Bare-Knuckle Boxing at the Gathering of the Juggalos

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Nate "Igor" Smith
Nebraska, a personable and modest 22-year-old dishwasher from Lincoln, Nebraska, takes a punch.
As our nation's culture and economy continues to deteriorate, more and more people are taking an interest in watching people beat the shit out of each other. While, under normal circumstances, these events are highly promoted and take place in giant arenas after two opponents carefully train, there is still a place where brawls remain brutal, honorable and organized.

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Nate "Igor" Smith
Hosted by Pennsylvania rap/metal outfit Wolfpac, juggalo combat is one of the more intense experiences at the Gathering of the Juggalos, America's weirdest, largest music festival, put on by Psychopathic Records and Insane Clown Posse each summer, and this year set in rural Thornville, Ohio.

Set inside a large tent among hay bales and picnic tables, faceless guys in spray painted masks and camouflage suits wandered about and distributed small bottles of some sort of hangover cure -- it was, after all, the crack of 1:30 p.m. The crowd, although thankful, was uninterested, remaining fixated on the numerous young women dancing on stage.

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Nate "Igor" Smith
On cue, the same anonymous figures who were passing out supplement beverages were called to stage to grab riot shields. The crowd snapped to attention and rapidly began packing up close to watch the first match of the evening: Nebraska, a broad-shouldered kid with dreadlocks who was the reigning champion, was to fight a kid from Arkansas with a short mohawk who looked like he just gotten out of basic training. After starting the match, the heavily tattooed "referee" Chucky Chuck backed away and allowed the two opponents to grapple and throw wild fists while the riot squad muscled the contenders away from the hosts and toward each other.

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Nate "Igor" Smith
On the right is Nebraska, a juggalo boxer facing his opponent from Arkansas.
The match was moved to the ground and the crowd was ordered to clear away the tables and hay bales. Moments later, the melee continued until the scraggly-haired Nebraska was declared the winner, after mohawk-boy tapped out. The two hugged and thanked each other.

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Nate "Igor" Smith
After some confusion, two more juggalos stepped to the center of the pit -- a nimble Canadian and a shirtless slugging machine who came into the ring with a number of heavy scratches on his back. Following an announcement of the rules, consisting of "fuck each other up," the two spent much of their four rounds on the ground as the crowd and hosts made gay jokes. "They were whispering sweet nothings into each other's ears."

The audience also predictably yelled some shit about Canadians, which probably prompted the northerner to give up a little earlier. Despite a few impressive jump kicks the red-shirted neighbor to the north landed against the head of his opponent, he forfeited the match after a number of visually exhausting rounds. (The knees to his face probably didn't help much either.)



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