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Rogue Valley Rumble makes return

The eighth installment of Rogue Valley Rumble promises to feature more local boxers than previous cards, highlighted by a familiar face in the main event.

Central Point native Mike Wilson, an undefeated cruiserweight who is also the event’s promoter, will face off against Melvin Russell of Kentucky in the 10-round main event at 194 pounds.

Jackson County Expo will house the seven-fight showcase, which starts at 7 p.m. on Saturday.

Wilson (17-0, eight knockouts), the eighth-ranked cruiserweight in the nation, said he expects an inspired effort from Russell (10-2-2, six KOs), the 39th-ranked light heavyweight, when he puts his unbeaten record on the line in front of the several thousand local fans expected to attend the event.

“Whenever you’re undefeated, guys fight extra hard,” Wilson said. “They really want to take that away from you. Sometimes they’ll do whatever they can to rise to the occasion because that’s a big opportunity for them.”

Both fighters like to stay busy and Wilson expects Russell to push the action, a scenario in which he feels comfortable and one that should make for entertaining action for the fans.

“I’m a fast-paced fighter and my style kind of wears people down and that’s what we’re gonna do (Saturday),” Wilson said. “I think (Russell is) gonna go out there and throw a lot of punches, along with myself, and we should be able to mix it up pretty good.”

Russell, 38, has been the busier fighter of late — this will be his 11th fight since the start of 2016, whereas it will be the sixth for Wilson, 34, in the last two years.

Russell, aka “The Romantic Redneck,” usually fights at about 185 pounds, compared to natural cruiserweight Wilson, aka “White Delight,” who regularly competes at 195.

One local fighter thrilled to make his Rumble debut is youth mentor Troy Wohosky, owner and operator of Spartan Boxing Club in Medford.

Wohosky (2-2) will take on Kevin Davila (1-4) of Puyallup, Wash., in a four-round bout at 140 pounds.

A Philippines native who’s lived in Medford since he was 6, Wohosky has a long history with Wilson, going back to their days as kids training with Bulldog Boxing under trainer Jimmy Pedrojetti. His career suffered a major setback when he suffered a torn meniscus about a year ago that required surgery.

“I feel like it’s time for me to get back to what I love to do and that’s being in the ring — just getting in my comfort zone,” Wohosky said. “It’s a passion of mine. It’s not work. I call it a labor of love.”

“I’ve got a lot of people coming,” he added.

Another local face on the card is Abraham Martin of Medford. Martin (1-0, one KO) will face Jose Rico (0-3) of Springfield in a four-round bout at 185 pounds.

In other fights:

Marquice Weston (9-1, five KOs) of Tacoma, Wash., will face Juan Reyna (6-7-1 two KOs) of Brownsville, Texas, in a six-round bout at 200 pounds.

Victor Morales Jr. (6-0, two KOs) of Vancouver, Wash., will take on Corben Page (5-14-1, four KOs) of Arcata, Calif., in a six-round bout at 130 pounds, a rematch from the seventh Rumble.

Nicholas Jefferson (1-0, one KO) of Tacoma, Wash., will face Colby Grayson (0-2) of Pendleton in a four-round bout at 140 pounds.

Doors open at 6 p.m. General admission tickets are $20 in advance at Lil’ Pantry and Hawaiian Hut locations, and $25 at the door. Admission for kids 12 and under is $15, and those 4 and under get in free.