 and up will include athletes from Siouxland gyms such as Red’s Boxing Club and One Combat Academy.

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“It’s been a long time since Sioux City has held an amateur boxing tournament,” Rogers said. “Previously, our young boxers had to travel miles to participate in tournaments.”

Rogers, a former mixed martial artist, got involved in martial arts as a way to get back in shape.

“I had a desk job and was carrying some extra weight when a friend encouraged me to go to the gym with him,” he explained.

While Rogers was an adult when he trained to become a fighter, he said kids as young as 7 learn the sweet science.

“Some of the toughest opponents are young,” he said. “More and more often they are also women. The girls are just as tough as the boys.”

Rogers has a theory as to why that might be the case.

“You need more power to be a fighter,” he explained. “There’s a lot of strategy involved and anticipating your opponent’s moves in advance.”

Young martial artists discover such analytical skills through trial and error and lots of practice.

“It takes dedication to keep going to a gym when there are so many other, easier things to do when you’re a kid,” Rogers said. “When you become a fighter, you also build a strong work ethic.”

That’s the real reason behind the Way of the Warrior.

“I want to promote a tournament where these kids can show their progress to their family and friends,” Rogers said. “They deserve recognition for their achievements.”

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