StoryImage( ‘/Images/Story//Auto-img-114789169227198.jpg’, ‘Photo by Doug Halberstadt’, ‘Doug Frye (left to right), Rod Hargan and David Banks emerged as Rockford Rumble champions in their respective weight classes May 12-13.’);
Thirty-three tried, but only three were successful. Thats the story of the 2006 Rockford Rumble.
What was formerly known as the Toughman Contest returned to the MetroCentre May 12-13 in a reincarnated format.
The main changes to the rules were each fighter had to have at least four kicks per round, and no one could have more than five amateur fights and no professional experience. KICK International sanctioned the fights, and a KICK representative was ringside to make sure everything was legal.
Saturday nights action included six quarterfinal and four semi-final bouts. After the bruising preliminaries, it came down to three championship matches. In the light heavyweight final, 24-year-old David Banks from Stillman Valley scored a first-round TKO over Chris Zanoni from Rockford.
The lightweight title bout paired the oldest fighter in the contest, Machesney Parks 40-year-old Rod Hargan, against the youngest fighter of the weekend, 19-year-old Steve Fisher from Rockford. Hargan finished second in two previous Toughman contests. This time, he was determined not to be the bridesmaid. He finished the third round strong, and was able to edge Fisher on a split decision.
After the fight, the exhausted and exuberant Hargan exclaimed: This is itwhat Ive wanted. Now Ive got it! I can quit, Im done.
In the super heavyweight division, Rockfords Doug The Stone Frye got the best of Machesney Parks Mark Big Bill Williams. Both fighters survived the three grueling, one-minute rounds. The judges scorecards would determine the outcome. In a split decision, on his first time in any event of this kind, Frye was victorious.
This years two-night event drew more than 3,500 fans. Immediately following the final fight Saturday, promoter Mark Bjelland was already making plans for the 2007 Rockford Rumble.
Doug Halberstadt is a local resident and is track announcer at Rockford Speedway. He can be reached via e-mail at Dougster61@aol.com.
From the May 17-23, 2006, issue