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Appalachian Boxing Association selects "Sand Man"

Updated: Apr 29

The ABA amateur cruiserweight title must go through Justin "Sandman" Samson of Huntington, WV.


Unanimous decision by the five member ABA commission.

All championship bouts must be approved by a majority vote from the ABA commission consisting of five members from different states. These fights are matched by promoters throughout the Appalachian Boxing Association region, which includes nine states, then must be approved by the commission. In scenarios where a belt is vacant, the ABA may select a mandatory challenger and that is exactly what has happened in the case of Justin Samson. For several reasons, the vacant amateur ABA cruiserweight championship will go through "The Sandman".

(Justin Samson pictured above with ABA Commissioner Adam Collins)

He's already an ABA Champion.

On a night filled with fantastic fights in Pikeville, KY, somebody had to steal the show. In early 2023, at the Appalachian Wireless Arena, Samson put together a masterpiece leading to his victory over Lukas Spaulding for the ABA Light Heavyweight Amateur championship. After the bout, there was no chatter around the boxing circuit of anyone wanting to challenge "Sandman" for his title. As time progressed, Samson made the decision to go up in weight class in order to chase some tougher competition and fight at a more natural weight. If Samson can capture ABA title at cruiserweight, he will become the first amateur fighter to have a belt in two different weight classes in the Appalachian Boxing Association's 13 year history...and now he's going to get a shot.

Easy decision from the eye test.

Samson fought in USA Boxing as a youth then took some time off. His years of experience in the ring are obvious. When he returned to action in April of 2022, there was a little rust, as expected, but it didn't take long for him to become dominant again. Around the same time he won the ABA title in 2023, he also won the Tri-State Golden Gloves. Samson is tall and long and knows how to use this height and reach to his advantage. He has an impressive ability to stay calm in the ring and creates more power than a lot of heavyweights we've seen. His physique and framework allow him to absorb hits without taking on much damage. When you watch him fight locally, he just makes it look easy. The Sandman has done everything an amateur boxer could do in order to earn this ABA Cruiserweight Championship opportunity.

The only question now is, who is he going to fight...Hunter Markovich, Zane Jones, Michael Brown, or someone else? Don't worry, we don't think we'll have to wait too long to find out.

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