PENDLETON - The Blue Mountain Community College rodeo team is used to being battered and bruised by broncs and bulls, so it only seems natural it would opt for a few left hooks to the chin to raise money.

Team members will put away their ropes and chaps and pick up their boxing gloves when they step into the ring Feb. 9 for the BMCC Boxing Blowout, which is entering its second year.

"We had a pretty good turnout (last year)," rough stock coach Richie Hamilton said. "It was packed down there."

"Pretty good" is an understatement, because they were forced to stop allowing people in before they were in violation of the fire code last year, said BMCC calf roper Kass Kayser.

In fact, last year's event went so well, the hype has spread outside Oregon's borders.

"Ever since it happened last year, I might run into somebody from completely out of the state and they're asking me about it to see if they can get tickets," said BMCC steer wrestler Buck McCay.

The fighters will be members of BMCC's rodeo team and other BMCC athletes, as well as athletes from other programs in the Northwest.

"We're going to try to have three girl fights and nine boy fights," Hamilton said. "It depends on how many fighters we get."

One fighter will be Kayser, in the 160-pound bout.

"Some guys will get some training," he said. "I think I should, I don't know if I'm going to. I'd sure like to win. My nose hurt last year."

The event will be held at BMCC's McCrae Activities Center. Admission is $8 in advance and $10 at the door.

"(The money) mainly goes toward practice," Hamilton said. "It costs so much to rent the (Round-Up Grounds) Pavilion down there, and then we have a guy that brings us bucking horses and we have to feed them."

He said they also have steers and roping calves that need to be fed.

Hamilton said he got the idea for the fundraiser from his alma mater, the College of Southern Idaho, where they used to hold a similar event to support the rodeo team.


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