Valentine and Solomon battle to draw in Friday's main event

McCracken's adjustment leads to fourth-round KO win

Posted: Monday, February 19, 2007

The main event of Roughhouse Friday Boxing at Marlintini's Lounge between Al "The Mean Machine" Valentine and Jesse "The Roofer" Solomon proved so evenly matched, the judges declared it a draw.

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Solomon started the first round by dancing and jabbing, making his signature hissing-snake sound, while Valentine protected his head. Valentine brought out the heavy leather in round two, landing some solid body blows. Solomon countered by dancing and reaching inside Valentine's protective stance.

Valentine came out smoking in round three, getting Solomon against the ropes and pummeling his body. In round four, Solomon, his body red from Valentine's landed punches, stayed tough and dodged a giant haymaker from Valentine. The force of the missed punch sent "The Mean Machine" flying across the ring and into the ropes where he struggled to recover. He did come back with a big left-right combination at the bell.

In the final round, both fighters looked ready to go five more rounds, trading big shots before the fight was called a draw.

Here's a recap of Friday's action:

• In a solid, energetic four-round bout, Greens Creek miner Chuck "The Ice Man" McCracken, 33, stopped 42-year-old Rudy "No Introduction Needed" Vonda 50 seconds into the final round.

McCracken, making his first Roughhouse appearance since losing via knockout to Julio "The Haitian Sensation" during last season's Southeast Showdown, made a smart adjustment to win the bout.

McCracken's strategy going in was to use his reach advantage, but his corner man noticed that every time Vonda jabbed, he dipped to the right. McCracken started anticipating this, delivering uppercuts as he dipped down to get the win.

"The Ice Man said he wanted to fight Vonda because, "I knew he is a fighter, not a brawler, because we've fought many times before".

Both boxers traded hard, quick blows in the first round as McCracken bloodied Vonda's nose. In round two, Vonda continued to be the aggressor and caused McCracken to back up around the ring. McCracken began to assert his dominance in the third round, swinging some big hard uppercuts and combinations. Vonda stayed tough, but McCracken threw even more hard combinations in the fourth round. One shot on Vonda's already-injured nose forced "No Introduction Needed" to retire 50 seconds into round four.

• Les Schwab worker Dan "The Animal" Fink, 27, defeated Ken Graves construction laborer Kenneth R. "The Tlingit" Willard 35 seconds into round two.

Both fighters stood 6-foot-1 and stared each other down before the bout began.

Fink withstood a busy first round and asserted himself in the second.

"(Willard) comes out strong in the first round, so I decided to just cover up and wait until he was tired in round two," Fink said.

Fink (10-7-1) landed the first quick punch in the first round, and Willard (2-2) countered by punching his opponent around the ring and into the ropes. Fink came back strong with his jab to end the first round.

The 34-year old Willard looked out of gas to start round two as Fink went to work. "The Animal" landed five hard head blows and then rocked his body with solid shots. A big left-right combination forced Willard to retire.

• Another Greens Creek miner, 29-year-old Scott Horne, defeated University of Alaska Southeast student Jacob Ivanoff, 25, 30 seconds into round two.

After Ivanoff started the fight strong, Horne ended the first round in a flurry by landing 12 hard head blows from all directions.

Horne closed the show in round two, landing seven more head shots before one final combination sent Ivanoff to the mat for good.

• Operating engineer Perry "Douglas Diablo" Blair, 23, successfully made his Roughhouse debut by defeating Priority Home Healthcare caretaker Anthony "The Gonz" Gonzalez in the night's first fight.

Blair, who was recruited by fight promoter Bob Haag during his plane ride to Juneau, came out the aggressor in round one and forced the referee to issue the 24-year-old Gonzalez a standing eight count. Blair continued to dominate, landing a heavy left hook 58 seconds into the round to vanquish "The Gonz."

• Shawn "The Comeback Kid" Beaird, 24, improved his record to 18-7 after beating 56-year-old Native art carver Wayne "Fu" Smallwood via unanimous decision.

After an even first round, Beaird sent Smallwood to the mat with a hard left hook in the second round. Smallwood was issued a standing eight count and survived the round.

In the third round, however, Beaird continued to dominate and gave Smallwood a bloody nose.

"'Fu' kept stepping into my left hook, so I just kept throwing it and he was there all night," Beaird said.

• Dave Mulkey, tipping the scales at more than 300 pounds, defeated 245-pound Walter "Showstoppa" Brown 41 seconds into the second round

Brown protected his head from the multiple hard blows Mulkey dished out in round one, but only delivered a couple punches of his own. Mulkey, towering over Brown, send Brown to the mat with a combination in round two to win the heavyweight battle.

The next Roughhouse boxing will be March 23 at Marlintini's Lounge.

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