Local boxing club gearing up for second annual ‘Rumble in the Jungle’ competition

Razor’s Edge Boxing Club members pose for a photo during practice. | Courtesy Holly Gregson

IDAHO FALLS – A local boxing club is inviting you to a Rumble in the Jungle next month.

That’s the name of an event sponsored by Razor’s Edge Boxing Club and USA Boxing. Razor’s Edge is a nonprofit organization that’s provided an outlet for at-risk youth since 2006. The club is also affiliated with USA Boxing, which is the national governing body for Olympic-style amateur boxing. Some members of the club train to compete at the regional, state and national level.

RELATED | Local boxing club offers youth, adults opportunity to train like an olympic athlete

Locals can watch these athletes compete Aug. 22 and see what the club is all about.

“You have your advancing ranking tournaments, which are typically endorsed by USA Boxing,” Club President and Head Coach Holly Gregson tells EastIdahoNews.com. “Then you have your club events. These are official shows required to follow all USA boxing rules and guidelines. (The scoring is on-record)…but it’s not an advancing or ranking tournament.”

“Rumble in the Jungle” falls into the latter category. The event is also a fundraiser for the club.

RELATED | Local boxing club inviting you to ‘Rumble in the Jungle’ this Saturday

The club currently has between 15 and 20 members, but nine of them will face-off with members of other boxing clubs across the country.

“This show was scheduled before the COVID shutdown happened,” Gregson says. “It’s been sitting on the USA Boxing website pretty much since the end of last year’s event, so we’ve had interest from all over the country because there wasn’t anything else on the schedule.”

Club members spar with each other during practice at Community Park in Idaho Falls. | Courtesy Holly Gregson

A total of 40 athletes will spar in one of the 20 bouts that night in hopes of winning the belt in their division. Each fight will last three rounds. The event will culminate with the featured fight between Daishaun Bundrage of Detroit, Michigan, son of 2-time world boxing champion Cornelius Bundrage, and an athlete from Utah that is yet to be determined.

Gregson says last year’s event brought in about $5,400. A portion of those funds were later used to help send club member Julian Hernandez to a national competition in January.

RELATED | Local kid headed to national boxing tournament, and he’s asking for your support

Despite the ongoing pandemic, Gregson is hoping for another great turnout this year. She says USA Boxing requires them to follow all the COVID-19 health guidelines, including six feet social distancing, wearing masks and temperature checks.

“The COVID safety (guidelines) for athletes is really strict,” says Gregson. “The athletes’ safety is our primary concern as well as our crowd safety.”

Seating and food vendors will be on-hand inside the Joe Marmo/Wayne Lehto Ice Arena at Tautphaus Park, where the event was originally going to be held. Gregson says a ring will be set up outside the arena this year because of the coronavirus outbreak.

“We will be setting up picnic tables with six feet social distancing spacing. We are recommending that households sit (together on one table) to comply with all the safety requirements. We’ll also be requiring masks to be worn while inside the building or while around the ring.”

Masks will be available to buy for those who do not have one. A Venmo account will be used for purchases to help avoid cash and debit card transactions, she says.

Razor’s Edge had been meeting for practices inside the Idaho Falls Activity Center near the airport. Once the pandemic hit in March, they were forced to find another venue. For the last several months, club members have been training in Gregson’s garage and at Community Park.

The change of venue has made it challenging to take on new students, Gregson says, but athletes have continued to train and work hard “in the sweltering heat” to prepare for this event.

“We have definitely reached into savings to have this event and to offer this opportunity. There will be a big payoff for it because of the (support) of marquee athletes in the area and (others across the country). It will be a show to remember,” says Gregson.

“Rumble in the Jungle II” begins at 6 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 22. General admission is $12. Students are $7. Kids 4 and under are free. Tickets can be purchased at the door.

Courtesy Holly Gregson