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Reality TV coming to Marlintini's Roughhouse ring

Posted: March 22, 2012 - 12:16am  |  Updated: March 22, 2012 - 9:44am
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Al 'Mean Machine' Valentine hits Thor Soder with a left hook during their heavyweight boxing match at Roughhouse Fridays in Marlintini's Lounge.
Al 'Mean Machine' Valentine hits Thor Soder with a left hook during their heavyweight boxing match at Roughhouse Fridays in Marlintini's Lounge.

They have chased crab on the Bering Sea and Big Foot on the Prince of Wales muskegs, so it is only fitting that Discovery Channel is about to chase the critters and characters that have made Roughhouse Friday’s at Marlintini’s such a ‘hit.’

“It is very exciting,” long-time Roughhouse ring announcer Bob Haag said. “This has been a dream of mine for some time. To get those Hollywood types out here and see what real small town ring life is like.”

At last month’s Roughhouse Friday the Marlintini’s Lounge crew were filming a teaser video for a potential reality show idea and sent it to Tinsel Town. The land of stars and starletts answered right back.

“Things move fast in Hollywood,” Marlintini’s owner Ethan Billings said. “We are all pretty excited right now.”

Edward Barbini, Executive Producer from Discovery Studios in Los Angeles, Calif. and a Discovery Studios film crew will be in Juneau to film Roughhouse Friday Boxing at Marlintini’s Lounge tomorrow night for a potential reality show.

Mr. Barbini is the Executive Producer of such television shows as the Discovery Channel’s ‘Dirty Jobs.’

After the initial teaser video went to Los Angeles a representative from Discovery Studios called the bar and talked to Billings and Haag. Evidentially they liked what they heard because the real life of Roughhouse Fridays is going to be swarming with the corporate set.

“Someone might get discovered,” Haag said. “Either in the ring or in the audience.”

Haag said he has toyed with the idea of a reality boxing show because of what he believes are the staged reality shows on television now.

“Why a reality show?” Haag said. “Because life doesn’t get any more real than boxing. It is two opponents going toe-to-toe. And there is a lot that goes on behind the scenes and a lot that goes on for someone to get into the ring. Every one has a different reason to fight.”

Like boxer Wayne Fu trying to get the money to get his knives out of the pawn shop; and Casey Yakovich working the crab line at a cannery; like current MMA pro Richie “Hell Boy” Whitson remembering where he got his start; and former pro Al “Mean Machine” Valentine looking for the next comeback; and all the chefs and plumbers and national guardsmen and every day Joes (and Jills) that have a story behind them.

It doesn’t get more real than Friday’s Hoonah versus Anchorage women’s bout.

Hoonah’s Jamiann “High Beam” Hasselquist was Roughhouse Friday Boxing’s Southeast Showdown Ladies champion at one time. Hasselquist called Haag last month and said she is coming out of retirement and wants to fight on the Roughhouse Friday Boxing March 23rd boxing card at Marlintini’s as she will be in town for the Gold Medal Basketball Tournament.

Hasselquist has not had a fight for 6 years. She has been training with her husband Rooney and her son Tyler. Hasselquist will be the main event against Anchorage’s Lai “Heavy Hands” Hanson.

The semi main event is a rematch from last month’s bout between Chandler “The Henchman” Horne, a chef, and plumber Chris Pleasants. Horne took a close split decision.

The assorted cast of characters, combatants not Hollywood actors, will include Tyler Allen against William Milton; the Roberts Brothers from Klawock - James “The Beast” Roberts against Charlie Gallant and Steven “The Little Beast” Roberts battling Ray Greenburg. Also scheduled are Al “Mean Machine” Valentine, Crown Royal Hudson, Casey Yakovich, Wayne Fu, Showstoppa Brown, Ivy Haube, Chuck McCracken, Rudy Vonda, and pretty much who ever has the drive to get into the ring. The fight card will include two ladies matches, two Mixed Martial Arts matches, and at least four boxing bouts.

“The reality shows on television are all made up,” Haag said. “I told them if they wanted to see real characters than to come to Friday’s bouts and watch our fighters dance around the canvas.”

Roughhouse Friday’s fights begin at 9 p.m.

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