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Long expects a tough challenge in the ring against Kalkreuth

BY IVAN SANDERS
STAR SPORTS EDITOR
ivan.sanders@elizabethton.com
For Dustin Long, being competitive is just second nature whether it was playing on the hardwood for Happy Valley Coach Charlie Bayless or playing checkers with his kids, he wants to win.

Long will definitely have to bring that level of competitive times 10 to the ring Saturday night when he takes on Tristan ‘Sweet T’ Kalkreuth in a boxing match in Kalkreuth’s backyard in Dickies Arena in Fort Worth, Texas.

The match is a six-round Cruiserweight contest and is available on Pay-per-view and is being shown at Jiggie Ray’s in downtown Elizabethton starting somewhere around 5 or 6 pm according to Long.

Kalkreuth comes into the contest with a 7-0 record with five KOs while Long enters with a 4-1 record with all four wins coming by knockout.

The contest features a young up-and-coming 19-year-old fighter in Kalkreuth while Long is 38-years of age and is looking to get back on track after COVID set everything back in the sport.

Long’s last fight came on February 13, 2021, where he won by TKO of his opponent Billy Combs.

For the fighter, his ability to continuing fighting is in hopes of bridging the gap for younger fighters in the Tri-Cities who have aspirations of one day entering the ring to fight in a possible MMA boxing match with an opportunity to win a championship.

Coming into Saturday night, Long realizes he has his work cut out for him because of Kalkreuth’s previous experience in the ring.

“He is a highly decorated amateur,” Long said. “He is like a four or five-time national champion actually signing with Golden Boy. I don’t have the big push behind me as he does.

“I am usually a slow starter and that is what people get on me all the time about. He almost fights what we call a ‘Mexican-Style’ in that he just kind of walks forward. He is going to be an elite boxer. I want to throw him off his game and lean on him.”

Long is hoping the exposure from the fight will open more doors for not only him but for others that follow in his footsteps from Smalltown, USA.

“When you are coming from a small town you really aren’t given anything,” stated Long. “But with the success of Adam Townsend and some of the others, I believe that is going to change. I think that you will see a champion come from this area.”

Long’s trainer, Dustin Walden, put everything into a tight nutshell about Saturday night’s contest.

“If it goes 18 minutes, we didn’t get the job done,” said Walden.