PARKERSBURG - It could be quite the week for professional boxers Mike Sheppard and Dustin Echard.
Sheppard, the Wirt County High School teacher, is the main event on Tuesday night's FOX Sports 1 television show that starts at 9 p.m. He's set to face Antonio "Magic Man" Tarver on the "Golden Boy Live" card at the BB&T Center in Sunrise, Fla.
Echard, who last fought on Aug. 3 at the Fish Bone Gill and Grill where he dominated a six-round unanimous decision versus Shawn Laughery, will put his 7-0 (5 KOs) mark on the line Saturday night against Tom Hanshaw Jr. (2-1, 2 KOs). Echard's fight is on the undercard of the Paul Spadafora/Johan Perez 12-round main event for the WBA super lightweight interim world title at the Mountaineer Casino, Racetrack & Resort in Chester, W.Va.
"This is what people dream about. I'm just happy for the opportunity. It's like an opportunity for a lifetime," Sheppard said of the chance to put a halt to Tarver's thoughts of finding success in the heavyweight division.
"Here I am fighting a guy, a future hall-of-famer, a five-time world champ, who is out of his prime and hasn't fought in 18 monhts. He's three weight clases over his real weight. I like my chances."
Echard, who works for Consol Energy and recently picked up the "The Clean Coal Assassin" as his nickname, still plans on fighting Eric Watkins for the vacant West Virginia state light heavyweight title, perhaps in late January.
"I've been wanting to fight and I'm kind of glad this happened," said Echard, who hurt his hand versus Laughery and needed time for it to heal as his bout versus Watkins had to be called off.
"The Mountaineer Casino, that's the biggest stage in the state of West Virginia. I'm in good shape. It's (hand) fine, my muscles and tendons in there."