Like shooting Duckworths in a pond

Ketchikan family makes roughhouse boxing a family affair

Posted: Friday, March 16, 2001

For the third time in as many months, a trio of Duckworths -- Gabe, Tyson and Jack -- will make the journey from Ketchikan to show off their boxing skills at tonight's roughhouse 'King of the Ring' boxing event.

Boxing action begins at 7 p.m. at the Alaska Native Brotherhood Hall, where sellouts have become commonplace for the toughman competitions.

The Duckworths have been a big part of the 'King of the Ring' competitions since January and have yet to be defeated, holding a combined 5-0 record.

"We are real happy to have the Ketchikan team in our show," Haag said. "The crowd really enjoys them."

The Duckworths have shown they can and like to rumble, but they have yet to face the best competition in the Southeast. Tonight could be eye opener -- or an eye closer -- for them.

Gabe Duckworth, 21, the youngest of the Duckworths, is set to trade blows with the current Southeast middleweight champion Victor "Savage" Littlefield of Sitka, who holds a 4-0 record with a knockout in roughhouse fights.

Gabe Duckworth holds a 2-0 record including a knockout, with his latest victory coming last month when he outlasted a tough Matthew Coppick of Sitka for a split decision.

Tyson Duckworth, 23, will have his hands full when he faces Juneau's Elijah Sheakley. Sheakley has proven to be a force in the lightweight ranks when he defeated the reigning Southeast lightweight champ J.R. Diamond by a technical knockout in November.

"Sheakley better watch out for Tyson," Jack Duckworth said. "He's (Tyson) got a lot of experience in tae kwon do and has been in a lot of competitions while growing up."

The martial arts experience could give the Duckworths an advantage over the competition. Tyson Duckworth is a second-degree blackbelt while Gabe Duckworth is a third-degree blackbelt and Jack Duckworth is a fourth-degree blackbelt -- all in tae kwon do.

Jack Duckworth, 44, is the father of Gabe and Tyson and has also shown some spark in the ring while posting a 2-0 record. He defeated middleweight Butch McClinton in January when McClinton went down with an injury in the second round.

In January, Jack Duckworth weighed in at 194 pounds, just one pound shy of being a heavyweight. But when he weighed in for his last fight in February, Jack had lost 32 pounds in 27 days and fought as a lightweight, scoring a unanimous decision over Angel Lorenzana of Juneau.

"I didn't want to fight those big guys," Jack Duckworth said. "I trained real hard to drop the weight. I would eat less calories that could sustain my weight and ran five miles a day. I also fasted two days a week to keep the weight coming off. Three days before the last weight in, I was at 174 pounds but I didn't eat or drink anything for those three days and weighed in at 162 pounds."

Jack Duckworth will be in action again tonight with his opponent announced just before the fights begin.

Boxing fans will be happy to hear that there will be not one, but two women's bouts on tonight's fight card.

Juneau's Angela Day will do her best against Juneau's Naomi Hill -- both new to the ring.

The other women's bout will feature Laurel McCullough, who will fight a mystery fighter in one of the night's main events.

"Get your tickets early," Big H boxing promoter Bob Haag said. "We're expecting another sellout and they have been selling out early."

A portion of the proceeds of tonight's event will go to the Juneau-Douglas Boxing Club and U.S.A. Amateur Boxing. Doors open at 6 p.m. with tickets on sale for $15 for general admission and $25 for ringside seats.

Jeff Kasper can be reached at

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