Boxing couple ready to rumble
PARKERSBURG — Saturday night’s Summer Smackdown at the Gough Hazard off Core Road is sure to have some interesting fights.
Two people who are hoping things go their way are a pair of married amateur boxers — Jonny and Katie Loyd — who happen to work in the pipeline industry.
Together seven years and married for six-plus, the couple currently resides in Mineral Wells and when the weather is good they are working six, 14-hour days.
“Katie was working at a hotel I was staying at and one thing led to another and here we are,” said Jonny, who along with his better half have been training at Mike Sheppard’s Dawghouse Gym. “I don’t think she really thought I was a fighter when I told her I was a fighter.
“I was only 168 pounds. Boxing was kind of her first sport she ever got into. I was living and breathing it and she started going to the gym with me as fun and she’s pretty much a natural at this boxing thing. I could only hope to have the footwork she has, honestly.”
Katie, who grew up in the mountains of Pennsylvania and earned a bachelor degree in environmental science from Penn State, won the 2013 Elkins Toughman women’s lightweight title.
“When I got out of college I couldn’t find a job. I went the other way,” quipped Katie, who will square off against Huntington’s Hailey Pennington. “We pipeline, but we’ve been in West Virginia and the tri-state area for the last seven years.
“I’m pretty excited. I have a lot of friends and family coming. I’ve been training hard. We’ve been working 80 hours a week and going to the gym after. I’ve been putting in the work and I’ve been learning a lot. Mike is a great coach and he’s taught me a lot. I’m really, really excited.”
Jonny, who is set to box Parkersburg’s Calvin Dixon, first met Sheppard several years ago while training at Leon Ramsey’s Dawghouse Gym in Glenville.
“We were staying in Glenville and met a couple guys at a bar that said they fight,” recalled Jonny, who is from Arkansas.
“I was actually laboring down in Clendenin and they took us up to Leon and we met Leon and then Mike showed up.
“He had a fight overseas he was training for and I remember looking at this monster going oh man. That’s kind of how we met Mike and then we got down here on this job in Parkersburg and I’m always googling boxing gyms or what not and lo and behold, it’s old Mike Sheppard.”
A short conversation on the phone followed and Sheppard remembered running into the couple before in Glenville. That’s how they hooked up and the Loyds starting going to the Dawghouse Gym here in town.
“Mike asked us if we wanted to fight and we were like heck yeah, absolutely,” Katie said. “We’re so excited to be with the real deal Mike and get some things popping. I’ve been putting on good weight. I’m at 127 right now. I’m 5-4 so I’m usually shorter than most of my opponents. I’m really scrappy.
“That’s my boxing game. I’m coming to get you. I would say I’m high cardio and I got power you wouldn’t believe in this small body. I work in a man’s world. I’m a welder’s helper. I have to be strong as a man.”
Although neither fighter has an extensive amateur background, Jonny said “I like to box, but if he wants to get banging I’ll have no problems to bang with him also. That’s definitely how I would describe my boxing style. I tend to be aggressive.
“I’ve been sparring Andrew (Satterfield) and Dustin Echard and Tim Farnsworth. I’ve been banging with all those guys. You always hope for a knockout, but I learned a long time ago to never underestimate your opponent. I’m going to go in there and eat him up. I’ll be too much for him.”
Katie said she tries to encourage all females to give the sport of boxing a chance and for them to realize they can take it up without ever having to fight inside the ring.
“It’s such a confidence booster and it’s a great workout,” she said. “It’s so important to get more women in this sport, hitting the heavy bag and working with the coaches. It’s a sport all on its own. You will get ripped doing it.
“It’s (pipeliners) like a small family out there and they are all our family and friends. All the pipeline gang is coming. All of our bosses. We’re really excited about that and that’s the nerve-racking part I guess. We’ve been training too dang hard (to lose).”
Tenative Fight card for
Gough Hazard Summer Smackdown
East of Chicago Pizza Red Corner vs. Astorg Auto Blue Corner
AB: Jordan Day (Cumberland, Md.) vs. Dillon Forquer (Morgantown)
PB: Brad Moorehead (Parkersburg) vs. Hasaan Haggler (Huntington)
MMA (A): Jesse Guinn (Charlottesville, Va.) vs. Tyler Richards (Parkersburg)
*AB: Calvin Dixon (Glouster) vs. Jonny Loyd (Mineral Wells)
PB: Turner Williams (Beckley) vs. John Colvin (St. Marys)
AB: Isaiah Payton (Fairmont) vs. Roger Taylor (Parkersburg)
MMA (A): Harley Watson (Gallipolis) vs. Matt Tennant (Parkersburg)
MMA (A): Noah Sias vs. David Jeffrey (Parkersburg)
#AB: Trenton Harper (Clendenin) vs. Corey Stewart (St. Marys)
@AB: Gabe Lambert (Bridgeport) vs. Darton Wilson (Parkersburg)
MMA (A): Mike Staats (Mineral Wells) vs. Nick Johnson (Parkersburg)
%AB: Shawn Miller (Parkersburg) vs. Justin Milam (Parkersburg)
AB: Aaron Cable (Shinnston) vs. Justin Wendelken (Parkersburg)
AB: Cody Dingey (McConnelsville) vs. Clayton Jackson (Mineral Wells)
+AB: Hailey Pennington (Huntington) vs. Katie Loyd (Mineral Wells)
MMA (A): John McAllister (Weirton) vs. Roger Smarr (Parkersburg)
PB: Justin Novaria (Zanesville) vs. Andrew Satterfield (Parkersburg)
PB: Machiavelli Siberius (Parkersburg) vs. Tim Farnsworth (Parkersburg)
AB: Wesley Roberts (Charleroi, Pa.) vs. Devron Ford (Morgantown)
* Denotes Dawghouse Promotions amateur cruiserweight title bout
# Denotes Dawghouse Promotions amateur heavyweight title bout
@ Denotes Dawghouse Promotions amateur super heavyweight title bout
% Denotes Dawghouse Promotions amateur lightweight title bout
+ Denotes Dawghouse Promotions amateur lightweight women’s title bout
NOTES: All fights subject to change. General admission tickets are $25. Gates open at 6:30 p.m. and fights start at 7:30 p.m.