Sioux boxer sweeps cruiserweight division

WORLEY, Idaho -- Shawn Hawk is making a name for himself in professional
boxing. This Sioux fighter, from the Crow Creek Reservation in South
Dakota, now has a 10 win, 0 loss record with eight knockouts after his
recent victory at the Coeur d'Alene Casino's "House of Fury."

Plans now call for him to move into main-event fights, with the first bout
tentatively set for January. His last fight, against Shane Fisher, only
lasted two rounds when a body shot took the fight out of his opponent and
kept him down.

Hawk moved with his family to Chicago as a child and began boxing very
early. "I've been boxing ever since I can remember," he said. He was
trained by his dad, Ray Hawk, who said he actually started at age 7.

Boxing was a way of life in the family: Hawk's dad and brother were both
involved with boxing, and his brother fought in the world championships in
the Toughman Contest. They returned to the reservation when Hawk was about
16, and he turned pro in May of 2004. After just one professional fight, he
moved to Idaho and began working with long-time promoter Moe Smith. In the
year and a half that he's been in Idaho he's fought nine more times, moving
up in quality of opponents and establishing himself as a force in the
cruiser-weight division.

Smith is well-known throughout the boxing world -- first as a professional
boxer, then as a professional wrestler -- but for many years known he was
for training boxers and promoting fights. He works at the Coeur d'Alene
Casino as its match maker, and the casino serves as Hawk's promoter. Smith
and Mario Falciani also train Hawk, along with several other up-and-coming

It's this connection that caused Hawk to leave South Dakota and move to
Idaho to enhance his boxing career. The casino pays him, gives him living
expenses and he gets to keep his boxing purses. That, combined with working
with Smith and Falciani, was the enticement for him to move; but it's
obvious that the Crow Creek Reservation holds his heart.

Smith has seen and managed many boxers, so his comments come from a lot of
experience. "He trains hard, real hard. He's a tough kid and he can punch,
and he's learning. I don't think there's a cruiserweight in the world that
in a six-round fight can beat him. If he hits 'em, he gits 'em," he said of
Hawk. The cruiserweight bracket is 176 -- 200 pounds, and Hawk came into
his last fight near the upper end at 195.

Hawk is a big favorite at the "House of Fury." As Smith said, "He's very
exiting to the public ... he's a good kid."

When asked about his future and his goals, Hawk responded: "I want to win a
belt and get a little recognition for my home, for South Dakota, for my
reservation. I'd like to get more money into my reservation because we're
pretty broke. I want to go to college too, and get into business and tribal
management and go back to my rez and do that." Those are pretty responsible
goals for a 21-year-old on his way up in the boxing world.