From the Bench: After Missing on Prep Football Title, BHS Alum Randolph Looks to Net State Boxing Title

By Jeff Toquinto on June 04, 2023 from Sports Blog via

It was not too long ago, on Feb. 6 of 2022 to be exact, in this very blog that Bridgeport High School 2011 graduate Zach Randolph talked about getting another shot at a title. You may remember that first one.
That was back in 2009 when Randolph was a junior on the 2008 Indians football team that went 12-1 that year with a 28-25 loss in the Class AAA semifinals to eventual state champion South Charleston at Laidley Field.
His senior year, with another good team, also did not go completely as planned. Despite a solid season, the year ended at 10-2 with a postseason loss at Martinsburg.
Randolph and yours truly talked about that last year. The reason we were talking about it is that the 6’1 athlete had broken into the sport of professional boxing and his hope was one day to compete for a state title in the sport – or perhaps even more.
As for that state title attempt, it is here. And soon.
The 29-year-old Randolph will be battling for the West Virginia Light Heavyweight championship June 17. The fight will take place at the Waterfront Marriott in Morgantown. While the fight is a couple of weeks away, the training began a long time ago.
“I’ve been getting ready for this by dieting and running in the morning. I do my boxing workouts in the evening and strength training every night after that with my neck, abs, and any power movement and alternate that with speed days six days a week,” said Randolph, who goes by “Razorback” in the ring.
Sunday, he said, is a day of recovery on the physical front that includes physical therapy, heat, and ice baths, as well as meal prepping for the week. It is also a prime day to watch film and do low activity reflex exercises.
“There is a lot to this from the training to the diet. I’m on a lot of high protein, high carbohydrate food with a lot of fruit; basically, any antioxidant food that helps in getting the soreness out of the body and aid in recovery,” said Randolph, who will bring an 8-2-1 record into the bout.
Along with getting ready for the fight with promoter Jerry Thomas and the Tommy Thomas Boxing Club, he has a full-time job. Randolph works as a physical therapy aid at a skilled nursing facility – the Maplewood Center.
Getting ready for the fight is something Randolph knew how to approach. Getting a chance to be in it against Matt Wright was another matter.
“They actually called us,” said Randolph. “Jerry has been trying to get this match for about two years and they haven’t accepted. I saw his manager after a boxing match he won in Morgantown, maybe four or five months ago, and told him to have his fighter step up because we’re the two best in West Virginia.”
Randolph believes Wright, who Randolph said is 5-2 as a fighter, had been “ducking him,” so when the call came, he said the answer was obvious.
“I accepted immediately, and I agreed to take him on in a match on his home turf,” said Randolph. “We’re ready to box and ready to take him out.”
The match will be eight rounds. And when it is over, no matter who wins, there will be a new light heavyweight (175 pounds) champion who brings an orthodox style with them. The title, Randolph said, is vacant.
“I’m absolutely confident in the last year with more experience that has helped by reflexes get sharper and has allowed me to take being a ring general to the next level,” said Randolph, who is husband to Eva.
Randolph most recently fought an opponent from Knoxville, Tenn., in a six-round match where he said he won all six rounds in taking a decision. He said the opponent, 11-8, has battled just about everyone of significance to help give him a better idea of where he stands.
“I grew from that bout for sure,” said Randolph, who fought at 160 in the contest.
Randolph, who said he learned the discipline needed for boxing during his days on Jamison Field, also got a win in Clarksburg in January where he got his feel for the sport – at the Toughman Contest at the Nathan Goff Armory where he was heavyweight champion in 2015. That, too, was a unanimous decision win.
The two-time all-Harrison County and all-Big 10 Conference selection who did damage as a linebacker on defense and at tight end on offense, as well as a two-year football stint at Fairmont State, is ready to do more in the ring on June 17.
If all goes as planned, Randolph will be getting a state title to make up for the one he just missed out on back in 2009.
Click HERE to purchase tickets and other information. When  purchasing and you are prompted about the fighter you are supporting, type in "Zach Randolph."
Editor's Note: Top photo of Zach Randolph playing football at BHS courtesy of Randolph. Bottom three photos showing Randolph battling in 2022 are by Joe McNemar.

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