Lincoln County, Mo. – On Sept. 25, Matt Boyer walked down the ramp at the Ameristar Casino in St. Charles toward the octagon a man filled with confidence.
For Shamrock Fighting Championships was a moment he had been training for over a year to meet – and Patrick Vega was the opponent he had been waiting to face.
Boyer wasn’t fighting for just himself. He was fighting for his hometown of Troy – and his county of Lincoln.
Like a caged animal, Boyer was unleashed, coming at Vega with kicks, punches and knee strikes.
However, it seemed no matter how hard Boyer attacked, Vega seemed invulnerable to every shot. What would have crushed most fighters, Vega absorbed almost all of Boyer’s strikes.
“He ate everything,” Boyer said. “I felt his head bouncing off the ring with everything I hit him with.
“I hit him with everything I had. I just didn’t want it to be me, but it backfired.”
Then, with one sudden punch to the liver from Vega – it was over.
Boyer said after the fight most people wouldn’t have gotten up after a shot like that, but it was one of the most vicious shots he’s ever taken.
“I’ve been training seven days a week (for a year),” he said. “The only thing that would have saved me – was the bell.”
Boyer said when you step into the octagon in a one-on-one fight, someone’s going to win – and someone has to lose.
“That’s the chance you take,” he said. “I came out wanting to win tonight, but (Vega) wanted to win too.”
Nevertheless, Boyer said the last 12 months spent preparing for the fight were far from wasted. Boyer spent his own money producing t-shirts and securing sponsorships on his trunk and his own t-shirt for the fight.
In the end, he raised $10,000 for the fight, which will be evenly split between The Key Youth Center and Anchored Hope Church in Troy.
Boyer said fighting for the children of Lincoln County has energized him – and he would certainly train for another fight.
“I got another one in me,” he said. “I want to do another one next year to help another local organization to help kids in Troy. I’m in good shape.
“I’m just glad at about 40 years old, I can still get in the cage and fight.”
Even though Matt Boyer lost on that Saturday evening in St. Charles, the children of Troy still came out winners.