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Southeast Showdown to feature a fight for the ages as former champ ends retirement to defend belt

Former champ ends retirement to defend belt

Posted: May 4, 2011 - 8:35pm

The 11th Annual Southeast Showdown on Marlintini’s Roughhouse Friday Boxing canvas May 6 is predicted to be the most competitive compilation of fights since Al “Mean Machine” Valentine took the heavyweight belt back in 20.

Valentine, 51, is ending his retirement to defend his belt and could meet Ketchikan’s two-belt winner Tyson Duckworth, 30, the 2010 middleweight and 2009 lightweight title holder looking to become the first three division champion.

“I give the ultimate respect to the Duckworth family in a respectable sportsmanship like way,” Valentine said. “It’s just going to be a good fight because he is going to do some serious boxing and moving and I am going to be coming after him. I have no secrets. This is how it is going to be, I am coming straight at him. I don’t have a choice; I am a little bit too old to be dancing around. I can’t out-stamina him. I hope we met in the opening match.”

Valentine may have to wait a match or two as Showdown boxers’ names are drawn to determine matchups. Also in the Heavyweight Division (195-pounds and up) are 300-plus pound James “The Beast” Roberts (10-5), 25, and Juneau’s 200 pound Ryan Wong (3-3), 24.

The Lightweight Division (under 165-pounds) will feature Mixed Martial Arts standout Craig Reishus (9-1), 24, the number one ranked MMA fighter in the state. Reishus is looking to box his way to a title but will have to contend with pugilists’ Luis Garcia (3-1), 20, Ketchikan’s Mike Ferrari, 32, and Anchorage’s Dalton “Dirty D” Smart (13-1), 19. Smart is Alaska’s 140-pound Lightweight State Champion and the grandson of Roughhouse promoter Bob Haag.

The Middleweight Division (165-195 pounds) includes Brian Lauth (10-6), 24, Bailey Johnson (9-0), 22, from Angoon, and Hoonah’s Charlie Gallant (41-6), 22. Ketchikan coach Jack Duckworth, 55, will also bring serious leather to the ring in this class.

The card will also feature a Juneau women’s fight between rising star Samantha Coronell (1-0), 19, and Alaska Army Guard member Nani Toetuu (0-0), 19.

There is also a MMA bout between Jonathan Morford (1-2), 25, and a surprise combatant. It is rumored that fighter is from the Hoonah team, of which most are out hunting right now. The RHF Boxing 11th Annual SS begins at 9 p.m. Friday at Marlintini’s. For more info call Bob Haag at 240-2530.

“In a sportsmanship like way I am going to have to say I respectfully decline to give up my belt,” Valentine said. “He is quick and can out-wind me, I am not going to fool myself that way. I will be on defense but anytime I can get him up against the ropes I am going to do it. I can weasel out six rounds if I have to.”

• Contact reporter Klas Stolpe at 523-2263 or at klas.stolpe@juneauempire.com.

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