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Local boxing club gearing up for annual competition this weekend

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IDAHO FALLS – Members of a local boxing club are getting ready for a competition in Idaho Falls this weekend.

The third annual Rumble in the Jungle is happening Saturday, Aug. 14 at the Joe Marmo/Wayne Lehto Ice Arena inside Tautphaus Park. This event is sponsored by Razor’s Edge Boxing Club in Idaho Falls and USA Boxing. There will be 50 athletes (10 of whom are members of Razor’s Edge) competing in 25 different fights throughout the night. The event will culminate with three main events.

Martin Gordo, a 21-year-old member of Razor’s Edge, is a three-time Rumble in the Jungle champion and he’s looking forward to facing off with his competitor from Utah during one of the main events Saturday night.

“There’s a little bit more of a pressure for me to keep that (winning) streak going,” Gordo tells EastIdahoNews.com. “I feel ready and comfortable.”

Gordo started boxing when he was eight years old and joined Razor’s Edge about four years ago. He’s been training for this event for the last several months, which mainly consists of building up his cardio endurance. Gordo says he runs a mile every day and he’s on a diet of fish and white rice twice a day leading up to Saturday’s competition.

Many people’s perception of boxing comes from Hollywood movies. Though it may appear easy to some, Gordo says the way it’s depicted is a far cry from the real thing.

“It looks easy to work out and what not, but in reality it does take a lot of hard work,” says Gordo.

Club President and Head Coach Holly Gregson has been working directly with Gordo and other club members in preparing for Rumble in the Jungle. She’s rooting for him and all the athletes who will be competing.

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Razor’s Edge is a nonprofit organization that’s provided an outlet for at-risk youth since 2006. There are currently 44 active members from age 8 to about 30, some of whom train to compete in state, regional and national events throughout the year.

Though the club is governed by USA Boxing, Gregson explains Rumble in the Jungle, unlike other events, is not an advancing or ranking tournament. But it is an official show where all USA Boxing rules and guidelines must be followed.

“Our officials are all USA Boxing certified. When you compete at a USA Boxing event, it goes on your record,” she says. “For some competitors (like Martin Gordo), it’s also a goal (at this competition) to hold your records.”

Rumble in the Jungle is also a fundraiser for the club. Gregson says they profited $2,500 at last year’s event after paying off their expenses. This allowed them to purchase a space at 757 South Woodruff to host weekly practices and sparring sessions.

Gregson says they’re planning to use the proceeds from this year’s event to buy their own boxing ring.

With a U.S. heavyweight boxer advancing to the finals during the Olympics this year, Gregson hopes there’s an increased appreciation for the sport and interest in attending their event.

“It’s not only going to be a great show and an opportunity to see boxers from all over the country … but it’s also supporting our organization and (the community’s) support and attendance really helps the kids understand that their hard work has paid off,” she says.

Rumble in the Jungle III begins at 4 p.m. Donors will be providing a variety of concessions during the event, including Mexican fruit and corn cups, along with chips, candy and drinks. Beer will also be available.

Tickets are available at the gate. General admission is $15 and students are $10.

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