Roughhouse fights end year on high holiday notes

Be careful what you wish for Rooney Hasselquist. You too Keith Nelson. Santa may just give you another rematch, or you may have to again take those lumps of coal that were given to you on Friday night at Marlintini’s Roughhouse challenges.


Possibly the best night of fighting in recent years occurred on Friday night in Marlintini’s Lounge, and even though Southeast Showdown Heavyweight Champion Al “Mean Machine” Valentine wasn’t fighting, he was giving advice in the corners.

“There are some good bouts happening,” Valentine said when asked if he was interested in getting back between the ropes. “Maybe if the right opportunity came along I could try to get into shape.”

The most anticipated bout of the night was Kake’s Keith Nelson (1-1) at 177 pounds, and age 38, against Port Angeles, Wash. native, Rick “The Chiropractor” Goodie (1-0) at 183 pounds and age 28.

At last month’s Roughhouse Friday at Marlintini’s the “fight of the night” was an MMA fight between Hoonah’s 175 pound Nathan Nichols and Nelson. Nichols had complete control of the fight until the 3rd round, until he tapped out because of an arm bar late into the round with Nelson gaining the hard fought victory. Both fighters agreed on a rematch for the December 9th fight card.

Goodie substituted into that rematch and it was a war. Nelson, with tattoos flying, attacked Goodie at the bell and both fighters took their turn rolling on the canvas. At one point it appeared Nelson would win on head blows but Goodie reversed and put a scissors lock into play.

In round two Nelson got one good head punch in before being straightened out on the canvas in an arm bar and scissor leg combination by Goodie. Nelson refused to tap out and all Goodie could do was apply pressure and await the referee’s stoppage.

Unfortunately Nelson was oblivious to pain and attempted to work out of the hold, which resulted in his elbow being severely dislocated, and rendering him unable to continue. The fight was stopped with a TKO arm injury at 1:04 of the second round with Goodie the winner.

The pre-spotlight fight was a boxing match between Thor Soder (4-1), 20, 102 pounds, against former Roughhouse champ Rooney Hasselquist (6-4), 29, 210 pounds. Hoonah’s Hasselquist and Juneau’s Soder have both met Al Valentine in the ring, both fighters losing close decisions.

“This will be the best bout of the evening,” Valentine said from the corners.

True to form both boxers relied on both technique and force to throw leather all about the ring. Soder relied on a jab to counter the pushing, head down style of Hasselquist through round one. In round two Hasselquist began to show the signs of being out of action for a time and in round three Soder dominated on points to take the decision.

“This feels good,” Soder said as he hoisted the fight of the night trophy. “I couldn’t have done it without my trainer though. Rooney is pretty strong.”

Valentine concurred.

“They both have hit me pretty hard,” Valentine said. “But I have been there before. It takes a lot of work to get back into the ring.”

Fans also got action from Nebraska’s Henry Dehling (12-5), 25, 154 pounds and Angoon’s Bailey Johnson (7-1), 25, 164 pounds. Johnson took his first loss in the MMA ring as the referee stopped the bout at the end of the first round due to blood flow. Dehling delivered an elbow to Johnson’s face in a series of moves on the mat and the corners and medics couldn’t stop the bleeding.

Juneau’s Brian Lauth (9-7), 21, 188 pounds, won points with his friends in a knock out of fan favorite Charlie Gallant, 22, 203 pounds, from Hoonah. Both boxers threw plenty of leather but it ended 22 seconds into the second period. Lauth lost points with the crowd as he started making throat-slashing gestures and yelled loudly over Gallant while medics attended to the fallen champion.

“I think I want to fight again,” Valentine said as he watched the over exuberant Lauth. “You know. You still have to be a man in the ring. Not a punk. This is a sport. There are lessons to be learned when you are fighting, I don’t think he has learned them yet.”

Hoonah fisherman Cameron Smith (2-0), 18, 175 pounds is one of the season’s best MMA new comers. Smith showed speed, strength, technical skill and sportsmanship as he forced fellow fisherman Chris Larsen (0-1), 24, 175 pounds, to tap out at the 1:19 mark of the first round.

Like two large jungle beasts, Walter “Showstopper” Brown (6-6-1), 30, 239 pounds, and Shawn “Ice Man” Sheakley (8-2-1), 33, 288 pounds, paced slowly and laboriously around the ring in their boxing rematch. It appeared both fighters did little or no training from their last fight and both were winded and breathless 20 seconds into each round. They did provide non-stop leather throwing and Sheakley won a three-round decision.

Also in the ring, Angoon’s Thomas Bell (1-0), 23, 168 pounds, forced Akira Vehara (0-2), 26, 189 pounds, to tap out in the first round of their MMA match, and Prince of Wales’ Regal “R&R” Hudson (1-0), 18, 188 pounds, debuted with a three round decision over Juneau’s Steven “The Russian” Sabadin (0-1), 20, 186 pounds, in a boxing match.


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