Twenty-seven tough it out at Beckley 2024 Toughman

This past weekend in Beckley 27 fighters showed just how tough they were in the 44th annual Toughman contest.

The single-elimination boxing tournament is open to those without pro-fighting experience and little amateur experience.

Marvin Workman first got involved with Toughman when he lost a sister to an overdose, while also battling his own addiction.

“Toughman and fighting really kind of what I leaned on to get clean and I’ve been here ever since,” said the Beckley 2023 Toughman (Bantamweight) champ.

It’s January Hogue’s second Toughman. She won the February 2023 (lightweight division) in Wheeling and decided to throw her hat in the ring again. She and her husband (also part of Toughman) have been preparing for the event for three years.

“Something everybody was doin’ and I thought, ‘I could do that too,’ I train about six days a week in the gym and then mornings with my kids,” the Beckley 2024 Toughman (Bantamweight) runner-up said.

It’s Workman’s 10th competition — he calls it a bunch of ‘beautiful people’ and a great show.

“You come to these things not knowing what to expect. There’s more fights outside the ring then there is inside,” said the 2023 champ. “It’s one of the best things you could ever imagine and I fell in love with it.”

According to Hogue, being a woman in a largely male competition is a little intimidating. She says at first everyone acts super tough and hard.

“Then by the time everything’s over we’ve met some of the greatest people that we know through boxing and all the different events we’ve done,” Hogue said. “People are just really good and the boxing community is amazing.”

When it comes to the pressure…

“You are the returning champion and everybody seems to kind of give you the eye. So you gotta have the eyes in the back of your head too,” said Workman. “Then, wanting to feel the need of the people you’ve already impressed. You showed them you could do it; you gotta do it again.”



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