THE MAIN EVENT: Locals to step into the ring, along with international boxers

Grudge match? Islanders Rob Popoff, left, and Jimmy Downey are separated by gym owner and trainer Jerry Guidish, in jest. Popoff and Downey will take to the ring for an exhibition match, part of the Live International Amateur Boxing event November 1 at the Marco Island Marriott. Lance Shearer/Eagle Correspondent

Photo by LANCE SHEARER // Buy this photo

Grudge match? Islanders Rob Popoff, left, and Jimmy Downey are separated by gym owner and trainer Jerry Guidish, in jest. Popoff and Downey will take to the ring for an exhibition match, part of the Live International Amateur Boxing event November 1 at the Marco Island Marriott. Lance Shearer/Eagle Correspondent

— Laydeeez and gentlemen! Coming to Marco Island, a premier primetime presentation of the pugilistic arts, featuring courageous combatants, local lads Rob “the Macedonian Mauler” Popoff and Jimmy “the Irish Assassin” Downey, augmented by an international bevy of bouts by accomplished amateur antagonists.

They really are going to duke it out.

“I figure, a lot of people on this island would like to see me get punched,” said Rob Popoff, going back to his days as a city councilman. He was in office for the contentious debates over the establishment of the island’s sewer program, so getting into the boxing ring should seem less scary.

Doing the punching will be fellow Islander, and Popoff’s good friend, Jimmy Downey. Like the entire event, including a dozen more serious matches, to be held Friday, Nov. 1 at the Marco Island Marriot’s Island Ballroom, the meeting will be a charity benefit.

“Jimmy’s built like a tank, and has fists like sledgehammers,” said Popoff. “If he gets a good jab in, I might go down.” Downey also has more experience in traditional boxing.

Popoff, though, is five inches taller, with much longer reach, and has extensive martial arts experience. He holds a black belt in Okinawan Isshinryu, kickboxing similar to karate, and previously owned a martial arts studio on Marco.

“They’ll both do really well,” said trainer and gym owner at Hardcore Gym in East Naples, who has been working with both pugilists. “They’ve been working out hard. Rob does have a tendency to bring his knee up,” an instinct from his kickboxing days.

“It will not happen during the fight,” interjected Popoff.

“Jimmy’s got those Popeye forearms. If he hits Rob with the right hand, I think the party’s over. But Jimmy has the tendency to use his face to block Rob’s jab,” said Guidish.

“Don’t forget, we’re old,” said Popoff. “He’s 51, I’m 52. But we’ll be fighting. We’re legitimately going out there.”

For Downey and Popoff’s “masters’ division” exhibition bout, the schedule calls for three rounds of one minute each. Most of the other fights, between serious amateur fighters from clubs in New Jersey and Ireland, will feature three three-minute rounds, in divisions from lightweight, up to 145 lbs., through super-heavyweight, over 201 lbs., which is where the locals fit in, although they are decades older than the fighters who are mostly youngsters 19 to 21.

Promoter Rich Stoltenborg, a Marco resident who is part owner of New Jersey’s Dover Boxing Club, which is providing many of the U.S. fighters, said this is a great opportunity for his young boxers.

“A lot of these are inner city kids, although some have over 100 fights under their belt. For them, and the Irish kids, to come down to Marco Island, this is an experience they’ll never forget.” The match is a USA Boxing-sanctioned event, and proceeds will be divided between the Dover Boxing Club and Marco’s Island Parks and Recreation Foundation, both of which are 501(c)3 groups. Sponsorship opportunities are also available.

Tickets at $20 apiece are available at O’Donoghue’s Restaurant & Pub, the Crazy Flamingo and the Sunset Grille, from Stoltenborg, Popoff or Downey, or at the door at the Marriott, which will have free self-parking for the evening. Refreshments including beer and wine, soda and water, hotdogs, corndogs, nachos, popcorn and pretzels will be available. The event will have all the trappings: ring girls, bagpipes playing, DJ Steve Reynolds, and the U.S. and Irish national anthems sung by Michael and Mary Jo O’Regan.

“Come out and enjoy some live international boxing, some exciting fights. This is going to be good entertainment,” said Stoltenborg.

