Brock’s NiGHT TO fight

Brock Stodden has waited a long time to fight in his backyard as a title holder.

On Saturday night, before what’s sure to be a rabid partisan crowd, the Bremerton native will get his chance.

Stodden, 30, will fight Jose Medina of Coeur d’ Alene, Idaho, in the 8-round main event of a six-card bout at the Pavilion as part of the “Slugfest Professional Boxing Series.” He’ll be doing so in defense of his 5-month-old C.A.M. (Canadian-American-Mexican) super middleweight championship belt.

The 1992 Bremerton High School graduate, who has a 15-8-1 record with eight knockouts in his pro career, is winless in previous three hometown bouts and is eager to give his many friends and fans a good show.

“It’s a big deal to me that win, lose or draw, Brock Stodden puts on a good show,” Stodden said.

Stodden’s confidence is well-earned. Since his comeback from a layoff of nearly two years during a highly publicized fight with state officials over his controversial medical suspension following a 2000 fight, he’s won five straight bouts. His latest win came April 24 in Billings, Mont., when he knocked out Scott Lansdon in the second round to claim the super middleweight crown — his fourth bid for that title.

While he says his physical talents have made some concessions to age, the husband and father of four — who works days for the city of Bremerton Parks Department — says he’s a better fighter than when he turned pro in 1996.

“I may be a little slower, but I would say I pound harder,” Stodden said. “I’m much more fundamentally sound.”

Stodden was looking forward to fighting Cory Rader (who backed out on Wednesday for failing to get a pre-fight physical), having already faced Medina before. Stodden won that fight back in 2003 with a third-round KO. Medina’s pro record is 5-3 with three-straight wins in Massachusetts.

Though he holds the fierce nickname “The Bremerton Butcher,” Stodden is a gentle, genial sort who attributes much of his success in the often-brutal sport to his bedrock Christian faith.

“As long as I train hard and work hard,” he said, “I know God’s going to take care of me.”

The evening of boxing, sponsored by KO Promotions and Entertainment of Puyallup, begins at 8 p.m. Also on the card is an eight-round CAM cruiserweight title fight between Neil Stephens (8-6) of Seattle and Wesley Martin (15-44) of Kellin, Texas. A 6-round cruiserweight fight between Tim Shocks (24-15) of Bonney Lake, Wash., and James Brock (6-18) of Los Angeles should also get fans excited about the first pro boxing card in Kitsap County since 2000. Also on the undercard are the middleweight pro debuts of Leonard Carter of Bellevue and William Bartholomew of Vancouver, Wash., for four rounds. Promoter Bob Oleson says he’s trying to arrange two more four-round bouts.

Tickets range in cost from $15 to $50 and are available at all four Total Video locations countywide. To charge by phone, call 1-877-548-3237. For more information, call (253) 445-0601 or go online to Doors open at 7 p.m. The Kitsap County Cowpokes Association and Kitsap County’s Bremerton Athletic Roundtable will benefit from beer sales.

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