Confidence is high on both sides as Dalton native Todd "The Punisher" Poulton prepares to fight "Dangerous" Daniel Evans in a celebrity boxing match at Wahconah Park tonight.
The bout is part of the "Wrestling Under the Stars" series and will be the headlining event.
Evans wrestles in Northeast Wrestling, but he has experience as an underground boxer as well, going 5-0-1. Poulton, 52, is the more experienced fighter with 12 celebrity boxing matches under his belt, but Evans said he has a physical advantage over the older Poulton.
"I'm definitely bigger, a lot stronger and younger [than Poulton]," he said. "I'm training at my best and he won't be at the same level. I don't underestimate anyone, but I've got pretty good confidence about the fight."
Poulton may be older, but he said he's been training hard for the fight, dropping about 40 pounds in preparation. He added that his experience in the ring against the likes of Brutus "The Barber" Beefcake and Jose Canseco will have him prepared to face Evans.
"He's a wrestler," Poulton said of Evans. "He's no Brutus "The Barber" Beefcake, a guy in the class of a Hulk Hogan. He's a street fighter with a wide stance. He's got me on years, but with age comes wisdom. ... "Dangerous" Danny Evans — who is he?"
Poulton said he'll have his breathing coach Paul Therrien and local coaching legend Paul Procopio in his corner during the fight. He credited Therrien with helping him battle the effects of adult asthma, and said Procopio's calming presence will help him control his adrenaline when he's back in his corner. "The Punisher" said he wants to fight under control, but he knows a good offense may be his best defense.
"Round 1 I'm going to see what he's got," he said. "My defense hasn't been great, I'm going to take shots, but I enjoy getting hit. I like to taste my blood and go nuts.
"I've had people who wanted me to be more of a boxer, but once the bell rings I want to go and rip your head off."
Regardless of the outcome, Poulton said he's honored to return to Wahconah Park and fight for a good cause. He's donating the purse to Christian Vonburg of Hinsdale, a senior at Wahconah who is battling brain cancer.
"If I get beat, I'll leave my heart in the ring because I'm fighting for an incredible cause. Christian's had over 100 operations, imagine being Christian Vonburg. ... I'm trying to deliver a knockout for him. They'll see a Tasmanian devil in the ring."
Three-time WCWA heavyweight champion Jerry "The King" Lawler, Jushin "Thunder" Liger, Mick Foley and Cody Rhodes, son of WWE Hall Of Fame wrestler Dusty Rhodes, will be part of the undercard. An autograph session will be held at 4:30 p.m, and the first bell is scheduled for 7. Poulton-Evans will be at about 9.
Contact Akeem Glaspie at 413-496-6252