For more information, call (239) 642-2208 or (211) 694-2182.

© 2013 marconews.com. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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Comments » 67

Sailor writes:

Two of the nicest guys I know but I wouldn't get in the ring with either one of them!

happyhorowitz34145 writes:

in response to Sailor:

Two of the nicest guys I know but I wouldn't get in the ring with either one of them!

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Semper_Fidelis writes:

Shameful how happyhorowitz "Anonomously" calls them con artists. Obviously you don't know them. Anonymity on the blogs is accepted until you start throwing insults, then it becomes cowardice.

WMissow writes:

The I fact is I know one of them. His photo should appear on a lift station near you.

liberator100 writes:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

RayPray writes:

in response to happyhorowitz34145:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

As always, thanx for the real dope never hinted at in this press release paper....

2themoon writes:

Popoff still lives here?? I thought he moved into John Aceris
new mansion in Tuscany Italy?

Hardleymarco writes:

It will be the fight of the century, our grandchildren will tell their grandchildren of this monumental occasion of the ages. I heard jimmy has Don king in his corner with Gary Coleman in Popoffs. Surly to be entertaining, and it's for charity. So to all you naysayers, relax, come have a beer and a good laugh it will do you good. My prediction; tko about 5 hours after the fight at the brewery.

WMissow writes:

in response to liberator100:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Liberater,

The truth hurts. Your response tells me who your are and the truth is, with your response so does many other people. Do you want your photo in color or black and white?

OldMarcoMan writes:

Im excited to see ANYONE Caveman Popoff

1Paradiselost writes:

in response to WMissow:

Liberater,

The truth hurts. Your response tells me who your are and the truth is, with your response so does many other people. Do you want your photo in color or black and white?

What's the big news here? The lift station at the end of our street is named after Glenn Tucker.

WMissow, Thanks for letting us know your neighborhood also named your lift station.

Maybe liberator100 should remove their head from the sand. Popoff and those former members of the city council put ALL the taxpayers of Marco Island 250 million dollars in debt!

Lets remember Rob Popoff ran for city council to end the STRP project, Once elected he changed his mind!

That debt, The STRP will never be payed off in our lifetimes!

Now, We have the 2nd highest cost of water in the state of Florida, besides the debt, Good job Rob!

Each Household/taxpayer who was forced to pay 20 thousand dollars should be allowed in the ring to take a poke at him!

lauralbi1 writes:

Man, oh Man !!! It is hilarious and never ceases to amaze me how quickly people want to forget the TRUTH. The ONLY, I repeat ONLY Referendum we ever really had on the STRP issue (and one was never required) was the election where a slate of pro STRP candidates were running against a slate of ant STRP candidates. The pro STRP candidates won by a LANDSLIDE, the largest margin of victory in Marco Island Election history. Certainly not an "official" Referendum, but a great indicator of how the majority of voters on the Island felt about STRP.
But enough about the past. There are those that want to languish in the past and do nothing but complain.
We all should enjoy our Paradise.
Ed issler

WMissow writes:

Ed,

Some of those who won LIED their way into office, lied while in office and were nothing more than syndicate puppets. There was no real referendums for the STRP you know that, I know that and so does everybody else.

Manipulation and lies made up the elections you are so proud of.

marco97 writes:

Ed you think it is fine to have a referendum on the hotel expansion, as you said in your post the other day but think we did not need one for the STRP that put this City far in debt and forced many people to leave the Island. I hope they build a high school next door to you. No Referendum needed.

WMissow writes:

1P,

I guess that Tucker's name on City Hall must make it "Lift Station #1"

Sailor writes:

You people are disgusting!! This is a charity event to benefit troubled youth and you people make it political. Still crying about sewers - pitiful.

Buy a ticket if you want to see Popoff get hit and talk to him directly instead of through a charity event blog!

2themoon writes:

Thinking Popoff should come clean and issue an apology for his actions as councillor, hes everything thats bad about politics in this country

WMissow writes:

in response to Sailor:

You people are disgusting!! This is a charity event to benefit troubled youth and you people make it political. Still crying about sewers - pitiful.

Buy a ticket if you want to see Popoff get hit and talk to him directly instead of through a charity event blog!

