Taunton defeats Gregoire in Friday's main event

Josh Lehauli electrifies the crowd with a quick KO

Posted: Sunday, February 19, 2006

Johnny "The Cobra" Taunton of Anchorage used his ring savvy and boxing skills to win the Roughhouse Friday main event at Marlintini's Lounge.

Taunton avenged an earlier loss to Juneau's Julio "The Haitian Sensation" Gregoire by defeating the local legend via unanimous decision.

Taunton, who arrived to Juneau midway through the card, lived up to his nickname by weaving and dodging the heavy leather thrown by Gregoire with snake-like quickness. Taunton used his lateral movement to avoid Gregoire's haymakers and score with counter punches.

"I worked on paying attention to his right hand because the man's got power in his right hand," Taunton said. He added that he started training in October for this main event.

Gregoire said Taunton hit him a lot more this time than their previous bout and that he wasn't used to it.

While Gregoire and Taunton provided an excited main event, a former football star electrified the crowd.

Josh Lehauli, a linebacker and running back on the Juneau-Douglas High School 2005 state championship football team, dominated Scott Boyd to win his boxing debut.

Lehauli came out swinging from his corner and sent Boyd to his knees early in round one to win via TKO.

Lehauli, the 2005 state defensive player of the year, said he was pumped up because his father and all his cousins were there cheering him on.

"The only thing that got me pumped up to fight was seeing and hearing my cousins on the side cheering for me," Lehauli said. "They got me pumped up to knock him out."

In the night's first of 10 bouts, 49-year-old Phillip "Mud Creek Water Dog" Burgard of the U.S. Coast Guard won by TKO against James Vavalis. Burgard aggressively delivered multiple blows to the head, sending Vavalis to the mat early in the first round. Vavalis survived the round, but Burgard rocked him with a hard shot in the second and forced a stoppage 40 seconds into the round.

In another bout featuring first-timers, Randy Willard beat Robert Orr in a back-and forth bout. Willard and Orr fought evenly in the first two rounds, with both fighters coming alive in the third as the two fighters pummeled each other along the ropes.

Another rookie, Jason "The 8 Count" Bakkala, defeated Larry Dirkes by TKO. Bakkala, a heath science major at the University of Alaska Southeast, battered Dirkes' head with multiple blows in the first round. Dirkes retired in the second round after Bakkala caught him in the ropes with several punches.

Veteran fighter Jameek "The Beast" Cortese topped Juneau mechanic Mike "The Wrench" Morris in a tight bout. Both fighters had to break multiple times in the bout before Cortese won the decision.

In the first of two women's fights, Cecil Williams defeated former Queen of the Ring Heather "The Damager" Davis via decision. Both women fought hard with Davis delivering a nice double jab at the end of round one. Both women landed some strong punches, but Williams used her quick footwork to win.

Heavyweight Roger Murrell defeated Mike Garrison in an exciting match. Murrell, a carpenter, used his gloves like hammers to attack Garrison.

In other heavyweight action, Rooney Hasselquist beat Argelio Cervantes Sanchez with a second-round TKO.

Another exciting women's bout featured former Anchorage lightweight champion of Jennifer "Spitfire" Wallace and Juneau fighter Jamiann "High Beam" Hasselquist.

Hasselquist started strong and sent Wallace to the canvas in the first round. Wallace recovered, however, as both boxers continued to fight in the second. The bout ended in third round after Hasselquist suffered a knee injury and was forced to withdraw.

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