HUNTINGTON — One would have to say Rough N’ Rowdy 21 lived up to its billing.
Boxing often got rough in the ring and the fans attending let the fighters know with resounding approval. If the action slacked, the fans uttered a chorus of boos. So went the 3-hour program for the Barstool Sports promotion Friday night at Mountain Health Arena.
The 21-bout card ended when Brendan “The Ninja” Kelly stopped Shane “Shizzat Darizzat” Reed in the second round to retain his RNR Lightweight champion. The stipulation was if Reed lost, he would retire from RNR boxing.
“Feels great,” Kelly said after the fans hurled down cheers for his big victory. “It was unlikely I would lose. I outwork everybody. It was effort-based.”
Kelly dropped Reed with a left in the first and right-left combo in the second. Kelly found his target so well that he suffered a broken bone in his right hand.
“I tried to get him, the KO finish,” Kelly said. “We’re friends. In the ring, it’s different.”
Through the night, there were two dwarf bouts, one transgender and a women’s title defense.
“Vicious” Vicky Derrico boxed her way to a win over Malaysia “Boxing Barbie” Mackey to keep her RNR Lightweight belt.
“I work hard,” Derrico said. “I thought I’d do better. She tried to swing wild and smother me. I got loose and got over it.”
And Kacey “Hot Wheelz” Wheeler won a title elimination bout over Jess “Wild Child” Chino. She got a TKO in the third round. That likely sets up a Women’s Middleweight title fight at RNR 22 scheduled for August 18 in Wheeling.
In other action, there were two dwarf division fights, one transgender, one grudge match and one where an American fought a Canadian and the fans voiced their support for the American fighter.
That country versus country battle matched Michael “Skeeter” Greathouse against Brent “Strong Willed” Balkwill from Canada. Chants of “USA, USA, USA” began before the fight and continued through Greathouse winning by TKO in round two.
“I heard that,” Greathouse said. “I’m not going to let my country down. I was all business.”
Greathouse got more on point in round two.
“First southpaw I’ve fought,” he said. “Coaches got me straightened out. When I first connected with that punch, I knew he was down.”
Craig “Huntington Hammer” Hettlinger followed with a decision over “Mighty” Matt Tennant. Hettlinger won a fight earlier in the Tri-State Original Toughman Contest held in January at Mountain Health Arena.
In a heavyweight bout, Joe “Misery” Pace came to ringside in a coffin, got out and then beat Anthony “Seige Tower” Fisher by TKO in round two.
The grudge match pitted Robert “Hitman” Rowe against Frank “The Big Dawg” Perez. Both fighters came from New Jersey. They spent much of the fight with verbal shoutdowns before the ref called them to the center of the ring to focus on boxing only. Rowe rocked Perez in round two and won by TKO.
“Let’s say he was talking bad things about my family,” Rowe said. “That said a lot. I didn’t like that. I felt that punch coming. He’s lucky I didn’t stop him in the first. He knew it was coming.”
The dwarf fights featured brother and sister. For the guys, Dylan “Heartbreaker” Tovey beat “Baby” C.J. Williams by TKO in the second round. Later, sister “Beautiful” Bobbie Jo Tovey boxed her way to a decision over Joycelynn “Lil Dynamite” Parr. Fans got behind the eventual winners in each fight.
The first boos came down in the Jake “The Hammer” Hickman vs. Jamere “Konfidence” Walker, who won by decision. Fans wanted more action.
The first transgender fight in RNR history happened when Brittani “Savage” Vaughn of Barboursville met Sean “The Non Binary Ninja” Brady from Long Island, New York. Vaughn won by decision. She became the first transgender Toughman champion when she won three fights at the January show in Huntington.
The most disappointed fans got came when Damini “Lord” Burns and Dillon “Maverick” Murphy fought to a draw. It took several minutes before the score sheets came in, got tallied and showed the draw.
Dave Portnoy and Dan Katz called the action live for the pay-per-view customers.
The event featured 17 ring girls. The winner received $3,000 and the runner-up $1,500.