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Coppick stops Duckworth in barnyard brawl

'Goat' retains top SE middleweight status by holding off Ketchikan rival

Posted: Sunday, February 23, 2003

The question of who would win a barnyard brawl between a goat and a duck can finally be put to rest.

Matt "The Goat" Coppick of Sitka retained his middleweight title Friday night by defeating Gabe "Steele" Duckworth of Ketchikan during a highly anticipated and explosive night of Roughhouse Friday boxing at the ANB Hall.

"I grew up on a farm," Coppick said after the fight. "I've never seen a duck kick a goat's butt before, and I proved that tonight."

Fighters from all around Southeast laced up their gloves, providing plenty of action and entertainment for the hungry crowd. Several boxers were injured, as well as a referee, with one fighter having a shoulder dislocated and another being whisked away to the hospital.

"We probably had more injuries tonight than we have had in the four years I've been here," said boxing promoter Bob Haag, who runs Anchorage-based Big H Promotions. "It just wasn't my night for that. But everyone's okay, we got a report on all of them."

Haag said he was particularly excited with the Coppick-Duckworth bout, a match he has been trying to hold for three years.

"The main event was everything I thought it would be," Haag said. "'The Goat' is such an incredible guy. It was just a great fight."

Coppick, who improved his record to 16-5, said, "Like any fighter, I would have liked to knock him out, but I did what I needed to do and it worked out. I'm still the champ."

"He took everything I had, and I think I took everything he had," said Duckworth, who is now 10-2. "I thought it was a good fight, we were pretty even down the line.

"My second loss ever, but they were both from Sitka boys and they both were tough. I'd rather lose to them anytime, because they train. And you can tell the difference from people that train and people that just come out slinging."

Duckworth said he agreed with the judges' decision.

"The decision, I'm fine with that," he said. "I think if it was in Ketchikan it would have been the exact opposite."

The fighters needed to be broken up repeatedly, which resulted in a stray punch hitting referee Joe Isturis' shoulder in the first round - causing referee Joe Watt to take his place.

Coppick said the anticipation was very stressful, plus the fact that Duckworth outweighed him by more than 20 pounds. Haag announced Coppick at 188 pounds and Duckworth at 211.

"I got really nervous, nobody wants to lose," Coppick said. "When you're the underdog you have nothing to lose, but when you're the champ you have everything to lose."

The 12-fight card started a bit slow, picking up intensity when Mike "The Kazmanian Rebel" Kaznakoff of Juneau knocked out Randal Edenshaw shortly into the second round of the fourth fight of the night.

"I knocked him out cold and I made it sure that I am the better fighter," Kaznakoff said. "I think he'll realize now that he has no chance. I'll knock him out again, and again and again after that."

Isturis said there were "some very big hits. Very, very big hits." He said this was one of the best Southeast boxing events to date.

"I was saying that there was going to be a knockout in every fight, and there just about was," Isturis said.

The Ketchikan Fight Club made an impressive showing, winning just about every one of their matches.

"Every time the Ketchikan team comes up they improve by 200 percent each time," Isturis said. "They train every single day. So they're a very mean, tough group of guys."

"If Juneau doesn't get busy, all the belts are going to Ketchikan," Haag said. "Their team looked great. Let's face it, Ketchikan kicked tail tonight."

The most memorable moment happened when Ketchikan fighter Eddie Wurzer knocked Marty Hoyt out of the ring 57 seconds into the first round.

"It felt great," Wurzer said. "I've been waiting for one of them. I finally got it."

The fights were put on hold as paramedics were called in, strapping Hoyt into a backboard to bring him to the hospital.

"He got a little hurt and fell on his head," Wurzer said. "I was kind of worried about that. I kind of feel bad about that, but he's all right."

Coppick said he's looking forward to boxing in Juneau again. "I got some really good supporters out there," he said. "I think they think I'm a good sportsmen."

Big H Promotions is planning for another boxing event sometime at the end of next month. Haag said the official date has not been set.

Eric Morrison can be reached at eric.morrison@juneauempire.com.

ROUGHHOUSE FRIDAY

Results from the Roughhouse Friday bouts held Friday night at Alaska Native Brotherhood Hall. Hometowns are listed, if known.

Bout 1 - Bobby Dyson, Ketchikan, wins by decision over Clint Davis, heavyweights.

Bout 2 - Curtis Davis, Juneau, wins by decision over Rocky Garcia, lightweights.

Bout 3 - Frank Duckworth, Ketchikan, wins by RSC (referee stops contest) over Don Martin, heavyweights.

Bout 4 - Mike Kaznakoff, Juneau, wins by knockout over Randy Edenshaw, Juneau, lightweights.

Bout 5 - Earl Schoonover, Juneau, wins by decision over Mike Edenshaw, Juneau, middleweights.

Bout 6 - Scott Robinson, Sitka, wins by RSC over Rudy Vonda, Juneau, lightweights.

Bout 7 - Jack Duckworth, Ketchikan, wins by decision over Porter Treadway, Sitka, heavyweights.

Bout 8 - Eddie Wurzer, Ketchikan, wins by KO over Marty Hoyt, Juneau, heavyweights.

Bout 9 - Chuck McCracken, Juneau, wins by decision over Jessiah Baker, Juneau, middleweights.

Bout 10 - Sky Bonnell, Juneau, wins by decision over Jon Erickson, Ketchikan, middleweights.

Bout 11 - Tom Ferry, Ketchikan, wins by decision over Dan Fink, Juneau, heavyweights.

Bout 12 (Main Event) - Matt Coppick, Sitka, wins by decision over Gabe Duckworth, Ketchikan, middleweights.



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