May of 1979 was the Birth
of the "Tough Man"
Tournament held at
Bay City's Handy High School
April 23, 2006
By: Julie McCallum,
Eric Ostergren (left) receives his 1st place trophy from Promoter Art Dore after winning the "Tough-Man" boxing tournament in Bay City
Glenn McPhee holds his trophy in one hand and his check for $500 in the other. McPhee finished runnerup in the "Tough-Man" tournament .
May 18th & 19th of 1979 was the Beginning of Art Dore's well known "Tough Man" boxing tournament. The two day event was held at Handy High School, on Bay City's West Side.
Eric Ostergren of Midland won out over a field of 32 fighters to win the Very First Art Dore "Tough-Man" boxing tournament. Eric won a four-foot trophy but declined to accept the $1,000 cash prize to keep his amateur status. Eric won a total of five fights to become the champion of the unique event.
Second place and a two-foot trophy and $500 went to stocky Glenn McPhee who made it to the finals before losing to Ostergren.
Third place went to Jeff Westphal who was eliminated due to a reopening of a cut he received in Golden Gloves competition earlier that year.
The tournament started Friday night, with 27 of 32 fighters showing up for the "show." After the 13 opening night fights, only 14 contestants advanced to Saturday's action.
The large crowd at the finals of the "Tough-Man" tournament voted on the "Card Girl" of the night with their applause during intermission.
Chosen as the winner was Diane Ladd who received a check for $100 from promoter of the event Art Dore.
The final fight between McPhee the "brawler" was no match for Ostergren the "boxer." A few quick punches by Ostergren to McPhee's middle finished the fight at 1:34 of the opening round.
All in all it was a most entertaining tournament. Fortunately, no one was seriously injured. According to promoter Art Dore, there would be a local "Tough-Man" II contest in the future. In fact, Art felt it could become anannual or twice a year event.
Visit the Toughman web site at www.ToughmanContest.com
NOTE: This is one of a continuing series of flashback article to be taken from the archives of the Bay County Sports Page & Bay City Enterprise newspapers published from 1976 through 1984 by O.J. Advertising, Inc. This Publisher hopes you enjoy the time travel as much as he does! If Sports Page and Enterprise are the grandparents of our newest arrival - mybaycity.com - then they are (as expected) very proud grandparents, indeed.