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Friday night fights

Solomon victorious; MMA fights get crowd going strong

Posted: Monday, April 12, 2010

The fights were evenly divided with three boxing matches and three MMA fights Friday night at Roughhouse Boxing at Marlintini's Lounge.

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Klas Stolpe / Juneau Empire
Klas Stolpe / Juneau Empire

Anchorage's Jesse "The Roofer" Solomon, 28, hailing from Hawaii and weighing in at 190 pounds, brought his record to 47-5-1 with his boxing win over Ketchikan's Gabe "The Truth" Duckworth, 27, weighing 276 pounds, in the main event.

Solomon's strategy going in was to, "Stay tight, bend my knees and watch out for bombs," he said. Solomon fought Duckworth two times before winning by split decision.

Solomon says boxing keeps him healthy and out of trouble, as long as he doesn't get hit in the head.

"The art of boxing is to hit and not get hit, so you're doing something wrong if you're getting hit all the time, especially after nine years," he said before the fight.

Both boxers were evenly matched through the first round despite the 86-pound weight difference. They got tangled up a few times with Duckworth's reach catching Solomon under his arm after a swinging blow.

In round two there were repeated breaks when boxers got tangled and fatigued. Solomon boxed out when Duckworth had him against the ropes, but Solomon hung on for the win.

In an MMA fight featuring two first-time fighters, Petersburg's Craig Weimer, 21, an Army soldier, defeated Domino's employee and Juneau resident Brian James Samaniego-Howard, 19, by forcing Samaniego-Howard to tap out.

"This is my first official fight ever and it feels good because I won," said Weimer.

He also said he had a shaky start when he started throwing wide. But Weimer said he went back to what he knew - wrestling.

Early in the first round, Weimer, who wrestled from third to ninth grade in Petersburg, and Samaniego-Howard went to the mat, but they went out of bounds and referee Joe Isturis broke them up.

Weimer got Samaniego-Howard in a behind-the-back choke hold and the fight was over before the end of round one.

Sitka's Eric Moy, 18, brought his record to 2-1-0 with his win over Steven Roberts, 19, hailing from Klawock, who was fighting his first boxing match.

Moy, a wrestler and football player in high school, came out with boxing gloves and in an obvious mix-up as Roberts showed up with MMA gloves.

Roberts agreed to box for the first time even though he admits he would have trained more had he known he was going to box.

"They didn't tell me that we were boxing," said Roberts, who had sparred with his brother before.

Moy agreed the outcome would have been different if they'd fought MMA.

"He hit me pretty hard, I wasn't really expecting that," said Moy after the bout. "He did better than I did my first time boxing - he hit me right in the stomach and I figured he would have gone straight for my face as a first-time-boxer."

In the first round Roberts was making wide, wild swings to tag Moy, who answered by finding the opening to Roberts' head.

Early in round two Moy exploded, tagging Roberts multiple times and getting him against the ropes. At that point, the two appeared gassed.

During the third round boxers were even, then Moy recovered from a low blow and pummeled Roberts with some hard shots to grab the win by split decision.

Hoonah's Eric Larson, 21, brought his record to 3-5-0 with his win over fellow heavyweight, Klawock's James "The Beast" Roberts Jr., 24, weighing 323 pounds, in a match that left Roberts hearing-impaired.

Roberts was aggressive from the bell, but left his head open to some hard shots from Larson who seemed unphased by the heavy-leather Roberts delivered.

Larson tagged Roberts and bloodied his nose repeatedly, but "The Beast" persevered. Larson found renewed energy and attacked Roberts with a barrage of hard blows, issuing him a standing eight count before Roberts could answer with a huge left.

Larson out-tagged Roberts to grab the win.

"It's all play time for me," said Larson after the win. "He hits hard - he dazed me a couple times."

"I can't remember much and I can't hear out of one ear," said Roberts after the bout. "He must have hit me pretty hard because I can't remember much right now, but it was a pretty good fight," said Roberts, who will match up against Larson in the showdown next month.

Charlie Gallant, 20, weighing in at 210 pounds, defeated Costco worker, 202-pound Lee Finau, 21, hailing from California, bringing Gallant's record to 30-3-0.

In round one, Finau got the first punch in and Gallant answered with a pummeling that left Finau on the ground after both boxers got off balanced and slipped. Finau recovered, getting Gallant against the ropes and using him as punching bag until the bell.

Both boxers were gassed early in round two after a flurry of fists from each.

During round three Gallant was more aggressive, but both were injured when they fell to the floor, both boxers sucking air to the end.

"I tested him out the first round, took a wide stance and hit him as hard as I could. Then he hit me and we both got tired," said Gallant, who said his arms and legs were really tired by the end of the second round.

Alaskan Brewing Company employee Henry Dehling, 24, brought his record to 6-4-1 with his MMA win over a first-time fighter, Chicago's Eric Nygren, 32, by tap out 50 seconds into round three.

Nygren kicked repeatedly, and Dehling got him to the mat where Nygren locked Dehling's head with his legs, but Dehling spun out. Fighters then traded choke holds to the bell.

In round two, after delivering a spinning, jumping high-kick followed by hard tags to the head, Dehling took down Nygren where they traded power positions to the bell.

Dehlig took Nygren to the mat early in round three, got him in a choke hold and started to twist his back until he tapped out. Dehlig injured his left hand in the bout.

The Southeast Showdown will be held May 7th.

Fight Card

Craig Weimer defeats Brian

Howard

Eric Moy defeats Steven

Roberts

Eric Larson defeats James

"The Beast" Roberts Jr.

Charlie Gallant defeats Lee

Finau

Henry Dehling defeats Eric

Nygren

Jesse "The Roofer" Solomon

defeats Gabe "The Truth"

Duckworth



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