The summer ring season is approaching full bloom as some of Southeast Alaska’s top combat sports athletes will draw an anticipated full house at Centennial Hall on Friday night.
Alaska Beatdown (AKBD) is hosting what could be the most anticipated fight in recent memory as Juneau’s Craig Reishus will face Ketchikan’s Tyson Duckworth in a 155-pound mixed martial arts bout. The two fighters have been scheduled to fight twice but both times circumstances prevented one or the other fighter from reaching Juneau.
This Main Event match up is the AK Beatdown Lightweight MMA Championship semifinal. The winner will fight established professional Eddie Hoch at a future date for the title belt and $1000. The loser will receive $500.
While that purse may seem small for a professional bout, it is above average for what fighters are paid in the state.
Alaska is one of only two states without a sanctioning body for matches in MMA and Boxing, Wyoming is the other.
“As there is no sanctioning body in Alaska we must report,” AK Beatdown director Russ Stevens said. “National organizations record our fighters results as non-sanctioned.”
The Alaska Beatdown pro MMA competitors have their bouts recorded to Sherdog.com, a nationally recognized fight record entity.
As with most fight venues in the state, including Marlintini’s Rough House bouts, Southeast Showdown Championships, Anchorage’s Thursday Night At The Fights, and Alaska Fighting Championships; fighters are not covered for medical expenses.
It has been only recently that Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC), the nations largest mixed martial arts league, began covering fighters for the cost of some injuries.
“That is why we try to pay more,” Stevens said. “Both Anthony Manacio III and I are fighters so we know how it goes in the ring and out and what it takes to train.”
The pay scale for Beatdown fighters features several levels based on skill, fight record, and experience. They also have an amateur category for those fighters looking to keep their amateur status, keep losses off their permanent record and continue to hone their skills.
In addition there is a beginner fight class that allows $75 for a loss and $175 for a win; and intermediate class that makes $100 for a loss and $200 per win; and an advanced class that will make $125 for a loss and $250 for a win.
This pay scale format was recommended by fighters themselves as a way to reward those athletes who are working hard, staying in shape, and getting victories and for those who have advanced training belts in disciplines such as Jiu Jitsu.
Alaska Beatdown gives all of the fight proceeds, after expenses, to the Juneau Combat Sports Academy. The idea is to help more youth become involved, and more adults to become accomplished, in the various combat sports. Donations from the community are also accepted and can include a generous fight fan sponsoring an event at Centennial Hall, thus allowing even more profits to go to the academy.
Doors open at 7 p.m. on Friday with bouts starting at 8 p.m. It is advised to attend from the beginning as confirmed fights show that the strongest gathering to date will be in the ring.
A heavyweight dirty boxing match not to miss will pit Juneau’s Josh Lehauli at 220-pounds against Ketchikan’s Gabe Duckworth at 250-pounds. The duo is considered two of Alaska’s best heavyweights and they will be meeting in the ring for the first time.
Other confirmed bouts include Juneau’s middleweight Archie Hunt taking on Yakutat’s athletic Jeff Fraker in MMA; Juneau’s Matthew Maka and Luis Garcia in middleweight boxing; Juneau Lightweight Chandler Horne and Haines’ Michael ward in MMA; Juneau’s middleweights Josh White and Tyler Allen in boxing.
Tickets are on sale at Hearthside Books. General seating is $20 and Ringside is $30. Tickets purchased at the venue are $25 and $35. Alaska Beatdown is also conducting a canned food drive. Fans bringing a canned food item, which will be donated to the Juneau Southeast Food Bank, have a chance at winning a door prize.
Alaska Beatdown hopes to have tournaments in four weight classes (lightweight, middleweight, light heavyweight, and heavyweight) as soon as at least four quality fighters are identified and pass through the AKBD physical and training requirements.