Cherokee citizen wins professional boxing debut
9/12/2011 9:33:16 AM
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Cherokee boxer Wes Nofire looks to jab his opponent Marc Webb during an Aug. 26 boxing match at the Joint inside Hard Rock Casino Tulsa. WILL CHAVEZ/CHEROKEE PHOENIX
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Cherokee boxer Wes Nofire looks to jab his opponent Marc Webb during an Aug. 26 boxing match at the Joint inside Hard Rock Casino Tulsa. WILL CHAVEZ/CHEROKEE PHOENIX
By MARK DREADFULWATER Media Specialist CATOOSA, Okla. – Cherokee citizen John Wesley Nofire won his professional heavyweight boxing debut bout Aug. 26 during The Joint’s Xtreme Fight Night at the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Tulsa. Nofire faced MMA fighter Marc Webb in a bout scheduled for four, 3-minute rounds. However, Nofire only needed 1 minute, 22 seconds in the first-round to secure his first knockout win of his professional career. “It feels great…it was a really, really good win for me tonight,” Nofire said. Both fighters came out of their corners aggressively with Nofire connecting with a left jab. Webb stumbled but quickly bounced back and connected with a vicious right cross to Nofire’s nose. From that point, the match resembled a schoolyard brawl with both fighters trading punches and body blows. Nofire gained control of the match at the 50-second mark by landing five uncontested jabs. Webb didn’t land another punch from that point in the fight. At the 1 minute, 22 second mark, Nofire knocked out Webb with a close uppercut to the chin. “I first stepped in the ring, I was really excited,” Nofire said. “The noise going on from all the fans, cheering and stuff like that, being excited for me to be there. And then when the first bell rang, you know, I stepped in there and really concentrated on doing my thing. I knew he was going to try and rush in so I was a little bit hesitant. He hit me one time and it just kind of woke me up and I was ready to fight at the point.” Nofire got into boxing as a way to stay active and in shape, but grew to love participating in the sport. “I always loved the sport and loved watching it,” he said. “They stuck me in the ring and started sparring and I liked that. So, then they said ‘why don’t you fight?’ I had the first fight and fell in love with it after that point.” Nofire trains in Miami, Fla. under the direction of former professional boxing champion John David Jackson. Nofire said he sought out Jackson and they’ve been a great fit from the beginning. Jackson said Nofire has a good jab and a great right hand but they are working on the basics to become a good fighter. “Wes is just starting out as a pro in his first pro fight,” Jackson said. “We pretty much have him on the basics and making him become a better fighter than he already is. He’s learning the game. As long as he keeps learning and keeps studying his craft, there’s no telling how far he can go.” Along with a trainer, every boxer needs a promoter to schedule fights and to help them gain attention from the public. Nofire sought out The Joint’s Xtreme Fight Night promoter Dale “Apollo” Cook and said they will work well together because of the local ties both have to the area. “Once I talked to him (Cook,) it’s been a really, really good fit for him and I to get started together and come back here,” Nofire said. “Knowing that I’m Cherokee and being able to fight at the Cherokee (Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Tulsa) for a lot of Cherokee fans for my pro debut, it’ll be a great fit. Also for carrying out for my future too.” Cook said he is anxious to see how far Nofire can go in his career. “When I heard about his story and I saw his amateur fights, I was excited to get behind him and be his promoter,” Cook said. “I think he’s going to be a big deal. We’ve got to go slow cause he didn’t have a long career as an amateur boxer.” Nofire’s next professional bout is scheduled for Nov. 18 at The Joint inside the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Tulsa. His opponent has yet to be determined. • 918-453-5087
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