What good would it be if talking to him? Would be any different now than in the past? He, personally, misinformed me then, why should it be any different now?

I will donate to the charity but not to see him.

What is with the inner city punk get up? What does it represent?

Konfuzius writes:

in response to lauralbi1:

Man, oh Man !!! It is hilarious and never ceases to amaze me how quickly people want to forget the TRUTH. The ONLY, I repeat ONLY Referendum we ever really had on the STRP issue (and one was never required) was the election where a slate of pro STRP candidates were running against a slate of ant STRP candidates. The pro STRP candidates won by a LANDSLIDE, the largest margin of victory in Marco Island Election history. Certainly not an "official" Referendum, but a great indicator of how the majority of voters on the Island felt about STRP.
But enough about the past. There are those that want to languish in the past and do nothing but complain.
We all should enjoy our Paradise.
Ed issler

Wrong Eddi like usual,

the first referendum was the election Forch, Kiester AND Popoff.
All THREE campaigned against STRP.
Elected Popoff changed his opinion with the sentence:

"STRP is not an issue on Marco Island!"

Since than turn-coat Rob!

With Tucker, Minnozzi and Trotter he got the majority in City Council and STRP was a done deal.
That is the truth Eddi, but maybe you got another briefing to write NOT the truth from the syndicate!
The election Waldi won was forced by the Condo-Dwellers. Really never Referendum level.

PS>

How many more insults can liberator 100 do before he will banned from this blog? He has more removed comments than all other together.

WMissow writes:

Klaus,

An absolute rarity, I agree with you!

Eddie has be the mouthpiece for the syndicate for years. I wonder what my have been in it for him?

Sailor writes:

Rob was always a pro-sewer candidate and I suspect he would love to get in the ring with any of you vile cave dwellers. Sewers were inevitable with or without Rob. Now, stop hijacking this blog, some of the young fighters and their families are reading this article and blogs so once again, please have some dignity and respect.

1Paradiselost writes:

Sailor,

Are you one of those boxers who's been hit in the head to many times? Lets all read the words of the man (Popoff) in the link below...

The internet is a wonderfull thing. The newspaper article speaks for itself!

Article is titled" "New City Council Members Speak"

"The voters spoke very loud and clear and told us that they want the (Sewer) project slowed or stopped" Popoff said.

You can read the entire transcript by clicking on the link below.

http://www.marcosun.com/city%20counce...

Konfuzius writes:

in response to 1Paradiselost:

Sailor,

Are you one of those boxers who's been hit in the head to many times? Lets all read the words of the man (Popoff) in the link below...

The internet is a wonderfull thing. The newspaper article speaks for itself!

Article is titled" "New City Council Members Speak"

"The voters spoke very loud and clear and told us that they want the (Sewer) project slowed or stopped" Popoff said.

You can read the entire transcript by clicking on the link below.

http://www.marcosun.com/city%20counce...

The problem is that all this guys made the asbestos self contamination tests.
Eddi is the most prominent victim. Read his blog. He reported no brain damage at all.
Hard to believe. Anyway. Popoff was elected because he campaigned be member of the anti sewer fraction. Nothing else. Like honorable and best city councilor all times ever Chuck Kiester and second Forch. Maybe sailor is one of the guys who made the self contamination test too. After a couple of years it shows dementia and other symptoms of brain damages.
Boxing on top is totally dangerous. However - Eddi and pals are not right! Popoff break one's word. That is fact!
He changed Marco Island to the bad side.

Semper_Fidelis writes:

The Facts

During one of the forums, candidates were requested to stand if they favored stopping the sewer project.

Three candidates stood. Rob Popoff never stood. Popoff was labeled a pro-sewer candidate during the campaign.

Why the surprise at the City Council meeting when Popoff voted "no" on the motions to add the dishonoring of the sewer contracts to the agenda? The motion was to dishonor already-awarded contracts. Popoff never promised to dishonor awarded contracts.

His opponents twisted his campaign statements to suit their agenda. What have these opponents done for our community? They have suddenly appeared on the scene to hurt the reputation of a great city and its leaders.

