Local celebrity boxing legend Todd "The Punisher" Poulton is coming out of retirement for a worthy cause.
Poulton said after his fight against Daniel Evans (a win by knockout in the third round) in August of 2016 that he was hanging up his gloves for good. Now, the boxer also known as "The People's Champ" will be competing as part of the Wrestling Under the Stars event Friday, Aug. 24 at Wahconah Park. His opponent has yet to be determined, but Northeast Wrestling owner Michael Lombardi said everyone from professional wrestlers to fighters with MMA backgrounds are being considered.
"Wrestlers are the worst guys to fight because they all want to take out the boxers," Poulton said. "They're out to get me this year because of what I did to Danny Evans two years ago. They haven't forgot that. I know they're going to try and set me up with a crazy guy. I've already heard some names. ... I'll fight any one of your guys."
Poulton's currently training in Myrtle Beach, S.C., and he said he's in the best shape of his career.
The desire to help a longtime friend is fueling his return. He's donating the purse of the fight to Pittsfield police officer James Losaw and his family. Losaw's son, Landen, passed away from GBM (Glioblastoma multiforme), a rare form of brain cancer, in August 2017 at age nine.
Losaw said he plans to send the donation from Poulton to the hospital that cared for his son — Connecticut Children's Medical Center in Hartford, Conn.
"Todd originally got a hold of me before my son passed and wanted to help with the medical bills," Losaw said. "Ever since I've known Todd he's always been a very passionate person. He's always cared for kids. He worked with children for a long time.
"It was a pretty amazing feeling. Going through all that, I received a lot of support from a lot of people. It was nice to feel the community come together. It was needed support."
Poulton's three-round fight will be part of an event that features WWE stars Rey Mysterio, Mark Henry and "Hacksaw" Jim Duggan.
Akeem Glaspie can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org, at @TheAkeemGlaspie on Twitter and 413-496-6252.