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By A.J. JANKOWSKI
Daily News Sports Editor
The Ketchikan Fight Club hosts another boxing and mixed martial arts competition Saturday at the Ted Ferry Civic Center, starting at 7:45 p.m. As usual, its officials worked to evolve the competition in an effort to keep fans and competitors on their toes.
As a result, dirty boxing has come to Ketchikan.
Dirty boxing is similar to MMA — same gloves, same moves — but once the fighters hit the ground, the referee allows only 10 seconds of action before standing them up again.
"We’re always looking to evolve," said Gabriel Duckworth, who helps run the events with his father, Jack, "and I think dirty boxing is going to be that next step from a fan standpoint."
Duckworth, who got his first taste of dirty boxing firsthand in Juneau, said it takes the excitement of MMA to the next level.
"I did it up in Juneau, and the crowd loves it," he said. "Most people want to see big blows, they don’t want to see two guys roll around for a whole match."
Several of the bouts Saturday night will be dirty boxing; however, as usual, the final fight card will not be set in stone until the competitors step into the ring.
"It’s always a scramble (putting on the shows)," Jack said. "You always never really know all your fights."
With as many as 25 fights each time — the event is run twice a year — the name of the game is quickness.
"We get them in and out, and the next ones have the gloves on and are ready to go — hopefully," Gabriel said. "That’s my job, to keep them ready. Sometimes they think they don’t need a mouthpiece or a cup, and I have to stop ‘em and say, ‘No, you need all of that.’"
On the night of the event, once all fighters have come forward and announced their intentions to fight, Gabriel will line them up and decide who fights who based on height, weight and experience.
"The only time it gets out of hand is when they want to fight a champion," he said. "I say, ‘You want to fight a champ? Good luck.’ I can only save them so much."
Four belts will be on the line Saturday night inside the ring. Rafael Ramirez and Mike Ferraro will box for the middleweight belt in what Gabriel said "could be the fight of the night."
Ramirez will then fight his brother, Caesar, for the middleweight MMA crown. Amy Odmark and Stephanie Booth will tangle for a female boxing belt, and Mark Anglin Perry and Carter Strain will go toe-to-toe for the MMA belt at 145 pounds.
Two other main events set to take place will be a MMA fight between Ricky Colbert and James "The Beast" Roberts, and an MMA — or a dirty boxing — bout between David Torres and Karl Cox.