There is much more to this island than the sewer issue. People voted for Popoff because of his involvement in the community and his background. He was not a single-issue candidate, running on one issue that can be "solved" by a single vote at his first meeting!

Next time someone asks you why good people don't run for public office, remember this incident. Much of the fighting and divisions people complain about on this island are caused by these same people, their mean-spirited letters and comments, and their unveiled hatred for members of the City Council and staff.

Popoff campaigned on bringing decorum and proper parliamentary procedure to the Marco Island City Council deliberations and he did so!! Even Councilman Kiester said Rob was the best Chairman he had an opportunity to work with. Rob is my friend, and a very good friend. His stance has always been to ignore these ridiculous blogs but you people are a disgrace and an embarrassment. Moreover, your facts are not facts!!

Semper_Fidelis writes:

Be sure to check out Councilor Kiesters comments in the blogs:

http://www.marconews.com/news/2009/no...

Now enough of this seven year old nonsense.

WMissow writes:

in response to Semper_Fidelis:

Be sure to check out Councilor Kiesters comments in the blogs:

http://www.marconews.com/news/2009/no...

Now enough of this seven year old nonsense.

What a self serving piece of political dribble.
One wonders who the ghost writer might have been?

RayPray writes:

in response to Semper_Fidelis:

The Facts

During one of the forums, candidates were requested to stand if they favored stopping the sewer project.

Three candidates stood. Rob Popoff never stood. Popoff was labeled a pro-sewer candidate during the campaign.

Why the surprise at the City Council meeting when Popoff voted "no" on the motions to add the dishonoring of the sewer contracts to the agenda? The motion was to dishonor already-awarded contracts. Popoff never promised to dishonor awarded contracts.

His opponents twisted his campaign statements to suit their agenda. What have these opponents done for our community? They have suddenly appeared on the scene to hurt the reputation of a great city and its leaders.

There is much more to this island than the sewer issue. People voted for Popoff because of his involvement in the community and his background. He was not a single-issue candidate, running on one issue that can be "solved" by a single vote at his first meeting!

Next time someone asks you why good people don't run for public office, remember this incident. Much of the fighting and divisions people complain about on this island are caused by these same people, their mean-spirited letters and comments, and their unveiled hatred for members of the City Council and staff.

Popoff campaigned on bringing decorum and proper parliamentary procedure to the Marco Island City Council deliberations and he did so!! Even Councilman Kiester said Rob was the best Chairman he had an opportunity to work with. Rob is my friend, and a very good friend. His stance has always been to ignore these ridiculous blogs but you people are a disgrace and an embarrassment. Moreover, your facts are not facts!!

"Popoff campaigned on bringing decorum and proper parliamentary procedure to the Marco Island City Council deliberations and he did so!!"

>>> From watching those council sessions years ago on TV, he always looked totally cowed and obviously in way over his head....

>>> Luckily, impossible for there to be any risk of further brain damage to any of the participants in this spectacle....

Konfuzius writes:

Remember:

November 25, 2009
6:45 a.m.
Suggest removal
Reply to this post

Fossil writes:

Mr Popoff, you spend much time denouncing people who lie. Why didn't you spend some time refelecting on why you lied to us when you ran for office?

November 25, 2009
1:08 p.m.
Suggest removal
Reply to this post

Smeg writes:

In My Opinion:

Smart move. He wouldn't get re-elected anyway.

WMissow writes:

Semper,

Glad to hear he is your friend. Maybe that puts a bit of bias into your blog.

How about this, he told me and several friends of mine prior to the election that he would stop the STRP project if elected because that was what the people wanted. No sooner did he get elected did he change his opinion and became an obvious puppet of the syndicate.

At that time the sewer issue was the top of the heap on issues. Yes there is more to this island than that but his change of voting cost several of my neighbors to move because of the excessive costs for the sewer and water bills. Talk to them and find out what was actually promised.

Maybe you were not here at the time but those are witnessed facts.

Konfuzius writes:

Rob Popoff original sound:

"One issue is the city's hotly debated Septic Tank Replacement Program — a project that at least two of the new councilmen, Kiester and Forcht, oppose. Popoff said throughout his campaign that he needs more information before committing to a side.

