Pawhuska boxer wins fight against super heavyweight

Mike ErwinJournal-Capital

Pawhuska boxer Ben Cottingham got more than he had expected in his latest amateur boxing match.

For last weekend’s scheduled fight at Olathe, Kan., Cottingham weighed in at 208 — which was seven pounds over the limit of his targeted division of heavyweight.

As a result, Cottingham moved up to the unlimited classification. He had to face a new “supersized” opponent who tipped the scales at 278 pounds.

The 26-year-old Pawhuskan went three grueling rounds in a Saturday afternoon ring battle with super heavyweight Moses Rivera.

“Ben won by decision,” said Earl Gilkey, Cottingham’s trainer. “It was another tough fight for him, but he survived and got the win.”

Four years ago, Cottingham had contended for the United States Boxing Team as a 162-pound middleweight. He returned to the ring earlier this year at heavyweight.

Representing the Kansas-Oklahoma Region at last month’s National Golden Gloves Tournament of Champions in Salt Lake City, Utah., Cottingham won his first two fights before dropping a split decision. Cottingham had also lost a March tune-up bout competing as an over-201 pound super heavyweight.

“We’ve just got to keep him under 201 pounds,” the veteran trainer added. “He’ll do fine as a heavyweight — but he’s not a super heavyweight.”“