OCEAN SPRINGS, MS (WLOX) - Professional boxing returns to the IP Casino 7 p.m. Saturday with 8 bouts set to explode inside the ring.
Two local fighters from the Keith Hughes Boxing Club will be on the card, ready to take a big step in their pro boxing careers.
Charles Dale of Ocean Springs is an up and coming fighter in the cruiserweight division. On Saturday, he'll step up one weight class, facing a heavyweight opponent to be named in a six-round bout. Dale has rung up 7 wins in 8 pro fights with 3 knockouts.
Dale said, "Anytime I'm fighting and getting experience it's always a good thing. It's good for the growth, me because I'm young and still coming up."
Twenty-six year old Dale has been a Mississippi State Trooper for three years. He began boxing as an amateur 18 years ago at the age of 8. He captured a National Silver Gloves title in 2013. Dale says his boxing savvy should give him an edge over his opponent.
"My power and my quickness, "said Dale. He added, "The ability to out think my opponent, so to speak, like a chess game."
Chris Polk of Ocean Springs is set to meet Gerald Young of Dallas, Texas. Young will be making his pro debut. Polk has two pro fights under his belt, entering the 4-round heavyweight fight at the IP Casino with 1 win and 1 loss.
So what did he learn in that loss? Polk said, " I learned I need to stay focused at all times. I went into that fight and I didn't have my head together."
Boxing coach Keith Hughes says both local fighters have that special ingredient that it takes to be successful inside the ring. "They've got heart," Hughes said. "They want to do this and they're not scared of anybody. They both can box. Got pop behind their punches."
Super welterweight Najik Lewis of Gulfport also is on the boxing card on Saturday.
The main event features heavyweight contender Michael Hunter of Las Vegas, Nevada in a 10-round bout. Hunter is a two-time U.S. Olympian. He'll face Jamal Woods.