Boxer Bill Yates says he is ready for action during his upcoming fight with Germaine King of New York, which has officially been rescheduled to March 20, 2021 due to the recent winter storms and power outages in the region.
“He should be a pretty tough fight,” said Yates, who grew up in Carter County and graduated from East Carter High School in 2003. With a grin, he notes “I grew up in Willard.”
Yates’ personal challenges for the fight include exercise and diet aimed at allowing him to drop two weight classes – from Heavyweight to Light Heavyweight, “Which is in the 175 pound range,” he added.
“I’ve got about 25 more pounds to go,” he said a few weeks before the original February 20, 2021 fight date.
“I feel great about it,” Yates said, explaining he is following a food regimen set by Vivian Khounlavong of Studio Dara in Ironton. “This week it’s steak, asparagus, sweet potatoes, rice and chicken.”
“For a long time people have been telling me I’m too small to be boxing Heavyweight,” Yates said, nodding as he explained he is five feet and 10 inches tall and faced Heavyweight opponents who stand at 6’6″ – “It’s a huge reach advantage … They would lay on me.”
His own trainers, Phil Clark and Travis Hanshaw, agreed with World Boxing Federation President Howard Goldberg that Yates, who began boxing as a Cruiserweight, should adjust his weight class, he said.
“My strength in this class is that I’m bigger and stronger and the more powerful guy. Even at 175 pounds I should be the bigger guy.”
Yates goes into the March 20 fight against King with a record of 5-2, including two first-round knockouts. His training regimen has been intense, he said.
“Every third day I swim with Keith Salmon. He’s been trying to drown me. He does Iron Man competitions and is in incredible condition. If he says swim, I swim,” Yates said with a grin. “I’m at Phil Clark’s every morning and I’ll be there every evening too.”
“And, I’ve been sparring in Parkersburg, West Virginia. They’ve got some real quality athletes there,” he said, citing boxers and staff at the “Dawg House” gym. He has also been wearing a sauna suit and riding an “Assault Bike” which he describes as “an animal,” in addition to running, jumping rope and other workouts.
Yates confides he relies upon trainers Clark and Hanshaw to evaluate his opponents, and does not personally spend much time watching other fighters he faces.
“They say ‘Fight ’em.’ And I fight ’em. Phil and Travis watch the fights and tell me what I need to know.”
The local boxer said fight fans can look forward to an excellent lineup during the March 20 event, which will feature five pro fights in addition to several bouts featuring talented local amateur boxers.
Yates said he is particularly excited to see amateur boxer Garry Rowland step into the ring. “He’s from West Virginia but he married a girl from Greenup so he just as much a Kentuckian as the rest of us,” he said with a chuckle. “I’ve been working with him and I’m excited to see him fight as a Heavyweight.”
The March 20 boxing action at the Boyd County Community Center will have limited seating, with only 300 tickets available. Tickets are $25 for adults and $10 for children 10 and under. Yates encourages boxing enthusiasts to get tickets early by contacting him through Facebook. “Kyle Morgan also has some tickets at the Grayson Fire Department,” Yates said.