"I'll do anything to protect and preserve our waterways," Popoff said. "If there's a more economic way to do that, I'm all for it, but thus far I'm still leaning toward the fact that we need to sewer the island. But I'm very open-minded."

A crystal clear statement of a man who never campaigned "I am a pro sewer man!"

"But I'm very open-minded."

The result was a turn-coat city councilor.
I attended meetings were ex-CC Popoff was agree with Forch and Kiester to vote against STRP.
But who cares!

Konfuzius writes:

Eddi read this:

"Forcht was the big winner of the night, coming in first with 2,976 votes, only 42 more than second-place finisher Popoff."

Your referendum results are undisputed:

The majority of Marco Island was against STRP!

marcosandflea writes:

Rob Popoff was responsible, in the very early days of the STRP for the continuation of the project. His campaign promises proved to be false, he mislead many good people on Marco that eventually were forced to leave due to the out of control cost of living on Marco. If his election was today, apart from friends and family, I doubt he would get any votes, perhaps he has less friends than he used to, so that's even less votes.
The whole STRP issue became political and then the gang in control were able to have their way especially when they had Popoff on their leash. When such a large, expensive project is considered and the facts are dubious regarding pollution and the cost is almost unknown.....more research should have been done. Just accepting "facts" from the like of John Arceri, a one term, never elected (he was unopposed) councilor was crazy.
Many good people left Marco due to Rob Popoff and it looks like we will never forget let alone forgive.

Semper_Fidelis writes:

He still remains popular and people love him with the exception of a few malcontents on this blog. Signing off,enough worthless bantor that serves no real purpose. See you at the fights!!

And Dr. Paret, you may have a point.

1Paradiselost writes:

Another Marine with brain damage.....

WMissow writes:

in response to Semper_Fidelis:

He still remains popular and people love him with the exception of a few malcontents on this blog. Signing off,enough worthless bantor that serves no real purpose. See you at the fights!!

And Dr. Paret, you may have a point.

Semper,

Maybe in your circles. Not in the circles of people who live and act by honesty.

2themoon writes:

in response to WMissow:

Semper,

Maybe in your circles. Not in the circles of people who live and act by honesty.

Nuff sed...

Konfuzius writes:

Tonight another bloody nose.
This time physical!

Semper_Fidelis writes:

First and foremost, NEVER disrespect the Marines (Obama lover). This island is small and I promise our paths will cross one day.

The fight was amazing, Rob fought a great fight and raised money for charity. Make no question about it; Rob Popoff and his family are a very respected, well liked and popular family on Marco Island and always have been!! His son is in the military and getting deployed to the Middle East. Rob and the Popoff family is not the problem on Marco isand; the CAVE DWELLERS are (fortunately most have left the island). You are losers in everything you've tried to accomplish (stop the STRP, RECALLING RESPECTED COUNCILORS, trying "fruitlessly to get anti STRP canidates elected; you lost by over 85% of the votes and the list goes on and on)and it drives you crazy that Rob & his family are held in such high regard. I was in Robs corner tonight at the fight and actions speak louder than words. You curmudgeons are the FEW not the majority. You don't get involved in or appreciate civic involvement. Same one or two individuals ten different blog names...just plain cowards.

WMissow writes:

Gee, I can't wait to get a black t-shirt and black hat to wear backwards so that I can belong to such a respected group. LOL

I hope that no harm comes to Rob's son during his deployment as that is to be respected, not his father's actions on City Council or anywhere else.

WMissow writes:

Genuine,

Copy that post, it should be deleted by staff shortly. You will need it as evidence.

Konfuzius writes:

in response to Semper_Fidelis:

First and foremost, NEVER disrespect the Marines (Obama lover). This island is small and I promise our paths will cross one day.

The fight was amazing, Rob fought a great fight and raised money for charity. Make no question about it; Rob Popoff and his family are a very respected, well liked and popular family on Marco Island and always have been!! His son is in the military and getting deployed to the Middle East. Rob and the Popoff family is not the problem on Marco isand; the CAVE DWELLERS are (fortunately most have left the island). You are losers in everything you've tried to accomplish (stop the STRP, RECALLING RESPECTED COUNCILORS, trying "fruitlessly to get anti STRP canidates elected; you lost by over 85% of the votes and the list goes on and on)and it drives you crazy that Rob & his family are held in such high regard. I was in Robs corner tonight at the fight and actions speak louder than words. You curmudgeons are the FEW not the majority. You don't get involved in or appreciate civic involvement. Same one or two individuals ten different blog names...just plain cowards.

