Friday, May 15, 2009

Showtime at Southeast Showdown

Talamai, Guthrie, and Jackson take titles at Rough House Friday

Bailey Johnson, Shaun Guthrie and Tongan Toni Talamai all grabbed respective title belts at the 2009 Roughhouse Boxing Southeast Showdown Friday at Marlintini's Lounge.

Angoon's Johnson, 18, first defeated Leon Paul, 21, and then topped Aaron "The Red Baron" Tucker to earn the event's lightweight title belt and $500 prize money. Johnson defeated Leon Paul by finding some openings to the head and delivering hard right upper cuts and left jabs to his much shorter opponent. Johnson ended round one with a shot that had Paul shaking his head. In round two, Paul was delivered a standing-eight-count after Johnson tagged Paul with a right haymaker that had Paul hanging on the ropes trying to recover and Joe Isturis called the fight.

Johnson, 4-0-0, defeated defending champion Aaron "The Red Baron" Tucker, 13-3-0 in one of the main events of the night. Johnson had the edge after he drew a bye and Tucker was the only fighter who had to fight three bouts. The fight was pretty even until Johnson tagged Tucker in round two and dropped the champion to his knees. Tucker retired as Johnson stayed perfect.

"I think this was the best fight of the night," said promoter Bob Haag.

Shaun Guthrie, 27, weighed in at 172 pounds to defeat Brian Lauth, 18, for the middleweight champion belt and Southeast Showdown Champion. Lauth towered over Guthrie who threw uppercuts to reach the tall Lauth. Both boxers gassed out in round three and the close decision went to Guthrie.

Aaron "The Red Baron" Tucker advanced to the semifinals with his earlier win over Fred Grant Jr. who was tagged with a hard head shot by Tucker early in round one then both boxers traded some hard shots. In round two, Tucker landed the first blow and then dropped Grant for a standing eight-count. Grant answered by clocking Tucker with a right hook that woke him up and Grant found himself on the mat after back to back right hooks. After Tucker dominated the tired Grant, Grant was delivered a standing eight-count and Tucker took the win.

Aaron "the Red Baron" defeated then defeated Michael Guthrie in the very next fight with the match starting off even from the start. Then Tucker landed some hard rights to the exhausted Guthrie who retired about halfway through round one. Michael Guthrie was tired because, directly before facing Tucker, he defeated Charles Paul Bagoya in a bout to advance to the semifinals. Guthrie dominated Bagoya in round one, tapping a sweet spot in the temple to drop Bagoya. Guthrie pummeled Bogoya in round two, tapping him in the forehead and sending him reeling backward. Joe Isturis called the fight after Bogoya was visibly unable to continue.

Nick "the Nightmare" Morgan advanced after easily winning his first bout against eighteen-year-old Clifford "Bad News" Brown. Morgan started off strong by tagging Brown in the eye who then retreated behind his gloves while his fans yelled "punch out." Round one ended as Morgan was reprimanded for punching Brown in the back of the head and Brown retired before the second round began.

Road to the heavyweight title

Tongan Toni Talamai, 23, a heavyweight aspiring professional boxer and Alaska Airlines employee defeated James "The Beast" Roberts Jr. of Klawock in a fight Talamai dominated from the start. Talamai used Roberts' head as a punching bag as Roberts absorbed lots heavy leather before he was delivered a standing-eight-count. In round two, he was issued another standing eight-count and referee Joe Isturis recommended he retire, though Roberts refused. Roberts was knocked to the mat and Talamai grabbed the win.

Talamai went on to defeat Nick "The Nightmare" Morgan 14 seconds into round one by tagging Morgan repeatedly then dropping him with a heavy leather right hook to the temple. Talamai grabbed the heavyweight championship title belt with the win.

Ryan Wong defeated Michael Henderson who came at Wong like a freight train from the bell getting Wong against the ropes early and landing some hard shots to his face. Referee Joe Isturis broke them up and then Wong answered with a right haymaker that sent the solid Henderson barreling into the ropes for a standing eight-count. Round two started with Wong landing a right haymaker to Henderson's temple, barraging him hard shots and then sealing it off with another haymaker and another standing eight- count.

"Keep your eyes on him and cover your head," Henderson's corner yelled. Henderson stayed focused and delivered a right-left combination that sent Wong to the mat. Wong recovered by dominating the third round and, as Henderson tired, Wong found an opening delivering his third standing eight-count. Wong scratched his next fight, dropping out of belt contention.

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