The Associated Press is reporting quite a tale from the amateur MMA scene in Michigan. Promoters Christos Piliafas and Scott DiPonio are accusing 25-year-old amateur heavyweight Charles Rowan (1-3) of faking his death in a car wreck on his way to his fifth bout. They claim that Rowan's friends and family then duped them into holding a benefit that raised more than $1,000 to pay for funeral expenses.
The promoters were not amused when they saw Rowan's mug shot appear on television and found out he was in jail on charges of armed robbery and assault with intent to murder in a gun store robbery.
From the AP:
Rowan's fifth career fight was scheduled for February in Traverse City. That night, DiPonio said, Martinez called from Rowan's phone number to tell him that her boyfriend had been involved in a fatal car wreck on the way to the event.
A distraught DiPonio and his girlfriend hopped in their car the next day and made the lengthy trek to Gladwin, where they were met by "young kids and grandparents crying."
"I thought for sure Charlie was dead. I mean, these people were hysterically crying," said DiPonio, who gave the family $150 for expenses on the spot.
Two weeks ago, Piliafas and DiPonio helped raise $1,350 in proceeds and donations through their benefit event, Fight for Charlie.