Southeast Showdown middleweight champion Matthew "The Goat" Coppick of Sitka was disappointed when he found out his scheduled main event with state champion Kilty "Krafty Kilty" Hardy of Anchorage wasn't going to take place during this week's Roughhouse Friday boxing event.
So Coppick did his best to make Chuck McCracken pay.
Coppick claimed a decision over McCracken in a replacement main event Friday night at Alaska Native Brotherhood Hall. Coppick, who is about four inches taller and 15 pounds heavier than McCracken, knocked his opponent down in the third round to seal the victory, which came one day before Coppick's 23rd birthday.
McCracken, who works for Greens Creek Mine, was able to evade Coppick's heavier blows for much of the fight, ducking under Coppick's punches or sliding out of trouble with a quick step to the side. But Coppick was finally able to get McCracken on the ropes and then into the corner before the knockdown.
"I saw him fight in October," Coppick said of McCracken. "He's good. But I think he was intimidated a little bit at first. But this was a good way for me to get my confidence up after that Rodriguez fight (a disputed decision victory over Neil 'The Razor' Rodriguez in October)."
"Last night they asked me if I'd mind fighting The Goat," said McCracken, who used to be a military club fighter and a roughhouse fighter in Fairbanks. "He had some weight and reach on me. He's got good skills."
This is the second straight month the scheduled main event hasn't taken place because one of the fighters didn't show. But this time the reason wasn't because weather kept one of the visiting fighters from being able to get to Juneau.
Roughhouse Friday promoter Bob Haag, of Anchorage's Big H Promotions, said Hardy decided to take a bout in Anchorage's weekly Thursday Night at the Fights event despite his scheduled fight in Juneau the next night. Hardy, who beat Coppick for the state title last April, didn't fare as well on Thursday as he walked into a blow and was knocked out just 40 seconds into his bout.
"He flat down left me hanging," Haag said. "I had a ticket bought for him and probably lost $1,000. It's embarrassing."
Haag did announce next month's main event, which will pit Coppick against Gabe "Steel" Duckworth of Ketchikan on Feb. 14 (a change from the originally scheduled night). Duckworth is the youngest member of the fighting Duckworth clan, which also includes father Jack and brother Tyson, and in November 2001 he beat three-time Southeast Showdown heavyweight champion Russell "Dirt" Stevens.
Most of the other 10 fights on Friday featured even matchups and the balanced card produced one of the better overall nights in the four years of Roughhouse Friday events.
The semi-main event was a women's bout between Katrina "Crazy Katrina" Hansen and Amanda "Mocha Queen" Harding. The two fought in December, with Harding winning a close decision after the two women traded about 50-75 punches each per round. This time Hansen won by a decision.
This month's rematch didn't have the same nonstop action of the December bout, but the two fighters still traded a lot of leather. At the end of the second round, Harding went to her corner clutching her right hand to her side. After the fight, she was in pain as the right glove was pulled off her hand and she was given an icebag. When the decision was announced for Hansen, Harding threw the icebag high into air and stormed out of the ring while Hansen celebrated her first victory.
"I was more hesitant this time," Hansen said. "Amanda's powerful. I slowed down and kept my head. I love it. I'll be back."
Another close bout featured 205-pound heavyweights Dan "The Animal" Fink of Juneau and Brian Mayville of Sitka. In all three rounds, Mayville dominated the early action while Fink took over for the second half of the round. Fink won by a decision that just as easily could have gone for Mayville.
"Skillwise, I was satisfied," said Fink, who said his record is now 5-5-1. "My corner kept telling me to keep throwing punches up the middle to get inside his roundhouses. I needed it (a win), but he showed a lot for only his second fight."
In a bout pitting a middleweight against a heavyweight, the smaller Sky Bonnell claimed a decision over Clint Davis. Bonnell, who is 5-foot-10, 174 pounds, won by getting inside the reach of Davis (6-2, 230).
"It was a wrestling match," Bonnell said. "I kept stepping inside and every time I'd step outside he'd get me. I think I was quicker and could have fought from outside, but they told me to get inside."
In the other fights:
D.J. Lawrence scored a first-round TKO over Allen "Squid" Pearce in a lightweight bout. "They warned me he'd come out throwing wild punches like that and I'd win if I kept my punches straight," Lawrence said.
Al Garrison claimed a decision over Shawn "Iceman" Sheakley in a heavyweight rematch from December. "We're both still standing and he's still my cousin," Garrison said.
Mike "Nice Guy" Edenshaw won by a decision over Walter Brown in a heavyweight bout. "I was nervous at first, but it was a pretty good fight," said Edenshaw, who won his debut.
Mike "The Kazmanian Rebel" Kaznakoff claimed a decision over Randy Edenshaw, the son of Mike Edenshaw, in a middleweight fight that saw Kaznakoff knocked down once and Edenshaw go down three times. "He caught me and almost knocked me out," Kaznakoff said. "I could feel it in my head."
In a lightweight bout, David Ripley claimed a decision over Rudy Vonda in a fight between two of Juneau's more experienced fighters. "Me and Rudy fought together as amateurs," said Ripley, who was making his roughhouse debut. "I'm used to three-minute rounds."
Andrew "The Gun" Swanston recorded a second-round TKO over Greg "Diesel" Taylor in another lightweight bout. "I didn't have a fight yet this season," said Swanston, who was supposed to fight Sitka's Scott "Kid Roo" Robinson in December's main event. "I was in the hospital in November because of a throat infection and I lost 30 pounds, and in December Kid Roo couldn't get in for the fight. I'm going to Ketchikan to fight Tyson Duckworth tomorrow (Saturday) in their show down there. This is what I needed."
And Mike Garrison claimed a second-round TKO over Victor "Motown" Jones in a heavyweight bout. Garrison, the younger brother of Al Garrison, had a decided height advantage over Jones and he used it to his advantage. "That was great. That was a lot of fun," Garrison said. "He's a good fighter. I felt him ring my bell."
Charles Bingham can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.