Knopp twins to square off in ring

PARKERSBURG – Action is sure to be heated come Saturday, Aug. 3 at the Fishbone Fight Night 1 and promoter Mike Sheppard is hoping the outdoor event turns into a fun evening for all.

While Sheppard and other professionals with local ties like Dustin Echard, Nate Hall and Joe Paintiff will be on the card, one amateur bout on the undercard could take top billing.

Set to fight in an amateur three-round boxing match featuring one-minute rounds are twin brothers Josh and Justin Knopp of Parkersburg.

“I’d much prefer to fight someone else I don’t know, but I couldn’t say no,” admitted Justin, the younger 22-year-old brother by a mere five minutes. “Josh will probably beat me, but I’ll give it a run.”

The twins both have competed several times in the Parkersburg Toughman Contest and nearly faced off in this year’s lightweight finals. Although they’ve never met officially for a fight, the two scrappers have had their own personal battles much like any set of brothers.

“We grew up scrapping around the neighborhood and everything like that,” said Josh. “I’m pretty much a self-taught guy.”

Josh Knopp reached the lightweight finals this year before falling to Preston Wilson, who is trained by Sheppard and also will be fighting on the Fishbone card.

“I almost won a Toughman contest without training so I figured I might as well go try and train,” Josh said of now training with Sheppard. “Me and my brother always wanted to fight and we’re real close and best of friends.

“We don’t really stray from a fight and don’t mind fighting each other. We’re pretty much the exact same size and it’s a pretty good match up.”

Josh said he was 7-4 overall in amateur Toughman battles and that no matter how things go versus his brother bad blood wouldn’t be an issue.

“We’re definitely really close, but we’ve definitely been at each other’s throat,” Josh added. “We’re kind of like a married couple. We always make up and are real good friends. The little things can set you off.

“I’ve always really had the upper hand through the years (in fighting Justin), but he’s surprised me a couple of times though.”

Sheppard is close to having the entire fight card finalized, although a few matches are still getting loose ends tied up.

However, one match which just recently got confirmed is an amateur heavyweight battle featuring former Wirt County first team all-state football player Zach Cheuvront, who is set to square off against Alonzo Whaley of Shinnston.

“Zach might be the hardest puncher in the gym including me and Echard,” Sheppard said. “His right hand is scary. Zach’s tall like a Russian. He’s been a pitcher and had a hard fastball, but he’s getting a late start getting ready for this one.”

Tckets for the fight, which will be followed by a concert from the Jeff Ray Band, are $25 in advance and $30 at the door.

For more information on tickets or VIP tables call 304-483-5503.