By David Finger
For the better part of the first decade of the 21st century the State of Indiana was an unexpected hotbed of boxing. Promoters like Fred Burns ensured that the Indiana fight faithful would always have a steady diet of club shows that featured such memorable journeymen like Jeff Yeoman, Reggie Strickland, Darnell Wilson, and Terry Thomas. But even as a handful of Indiana fighters found themselves in the world rankings it seemed like the era of bi-weekly club shows in Indiana had come to an end by 2010. Indiana would host of twenty-seven professional fight cards in 2005, but by 2014 that number had dwindled down to nine.
Well, it may be too early to call it a comeback, but since 2014 things have started to bounce back in Indiana. The eleventh professional fight card of 2016 is slated to take place on August 27th as undefeated local light heavyweight Curtis Hill Jr. (7-0, 3 KOs) headlines a pro-am show at the Indiana State Fairgrounds in the main event in a battle for the vacant Indiana State Light Heavyweight title. Hill’s opponent is the 41-year old Kolmarge Harris (2-16, 2 KOs), who has not fought since 2012 when he was stopped by the debuting Jordan Shimmell in the second round. Harris had two fight in 2012 in his most recent comeback, prior to which he lost thirteen fights in a row from 2001-2007. Of Harris’s 16 losses, 10 have come by way of knockout. Nonetheless Harris was selected as Hill’s opponent for the Indiana State title (Harris is from Michigan and has never fought in Indiana before), and despite the odds against him he has promised a knockout.
“I’m training hard,” Harris said on a video on his Facebook page. “I’m getting ready for this guy. He’s young, he’s hungry, and he’s coming after me. My job is in the first two rounds to knock him out.”
Curtis Hill fought all but one of his professional fights in Indiana, a decision win over journeyman Jason Pauley (5-17). Harris is best remembered for his decision loss to Jay Holland (2-24, 0 KOs) in 2004 and his knockout losses to Tyrone Dowdy (4-41, 3 KOs) in 2007 and James Hopkins (3-7, 1 KO) in 2002.
The CBA Promotions Card will feature an undercard feathering local amateur fighters. Doors open at 3PM for the amateur fights and 6:30 for the professional fight. Tickets are $40 for general admission and $60 for ringside and can be obtained by calling 1-317-654-4967. The Athletic Division of the Indiana Gaming Commission can be contacted at (317) 234-7164. The Director is Joanna Holland.
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