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Jeff Kolpack, Published February 12 2013

VIDEO: Iowa boxer put on suspension after taking fall at West Fargo event

FARGO – A Cedar Falls, Iowa, boxer has been suspended indefinitely after taking an apparent fall at a boxing event in West Fargo.

Al Jaeger, the North Dakota Secretary of State who also acts as the state’s combative sports commissioner, said video review of Nicholas Capes’ fight with Ray Edwards clearly shows Capes wasn’t hit.

“As we move ahead, we’ll take appropriate action as the investigation review unfolds,” Jaeger said.

Capes was a last-minute replacement for a couple of no-shows, said event promoter Cory Rapacz, who called the fall “embarrassing and unfortunate.”

“Once we put two fighters in the ring, we cannot control what they do,” Rapacz said. “It’s up to the state commission to punish him.”

Rapacz said Capes got into town around midnight Friday and weighed in Saturday morning for the event at the West Fargo Fairgrounds.

“I don’t think he saw Ray until he got into the ring and got scared,” Rapacz said.

The fall was a black eye in an otherwise successful event, he said, that included a victory by heavyweight Aaron Green, a former North Dakota State basketball player, and an appearance by former world champion Virgil Hill.

Jaeger called it a “very unusual situation.” In part, he said, the state monitors about one boxing event a year compared to the 1990s when Hill was fighting regularly in the state. He said mixed martial arts events average about one a month.

Capes fell to 0-4 with all four defeats by knockout or technical knockout, according to boxingrec.com. The 6-foot-5 Edwards, a former Minnesota Vikings defensive end, is 3-0. He originally was slated to fight heavyweight Mike Smith. Rapacz said another fighter was scheduled to replace Smith, but he didn’t make it.

That left it up to the cruiserweight Capes, who is 31 years old, according to records. It didn’t sit well with some veteran fight fans, like Bryan Domholt, a former local sportscaster.

“Tickets were 50 bucks apiece, that’s a lot of money to spend on a fake sanctioned event,” he said. “He’s making a mockery of a great sport.”

The suspension means Capes cannot participate in a sanctioned fight in any state, Jaeger said. Jaeger said his office is also reviewing policy on replacement fighters.

Forum reporter Jeff Kolpack can be reached at (701) 241-5546.

Kolpack’s NDSU media blog can be found

at www.areavoices.com/bisonmedia