Fight Night Livingston’s Joe A. Boerschig earns first career knockout

Monday, March 25, 2019

Photo courtesy of Joe Boerschig

Livingston’s Joe Boerschig, left, stares down his first opponent, Juan Jackson, right, ahead of the Sparta Combat League tournament, Saturday.

Weighing in at 170 pounds, Livingston resident Joe A. Boerschig took second place at the Sparta Combat League tournament in Denver, Colorado, Saturday.

The tournament held 16 fights. Eight fighters were welterweight, like Boerschig. An additional four fights took place at the beginning, plus four more in between, “so the fighters could get rested up,” Boerschig said.

The Fights

Boerschig said he felt ready heading into his first fight: a boxing match against Seattle’s Juan Jackson.

“I go to the MMA (mixed martial arts) gym in Bozeman every day,” said Boerschig. “I’ve been training every day. I’ve been running and everything.”

According to Boerschig, his constant conditioning paid off against Jackson.

“He was a really tough guy,” Boerschig said. “When I first got in there, he was doing a really great job at keeping me away. He was a really great striker. The second round came and he seemed a little tired out, but I still had a lot of energy so I just kept pushing the pace. It ran all four rounds and I won by unanimous decision.”

The win against Jackson sent Boerschig into the semifinal match and made him one step closer to the $10,000 championship.

In the semifinal, Boerschig faced Steele McCall from Atlanta, Georgia, in a kickboxing match. At 164 pounds, McCall headed into the semifinal 7-4, but left 7-5.

Boerschig sent McCall to the mat with his first career knockout in the third round.

“We were going at it. He was pretty good at keeping his distance, but I kept kicking his leg out from underneath him, so it slowed him down a little bit,” said Boerschig. “In the third round, I caught him with a right hook and knocked him out.”

Boerschig was surprised following the knockout, and has since spoken with McCall, who he said is doing well.

“It was weird. It was the first time I knocked someone out like that,” said Boerschig.

Boerschig’s final match of the night was a professional MMA match against defending champion Lorawnt-T Nelson. The 165-pound fighter from Arvada, Colorado was 7-7 heading into the championship match.

“Nelson was pretty fresh and was a tough guy. He beat me up pretty bad, but I gave him a run for his money,” said Boerschig.

Unlike earlier fights, Boerschig proved to be a challenge for the reigning champ.

“Nelson came out in his first two fights and just took his opponents out right away,” said Boerschig. “We met up in the finals and went all the way.”

Three five-minute rounds later, Nelson was determined the winner by decision over Boerschig.

Despite the loss, Boerschig is determined to stay focused on his ultimate goal as a fighter.

“I want to make it to the UFC (Ultimate Fighting Championship),” said Boerschig.

Moving forward

Boerschig, 30, is 6-3 as a pro MMA fighter, but his 10 years of experience hasn’t always been in a professional ring.

“I started out boxing for random shows around Bozeman and around the state,” recalled Boerschig. “But then my coach left, so I started fighting for Montana MMA about seven years ago.”

Now, Boerschig spends most of his time working with his coach Bryan Deats of Montana MMA in Bozeman.

“My coach has a system set up for pretty much all the fighters,” explained Boerschig. “Monday it’s striking. Tuesday it’s Muay Thai. Wednesday it’s more striking. Thursday and Friday are Jiu Jitsu days.”

Boerschig plans to focus more on grappling, an area where he said he needs the most work.

“I’m a really good striker,” said Boerschig, adding, “I need to work on my ground game a bit more. I lose to wrestlers.”

Following the long weekend of traveling and the intense physical extertion that comes with fighting, Boerschig didn’t take a break. The determined athlete ran what he referred to as a “recovery run”: a 10K, or 6.2 miles, after getting home late Sunday night. Monday morning, he was at it again, adding to his 69-day running streak before heading to work.

“It’s a tough, tough sport. I’ve been trying to find sponsors so I don’t have to work and I can just train constantly. But it’s tough,” said Boerschig. “I just know I love it. It’s something i just really love to do.”

Montana MMA

Ty Todd of Emigrant also fought in the tournament with Montana MMA, but didn’t come out on top. Todd said he plans to fight again before the summer.