Fight Night II a big hit


— With his last name tattooed to his back as if he were wearing a football jersey, the mighty Ryan Quinn tore through larger opponents at Fight Night II to win the heavyweight championship.

"I'm just overwhelmed," said the 22-year-old fighter who works at the Tap House Sports Grill in Steamboat. "I was trying to get in the middleweight division before the tournament, but I weighed too much so I got into the heavyweight."

Quinn's opponent in Sunday's heavyweight championship at Romick Arena was local brawler Bill Muth, whom many would agree was the hardest puncher in the tournament.

But Quinn showed heart, especially when referee Shane Swartz announced to the crowd of 1,500 after two rounds that the fight was even.

"I wanted to go home after the second (round)," said Quinn, referring to a shot that he took from Muth that buckled his knees.

But in the third round, which was the final round, the outsized Quinn stood toe to toe with the heavier Muth, trading shot after shot until the bell sounded.

Both men had bloody noses at the end, though Muth said it was inevitable for him anyway.

"It bleeds when the wind blows, man," said Muth, who learned to fight by being a bouncer, he said.

Thirty-five fighters competed in Fight Night II under a scorching sun and a brief dust storm about mid-afternoon.

Fight Night II ran from 3 until about 7:30 p.m.

Quinn, who received $100 for winning his division, said he was going to use the money to buy his friends rounds of beer at the Tap House Sunday night.

Quinn was one of seven amateur boxers in the tournament who went on to win $100.

Fight Night II was a huge success financially, said promoter Tara Nultemeier, who is planning another Fight Night next summer.

Fans started entering the arena about an hour before the matches started, and most of them stayed until the final match was over four-and-a-half hours later.

There were a number of unforgettable moments, including an incident where Swartz had to tackle a fighter during a welterweight clash.

The fighter kept hitting his opponent, not realizing that Swartz was trying to begin a standing-eight count.

A couple of the fighters also pulled a Roberto Duran "No mas" tactic Sunday, signaling to the referee that they wanted to quit.

In a 1980 welterweight title match between professional legendary fighters Sugar Ray Leonard and Roberto "Hands of Stone" Duran, Duran told the referee during the eighth round he wanted "No mas/No more," in Spanish.

Leonard won the fight on the forfeit, which avenged a loss to Duran five months earlier.

Swartz, an undefeated professional light heavyweight boxer who will fight in Tacoma, Wash., this weekend, nearly took it to the jaw several times while refereeing Fight Night II.

"I have to be cautious for myself, but also cautious for the fighters because they throw a lot of haymakers," Swartz said.

The majority of champions had to fight three times Sunday.

James Sippel of Pittsburgh, Pa., outpointed Steamboat's Sam Silva to win the 157-168 pound division.

In the 152-157 pound division, Dan Armstrong won a split-decision over Andrew Harms to win the title.

Michael Gebhart came out on top in the lightweight (145-150) division after pulling out a split-decision over Shannon Calvert.

The list of other champions included John Walden (senior men's), Shelby Silva (ladies' lightweight) and Laura Dickerson (ladies' middleweight).

Dickerson and Silva both fight out of Steamboat.


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