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July 12, 2014

'TNT' Bronson returning to the ring

PRYOR, OK — One of Pryor's own will return to the boxing ring Saturday, July 19.

Tim ‘TNT’ Bronson will take on Jerome Yazzie in a heavyweight bout at the California Event Center in Tulsa in his fourth fight as a pro.

“I found out he wanted to fight me because I beat his cousin,” Bronson, who is 2-1 as a professional, said.

Bronson, 29, works for Office Everything in Pryor. He grew up in Pryor and graduated from Grove High School in 2004, and he still trains in Grove. After graduation he spent time with the Army Reserves and has lived in Pryor, Tahlequah and Grove, but currently lives in Adair.

He insists on being introduced before fights as a Pryorite, though he was adopted when he was 10 years old by Rick and Vicki Bronson of Grove. His biological mother, Ruby Diane Gordon, still resides around Pryor.

Bronson has been a boxer almost as long as he has been a father. He said his three-year-old daughter, Madison, is "[his] world."

Bronson got a tough lesson in fatherhood in his early years.

“I did have a rough childhood,” Bronson said. “Everyone's probably been through certain things. Mine was an abusive childhood. It [boxing] is kind of a way to release that a little bit, but more than anything it's about competing. I love the game ... I don't think any fighter has more heart than me.”

The six-foot, 220-pounder bowed out of mixed martial arts (MMA) training in 2012, but found a new outlet in boxing when his trainer, Melissa Drywater, suggested he take on Darren DeLaune to replace her heavyweight, who had a torn retina.

“She said ‘You're good. You've knocked a few guys out in exhibitions.’ I kind of stumbled into it,” Bronson said.

The first DeLaune fight never materialized, but after a year coming back from a broken hand, Bronson finally won his pro debut on Aug. 24, 2013 against DeLaune.

Since then, Bronson has been chasing his dream of becoming a successful pro boxer.

“I wouldn't say I necessarily like getting punched in the face, but that's my style, to stand up,” Bronson said. “There's a science to it. I love the sport of it. It's a great way to use that competitive fire and test myself.

“Not many people get blessed to do this, and it's not for everybody. The pressure, the adrenaline is amazing.”

Bronson earned the nickname “TNT” after an amateur exhibition match. He lost the first two rounds but earned a knockout in the third against an unbeaten opponent, who then stormed out of the venue.

Drywater gave him the name because, like TNT, he can cause a big explosion out of nowhere.

On July 19, Bronson will seek his third win as a pro against Yazzie, a Tulsan making his own pro debut.

“He's about my height. He's different from his cousin, his cousin was a southpaw,” Bronson said. “He doesn't look like he's conventional. He has a different block style. I'm going to try to get in his face and throw the right hand and make him move backwards.”

Bronson said his conditioning is what could make the difference in the match. He hasn't fought since defeating DeLaune again April 19, and he hasn't sparred in about a month.

“But I'm staying conditioned,” he said. “If he's not in good shape, it's not going to be a very good fight.”

Bronson's career trajectory trends against the norm. While many boxers are turning to the growing sport of MMA, which fuses several fighting styles, Bronson has decided to stick to his strengths as an upright fighter.

That doesn't mean Bronson will never trade the ring for the octagon, however.

“I do plan in the future, before my career is over, to compete in mixed martial arts, but I'm sticking to boxing for now,” Bronson said. “If you get good at one discipline, you're going to get good at something else. Hard work pays off.”

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