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Ketchikan invaded Juneau and took no prisoners Friday night at the 'King of the Ring' roughhouse boxing event at the Alaska Native Brotherhood Hall.
Seven toughmen from Ketchikan made the trip to Juneau in order to show off their boxing skills in the ring and establish their presence in Southeast Alaska toughman competitions.
When the night was over, five Ketchikan fighters claimed victory, including four wins over Juneau opponents. Juneau fighters only beat Ketchikan twice.
"The Ketchikan fighters were very impressive," event promoter Bob Haag said. "They were in great shape and were a lot better and tougher than we expected."
The 'King of the Ring' is promoted by Haag and Big H Promotions out of Anchorage and a portion of the profits go to the Juneau-Douglas Boxing Association and USA Amateur Boxing.
At first, it looked like Juneau would get the best of Ketchikan when Juneau's lightweight wonder Elijah Sheakley easily handled Ketchikan's Tyson Duckworth with a first-round knockout.
Sheakley stormed out of his corner as the bell rang and overwhelmed Duckworth with a five-punch combination, sending him to the canvas. Duckworth pulled himself together but to no avail, as Sheakley immediately nailed him with a right hook, ending the bout in 36 seconds.
"Tyson had a tough draw getting Elijah," Ketchikan heavyweight fighter Todd Stanley said. "I just told him to keep moving and not get caught flat footed. But Sheakley caught him good."
Sheakley improved his roughhouse record to 2-0 and looks to be a force in April's Southeast Showdown.
"I give that guy credit for stepping into the ring with me," Sheakley said. "I didn't train for the fight. But as long as I'm in the ring, it's all right. I'm just a boxer at heart."
Immediately following Sheakley's bout, Juneau's J.R. Diamond improved his record to 4-1 by holding off Ketchikan's Tom Grant in a well-fought battle.
Diamond, the Southeast lightweight belt holder, landed more power punches in the match and it turned out to be the difference as Diamond won by a judges' decision.
It would be the last fight lost by a Ketchikan boxer the rest of the night.
Mike Jensen began a string of five straight wins for Ketchikan with a middleweight decision over James Taguchi of Juneau. The match was too close to call until Jensen gave Taguchi a standing-eight count in the third round, sealing the victory.
Ketchikan's Gabriel Duckworth used his reach to his advantage to hold off the much shorter Sean Demello of Sitka in another middleweight bout. The showboating Duckworth kept his distance throughout the match with Demello's limited chances coming inside to Duckworth's body.
In the final middleweight bout of the night, yet another Duckworth, this time Jack, won by technical knockout over Juneau's Butch McClinton. McClinton had to be taken out of the ring on a stretcher due to spasms in his lower back.
McClinton was transported to Bartlett Regional Hospital and was released later that night.
"That Butch thing kind of shook me up," Haag said. "But it was a good night other than that."
Ketchikan continued their dominance heading into the heavyweight matches when Jamie Raymond of Juneau was manhandled by the much-larger Todd Stanley of Ketchikan. Raymond couldn't get anything going under Stanley's constant pressure and refused to continue after the first round.
The other heavyweight match pitted Ketchikan's Thomas Ferry against Juneau's Jason Needham. Needham went after Ferry with his head down and fists flying but was repelled by Ferry's fierce body blows. Going to the body proved beneficial for Ferry, as Needham could not continue after the second round due to pain in his side.
"It was a pretty easy match for me," Ferry said after his fight. "It was a rough start for us (Ketchikan) with two straight losses but we came back to win five straight."
Results from other matches include:
Juneau's Rudy Vonda was too much for Juneau's Anthony Parr as Vonda won by a decision.
Veteran roughhouse boxer Fernando Pintang of Juneau upped his record to 3-1 with a decisive win over lightweight Jay Feliciano of Juneau.
Matthew Coppick of Sitka won by a unanimous decision over Daniel Fink of Juneau in a middleweight bout.
"We learned something tonight," event director Ray Lee said. "That the kids in Juneau better watch out or the Southeast belts are gonna wind up in Ketchikan. They really woke up Juneau tonight."
Friday's roughouse event was the first of three warm-ups before the Southeast Showdown held on April12-13. The next 'King of the Ring' event will be held on Feb. 16, with another on March 19.
Note: The much anticipated re-match between Juneau boxers Wayne Fu Smallwood and David Diamond was scratched before the event due to medical concerns for Smallwood's blood pressure.
Jeff Kasper can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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