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AUSTINTOWN Fight promoter at odds with Mill



Published: Wed, September 12, 2001 @ 12:00 a.m.



The promoter said he wants to present future events in Liberty.

By IAN HILL

VINDICATOR STAFF WRITER

AUSTINTOWN -- Corey Ward is getting set for his final event at The Mill dance club in Austintown. Then, he wants to take his show elsewhere.

Ward, of Austintown, is the promoter for the "Xtreme Fighting Championship," to take place at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday at The Mill, located in Wedgewood Plaza on South Raccoon Road in Austintown.

He also promoted professional wrestling events at the club in June and July.

Ward, however, said that because of a dispute with The Mill's managers, "I will not do any other events down there in the future."

The dispute is over who decided to move a wrestling event outside of The Mill in July, Ward said. The event took place in a parking lot located behind homes on Laurie Drive.

Some residents of those homes called police and complained about noise. Police warned The Mill's managers that they could be fined $1,000 for each future noise complaint.

Opposing versions: Christian Rinehart, The Mill's general manager, has said that Ward sold too many tickets to the event and asked to move it outside five days before it took place.

Ward, meanwhile, said The Mill's managers wanted to have the event outside to help promote other outdoor events there.

"They pretty much handled all aspects of the outdoor show," he said, adding, "I wouldn't do anything to hurt my reputation in the area."

Ward said that because of the dispute with The Mill's managers, he hopes to present wrestling and fighting events next year at a hotel in Liberty, which could not be confirmed.

That will include toughman competitions like the "Xtreme Fighting Championship" set for Wednesday at The Mill. Ward said the type of fighting featured at the event will be different from ultimate fighting, which is illegal in many states, including Ohio.

Differences: Ultimate fighting features two competitors trying to knock each other unconscious in a ring surrounded by a chain fence. The competitors do not wear protective equipment and are allowed to do nearly anything to knock their opponent out.

Ward said the competitors in the "Xtreme Fighting Championship" will wear headgear and gloves and will be required to abide by the rules of boxing. The competitors will include amateurs from the Mahoning Valley, New Jersey, and Philadelphia who should be much more aggressive than average boxers, Ward said.

"It's not just your normal boxing event," he said.

Each match will consist of two competitors fighting in a boxing ring for three one-minute rounds. Winners are determined by knockout or a judge's decision. Competitors also can give up, and a doctor has the authority to stop matches due to injury.

Must be licensed: Paul Amodio, executive director of the Ohio Athletic Commission, described the event as a combination of a toughman competition and a boxing match. Promoters must have a license from the commission before they can hold a boxing match or professional wrestling event in Ohio.

The commission issues licenses to promoters who have experience with boxing or professional wrestling events, Amodio said. Ward said that his company, Core Productions of Austintown, has promoted several events between Cleveland and Pittsburgh.

Ward has a license for the "Xtreme Fighting Championship," Amodio said.

Amodio added that competitions like the "Xtreme Fighting Championship" are "very, very common." He said about 40 similar competitions take place around Ohio each year, and that there have been many in the Mahoning Valley.

hill@vindy.com




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