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Paulino takes heavyweight title

Sitka's Matt Keiper earns a decision over Willie Hayward to win middleweight title

Posted: Monday, May 14, 2007

Roughhouse Friday ended the season this weekend with the 2007 Southeast Showdown at Marlintini's Lounge. The showdown featured 13 fights over two nights with boxers from Anchorage, Sitka, Ketchikan and Juneau taking home the coveted title belts.

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Here's a rundown of the bouts:

HEAVYWEIGHT SHOWDOWN

In the final and most anticipated match-up Saturday night, Anchorage's Julio "Dominican Demon" Paulino defeated Juneau's Al "The Mean Machine" Valentine in a close decision to win the Southeast Showdown heavyweight title.

Paulino has belts from competitions all over the state and is currently training six days a week for the Ultimate Fighting Championships tryouts in Las Vegas.

"I knew I'd be up against the hometown favorite and needed to prove every round that I was the aggressor to secure the title," Paulino said in a pre-fight interview.

Valentine opened the fight by protecting his head between big swings, but he couldn't seem to land any solid punches on the quick Paulino. Both fighters put on a good show with aggressive boxing in the second round as Paulino looked a little lighter on his feet.

The fight continued to be close in the third round with Paulino remaining on the offensive and landing more blows.

Earlier, Paulino defeated Bobby "Bo Bo" Dyson Saturday night in the semifinal round to advance to the finals.

Both boxers threw hard blows in the first round, but neither landed that many shots as both danced around the ring.

"I realized after round one that Dyson wasn't a boxer, he was a slugger who was going for the knockout and kept going for my head," Paulino said. "That left only one target to worry about."

Paulino ended the fight in the second round by chasing Bo Bo around the ring with fiery fists before landing a solid head shot that forced Dyson to retire.

A day before fighting Dyson, Paulino defeated Willie "The Prince of Metlakatla" Hayward in a four-round quarterfinals bout.

Paulino controlled the first three rounds before Hayward looked more aggressive in the fourth round. Despite Hayward's toughness, Paulino earned the win.

Valentine's road to the final started Friday by defeating Nick "The Nightmare" Morgan, 21, in a four-round heavyweight bout pairing an old-school boxer with an unorthodox style.

"It was the craziest fight I ever fought because he fights so unorthodox," Valentine said.

In the opening one, Valentine let Morgan hit him a few times to see what he had, then "Mean Machine" came out from under his protective head stance and delivered some of his signature heavy leather. Early in round two, Valentine continued to dominate, landing multiple left hooks to Morgan's head sprinkled with some right hooks. Valentine got Morgan against the ropes, then Morgan pushed him down, and started delivering illegal blows to the back of Valentine's head, drawing boos from the pumped up crowd as five bouncers restrained Morgan.

In round three, Morgan landed multiple hard body shots on Valentine right before the bell. In round four, Valentine offered his chin, daring Morgan to hit him. Then he went to town with shots to the body and head.

Despite the loss, Morgan appeared more mature and seasoned in the ring than in his last fight.

"I'd love to fight Valentine again," Morgan said. "I'm 10 times a better fighter than I was in my last fight."

Valentine then defeated Kolt Garvey, 21, Saturday in four rounds to advance to the final showdown against Paulino.

Valentine's left-right combination forced Garvey to take a standing-eight count as he moved on to the finals.

"My right hand was hurting after (Friday's) fight, but I was feeling pretty good," Valentine said.

MIDDLEWEIGHT

Sitka's Matt "The Cannon Ball" Keiper, 26, defeated Metlakatla's Hayward, 28, in a close bout for the middleweight championship.

In round one, Keiper went after the smiling Hayward and landed a solid head blow. Keiper's aggressiveness got the best of him in the beginning of round two as he swung so hard he slipped three times. Keiper continued to earn points, however, with punches to Hayward's head. Hayward fought back, bloodying Keiper's nose with a solid shot. Keiper came alive at the end of the round, racking up more points.

Keiper went to town on Hayward in the third round, landing so many blows the referee issued a standing eight count to the Metlakatla fighter. Hayward was saved by the bell, but Keiper claimed the title.

LIGHTWEIGHT

Tyson Duckworth defeated Jesse Flemming for the lightweight Southeast Showdown title in a bout that sometimes looked like a wrestling match.

Both fighters looked spry and fit, dancing and jabbing evenly to open the fight.

In round two, Flemming threw some punches then Duckworth ducked and lifted Flemming with his left arm and flipped him upside down onto the mat. The fight continued after a warning was given to Duckworth and Flemming recovered from the groin injury from the flip.

Round three, boxers had to be repeatedly broken up when their punches ended with the boxers tangled up, but Duckworth landed a few more punches.

WOMEN'S TITLE

Leslie Lozada, 22, defeated Erika "Baby Girl" Judson, 18, by split decision to earn the Southeast Showdown title belt.

In round one, Lozada got off the first head blow, and then Judson put her head down and went in for multiple body shots.

Judson put her head down and chased Lozada in round two but could only land a few punches.

Lozada won the title in the third round by delivering more shots to the head.

WEEKEND FIGHT RECAPS

• Justin Bo, a 22-year-old Valley Auto Parts salesman, defeated 21-year-old old construction worker Aaron "Aalona" Brown in a powerful, energetic fight.

Bo delivered standing eight counts in the second and third rounds.

• Walter "Showstoppa" Brown, 25, defeated Jorge Padron, 21, in a heavyweight bout.

Brown knocked Padron early in round one. In the third round, Padron was knocked out of the ring when one of the ropes broke. Padron battled back, but Brown issued him a standing eight to end the fight.

• Heavyweight Ronald "Raven" Wheat, 39, weighing 206, defeated Anthony "Gonzo" Gonzalez, 24, weighing 212, in another exciting fight.

Wheat, weight 206 pounds, worked Gonzalez's body in round one and landed a couple hard shots to the head in the second round.

Wheat tired in the third round but still dominated the final three minutes to get the win.

• Kolt Garvey defeated Dan "Danimal" Fink in four rounds in one of the closest bouts of the Showdown.

Fink landed 10 straight body shots in the second round, but Garvey landed some hard blows of his own in the third.

Garvey looked for a knockout in the fourth round. Fink made it through the round, but Garvey earned the decision.

• Rookie fighter "The Infamous" Patrick Cook, 31, defeated fellow first-time fighter, Mark Tobacco, 37, in an exhibition fight.

Tobacco, standing 6 feet, 3 inches, towered over the 5-10 Cook. The shorter fighter gave Tobacco a bloody nose in the second round. Tobacco answered in the third round with hard shots to the head.

Despite the loss, Tobacco said he'd like to box again.

"Boxing is fun because you don't go to jail when it's over," he said.



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