Hanshaw retires on top: Boyd County boxer concludes career at Camp Landing

CANNONSBURG Travis Hanshaw ascended the turnbuckles in one corner of the ring, grabbed the ropes, yanked them enthusiastically and unleashed a celebratory shout as he retired on top.

Hanshaw, aka “The Rattlesnake,” defeated Jermin King in a second-round technical knockout to earn the Universal Boxing Organization North American Cruiserweight belt on Saturday night at Camp Landing Entertainment District. It was the 32-year-old’s final fight.

In vintage Hanshaw fashion, the 6-foot-3, 188-pounder flaunted quick reflexes, weaving and dodging to force a few King whiffs. Meanwhile, Hanshaw landed a number of big blows.

Hanshaw’s father and coach, Tom, was in his corner, as usual.

“I told Dad in the second round, if he doesn’t come back (from hitting the mat three times), this is going to be the last round of my career. I told him, ‘I love you. I appreciate you,’” Hanshaw said.

It was around that time that the referee waved his hands and declared it over.

Tom Hanshaw followed through on a promise he made in April. After his son thanked fans for their support, Tom grabbed the microphone and said, “I’m proud of you, son.”

Hanshaw’s win at just after 10:30 p.m. capped off a day full of fights on the East Coast Promotions card. The outdoor event featured four hours’ worth of amateur bouts, live music from Dustin Burchett with Kentucky Clear and six professional matches.

“The crowd was amazing,” Travis Hanshaw said. “I feel like I had no pressure on me this fight. I just wanted to have fun.”

Hanshaw is turning his focus to family — including his wife, Shelby, and their three children — and coaching youngsters at Westwood Boys and Girls Club.

“I did everything I wanted to do, from amateur on up,” Hanshaw said. “It’s time to go. I want to enjoy my family.”

Donning a Westwood baseball jersey and Fairview hat supplied to him by Fairview coaches, he posed for numerous post-match photos. Up-and-coming fighters met him in the dressing room where Hanshaw told them they would all take a week off and then reconvene at the club.

“No, coach, we’ll see you Monday,” they told him, according to Hanshaw. Lo and behold, Hanshaw was back in the gym on Monday.

Alexis Robinson, a former Ashland basketball star and Colorado hoops standout, tried her hand at boxing a few years ago and immediately fell in love with it. She is now 2-0-1 as a pro after fighting Brooke Evans, of Edgewood, to a lightweight draw on Saturday.

Three judges scored the four-round bout as tight as possible — 38-38, 39-37 and 37-39.

“I started to see in the fourth round a little bit more of what she was doing, so I think if I could’ve gotten another round, I could’ve been able to get some more points in,” Robinson said on Saturday night. “But she hit hard, and was a lot faster than I expected. I just gotta prepare better for next time.”

Robinson said she “calmed down” and utilized her uppercut punch more in the third and fourth rounds.

“I wish I could’ve gotten a win,” she said. “I’m gonna go back to the gym and hit it harder so I can come up with a win next time.”

Hanshaw predicts a bright future for Robinson.

“She’s definitely going to be a world champ one day,” he said.

Bill Yates, of Ashland, lost in a fourth-round TKO to Justin Maggi, of Frederick, Maryland, in a cruiserweight match. “The Kentucky Brawler” saw his record fall to 8-4.

“He’ll bounce back,” Hanshaw said.

Hanshaw won’t be back in the ring, he assured — not as a fighter, anyway.

“I’ll never run another lap in my life,” he said with a laugh.

Saturday was a special all-around night for the Hanshaw family.

Tom “The Hillbilly” Hanshaw Jr., aka “T-Bob,” was inducted into the Appalachian Boxing Association Hall of Fame. He achieved ABA belts in two weight classes during his career.

Travis Hanshaw thanked Tom Jr., his older brother, Jennifer, his younger sister, and his wife, Shelby, “for keeping me calm all these years.”

Hanshaw is grateful for his dad and mom, Mindy.

“I thank my mom and dad,” Hanshaw said. “I was with big-time promoters at one point, and my mom knew, I’m a country boy, and I needed to be back home. They risked everything to make sure I was happy.”