"First and foremost, NEVER disrespect the Marines (Obama lover). This island is small and I promise our paths will cross one day."

I am wondering why this kind of threats remain on this blog.
The side stuff has to ban you forever.
This not acceptable.
What will you do? Shot all other thinking people? You are scaring.

1Paradiselost writes:

Semper...

His rant just proves my point that the gentleman has problems. Making empty threats to fellow islanders, while they exercise their first amendment right of "free speech" is an sign of a angry person who forgot WHY he served our nation. Personally I think he's a wannabe marine!

Semper Says: "You are losers in everything you've tried to accomplish"

The only loser here is you Semper! Your anger overwhelms your common sense and manhood.

Saying "This island is small and I promise our paths will cross one day."

Do you always try to intimidate people that disagree with you? Your no better than than a child bullying someone in a playground to make your point.

Also: “You are entitled to your opinion. But you are not entitled to your own facts. ”Check the links above to past newspapers.. No candidate on on Marco ever won by 85% in any election, in any year!

Bottom line... Semper... Your friend Rob Popoff lied to to the voters of Marco Island. His well thought-out plan has cost this city and it's taxpayers to be $250,000,000.00 MILLION in debt. With no current plan to pay (Robs) debt off.

Due to Rob Popoff uninformed decision, Marco Island Has the 2nd highest cost for water and sewer in the state of Florida, Thanks to YOUR friend Rob!

These are the facts Semper!

So while you play big shot renting that condo you live in, it's us the men and women, the taxpayer who carry you and your friend Robs tax burden to live here!

RayPray writes:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Konfuzius writes:

"Peek into our island gay bar any evening to behold a veritable pansy platoon!"

Where is this bar located?

WMissow writes:

I have been told that Rob's fight was nothing more than a clumsy ballet along with hugs and kisses.

He is no better at boxing than he was as a City Councilor.

RayPray writes:

in response to Konfuzius:

"Peek into our island gay bar any evening to behold a veritable pansy platoon!"

Where is this bar located?

Half way between the Historical Museum & the Art League....

manwhoknows writes:

In my opinion Popoff and those former members of the city council put ALL the taxpayers of Marco Island 250 million dollars in debt!

Lets remember Rob Popoff ran for city council to end the STRP project, Once elected he changed his mind!

That debt, The STRP will never be payed off in our lifetimes!

Now, We have the 2nd highest cost of water in the state of Florida, besides the debt, Good job Rob!
AS FOR JAMES L. DOWNEY, GO TO COLLIER CO. ARREST ENTER HIS NAME. HIS RECORD SPEAKS FOR ITSELF. VERY VERY SAD TO GLORIFY THESE TWO MEN.

WMissow writes:

Birds of a feather, flock together, won't you say. No different here and if anybody is convinced otherwise by the flowery blogs above, time to think again.

I remember hearing growing up that you should watch the friends you hang out with because you may become just like them.

That says it all.

1Paradiselost writes:

James L. Downey...

In foreclosure in 2006. The case is still open as of 6/30/2012. Does this guy still live in that house? He's not paying property taxes is he. How about the sewer and water bill?

Is he living free off of all of us?

02/06/2007 CASE 05-1698CCVM CHARGED WRIT BODILY ATTACHMENT/ORDER TO SHOW CAUSE/CONTEMPT BOND AMOUNT $8,486.59

09/28/2013 MARCO PD BOOKING NUMBER 201300008516 TAMPER WITH OR FABRICATE PHYSICAL EVIDENCE CASE... STILL PENDING. BOND AMOUNT $5,000.

All facts can be check with the Collier County clerk and the Collier county sheriffs office.

RayPray writes:

Ace Naples News reporters would have un-earthed all this information, except for being too busy delving into the charitable background of this Dover Boxing Club....

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