Sandman fight this Friday

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By Tommie Kendall

After a delay and a venue change, Russell “The Sandman” Chasteen makes his return to the boxing ring this Friday night at the Derby Expo Five Expo Dome in Louisville.

His fight with Alex Medina — which is part of a newly-formed tournament for the Kentucky State Heavyweight belt — was originally scheduled for Feb. 13 but postponed until April 10 following an ice storm that swept through the Louisville area in January. Then, due to an expected larger-than-normal crowd, the fight was switched from Davis Arena to the Expo Five Dome. There will be six bouts, including three amateur fights and three professional fights, with the first one starting at 7 p.m. and the final one expected to start around 9.

Chasteen, who graduated from Eminence High School in 1984 and lives in Louisville, has not stepped in a ring for an official fight since October 2004. At 42, he has been training for the return for a few months and said he will be ready to go. A good indication of his fitness, he said, was a six-round sparring session with a nationally-ranked Golden Gloves champion on Saturday, March 28.

“Training has been going really well,” Chasteen said one week before the fight. “I went six rounds (in sparring) really hard and felt good. I should be peaking next week.”

Chasteen has a record of 20-9 during a 10-year stretch from 1994 to 2004. He has won the Kentucky State Heavyweight Title, has won the World Boxing Federation Continental Americas Title and has fought for the National Boxing Association Heavyweight Title. A couple of his more memorial bouts were against Eric Scott “Butterbean” Esch and David Tua.

Meanwhile, his opponent, Medina, 29, has an extensive amateur career but has fought only five to six fights as a professional.

The venue was changed because Medina is expected to bring two buses full of fans. Medina lives in the Corbin area and trains out of Lexington.

“If he beats me, with the fighters I have on my resume, it will bring him a huge pay-day fight,” Chasteen said last month. “So he’s bringing a lot of people with him.”

Expo Five is located at 2900 South 7th Street in Louisville and holds around 600 people, an upgrade from around 500 fans that the previously-scheduled Davis Arena holds.

The bout is a Top Dog Promotions fight. Tickets are still for sell. For more information about the event or to purchase tickets, contact Chasteen by phone at (502)708-0833 or by e-mail at thesandmanboxer@aol.com.

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