Steamboat Springs Steamboat's first-ever "Fight Night" may have been a knockout for local boxing fans, but officials at Steamboat Springs Middle School are throwing in the towel on the event.
Last November, nearly 600 people packed into the school's gymnasium to watch 20 amateur boxers throw their best combinations.
But after the bout, some fans left empty beer cans and cigarette butts on school property, which forced Assistant Principal Tim Bishop to put an end to the shenanigans.
The fans' untidy behavior prompted Bishop to halt any further boxing events from occurring at the middle school.
Though alcoholic beverages were not sold during the boxing matches, the local fans who were drinking booze had apparently smuggled the bottles and cans into the gym.
Even the assistant principal, however, admits that the boxing show was entertaining.
"The fighters were very well-behaved," said Bishop, who ended up having to clean up the mess after the fight.
"The people went to enjoy themselves, but for some people, that means alcohol and smoking and other things."
The fans' disposing of trash on school grounds is leaving local boxing promoter Tara Nultemeier shopping for other venues. But four months have gone by since the first Fight Night, and Nultemeier is still on the ropes with no where to go.
"People keep coming up to me asking me where they can fight," said Nultemeier, who owns Peak Fitness Center in Steamboat. "But we can't do anything until we get a venue. We're stuck."
The boxing matches, which occurred the same night that heavyweight champion Lennox Lewis scored a lopsided decision over David Tua, were a big hit with some of the local fans.
Gary "Froggy" Saunders, who was a Golden Gloves amateur boxer 40 years ago, was one of the local spectators at the first Fight Night.
Saunders said he hopes Nultemeier can organize another event so he can join in the competition. Many of those who attended the first Fight Night feel the same way as Saunders.
At the last Fight Night, there were three men's weight divisions in which the amateurs fought out of, including a heavyweight, middleweight and lightweight division.
There also was one women's division.
The event was similar to a tournament, and there was only one man left standing in each of the divisions when the night had concluded.
"I just can't believe there has been a negative connotation," Saunders said. "We've got school shootings and drugs in the cities, but this was just such a positive thing for the city," Saunders said.
"It's better to see them doing something physical and gaining some self-esteem rather than seeing them downtown doing drugs."
Nultemeier has contacted a number of local businesses to try to set up another boxing show, she said. But the space at the businesses is either too small, or the business owners are not willing to
take on the responsibility of playing host to a second Fight Night, she said.
Jamie Fucci, who is an amateur boxer that trains out of Miami, Fla. but is currently a part-time member at the Peak Fitness gym, says she does not understand why another show can not be organized.
"Any event they're going to hold, people are going to be trying to sneak beer in," Fucci said. "I don't know if that's the only reason that people don't want to host it, but that's absolutely ridiculous."
Fucci said the fighters are not to blame for the fans' conduct. She suggested organizing a boxing show earlier in the day, which would possibly reduce the chance of people bringing in alcohol.
The last Fight Night was held at 7 p.m. on a Saturday night.
Fucci also said that hiring a clean-up crew to pick up the trash may help persuade some businesses to play host to another Fight Night
One of the businesses Nultemeier had tried to get to put on another boxing show was Levelz, which is a nightclub in Steamboat.
But Paul Michele, Levelz manager, said the space at the bar was not large enough to accomodate a ring.
"They measured it out, but the size of the ring was too big," Michele said. "We couldn't fit it in, so we couldn't consider it any more."
Fight Night may be on hold for the time being, but Nultemeier says she will not stall her efforts to try to find another venue. Some of the places she has since tried, she said, are Steamboat Springs High School, Colorado Mountain College and the Steamboat Springs Airport.
"I'm not promoting drugs or alcohol or anything that's wrong," Nultemeier said. "Boxing is not any more violent than ice hockey. I don't understand why they don't want to have another (Fight Night)."