Ding... Ding... Ding... CSI Boxing Smoker set to take center ring Saturday night in Twin Falls

Cowboys and cowgirls, and maybe a member of the public or two, will go at it in the ring
Published: Jan. 27, 2023 at 11:21 AM MST
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

TWIN FALLS, Idaho (KMVT/KSVT) — The College of Southern Idaho rodeo team is working on a pretty good season.

The men are currently sixth and the women 11th overall in the National Intercollegiate Rodeo Association standings.

But, this weekend, the cowboys and cowgirls are doing something different. They will hit the boxing ring.

The 45th Annual CSI Cowboy and Cowgirl Boxing Smoker is this Saturday.

“It’s exciting, it’s electric, and I think it’s probably the biggest one-night event like this in Southern Idaho,” said CSI Head Rodeo Coach Steve Birnie.

Cowboys and cowgirls and maybe a member of the public or two will go at it in the ring. It’s an event that takes months to prepare for and athletes a long time to train for.

“This year, we’ve kind of put in a month-two month training camp going into before this of just boxing workouts and kind of to the best of our knowledge of how boxers train and what they’re supposed to do,” said sophomore bareback rider Darien Johnson.

The Boxing Smoker is the biggest fundraiser for the CSI rodeo team. The squad gets partial funding from the college.

The goal is to raise around $40,000.

“That money we use for everything, scholarships, travel expenses, practice expenses,” said Birnie. “We buy hay for our stock, motels when we’re on the road, we spend a lot of money so we have to be pretty good at making it.”

Sponsors help take care of the cost of the event and Birnie says 30-40 of them are supporting the event this year.

This year’s Boxing Smoker can seat just over 3,000 people, but without those sponsors and the work of so many to help put the event together, there wouldn’t be the same level of entertainment.

For the athletes competing, the atmosphere is quite the experience.

“That morning of, whenever you wake up, you get those butterflied in your stomach when you wake up .. just knowing later that night it’s time to go, I think the best part of it is the actual day waking up,” said sophomore bareback rider Erik Bettencourt.

Tickets are available at the door. General admission is $12.

If you would like to reserve your seat, go to www.csi.edu/boxingsmoker.

Doors open at 5:30 p.m. Saturday. The action starts at 7 pm.