Valentine setting examples in and out of the ring

Al Valentine wants to set an example to younger boxers. He thinks doing it in the ring is the best way.

Valentine, 58, will be taking on James “The Beast” Roberts as part of the fight card during the AK Beatdown 31 at Elizabeth Peratrovich Hall, 7 p.m. Saturday.

The AK Beatdown features boxing and MMA bouts held three to four times a year in Juneau, according to promoter Cindy Isaak.

A boxer since 19, Valentine admits it was life before the ring that actually drove him to it.

“I grew up on the wrong side of the fence when it came to fighting,” he said. “But, I was pretty good at it. I figured I would give boxing a try.”

The veteran boxer said his fight against Roberts, a Juneau resident in his 30s — half Valentine’s age — on Saturday will be a challenge, but unlike the last time he fought, and lost, he is more prepared.

“I jumped into my last fight with 10 hours of notice,” Valentine said. “If you want to see where you are at, you just jump in. That’s what I did and wasn’t very good. I feel better now.”

Unlike some of his previous opponents, Roberts offers a challenge to Valentine other than his punches.

“I actually like the guy,” Valentine said. “I don’t want him or me to get hurt. He is a big puncher and I sure won’t let him him punch me straight in the face.”

Valentine said in other matches he has dealt with boxers who are more about talking than just getting into the ring. But with age, he also realizes he may have just grown out of that.

“There is a new breed in boxing and MMA where they are always talking about ‘How I’m going to beat your backside,’” he said. “I’ve gotten a little more patient and realized that a lot of these guys are in their 20s. I think maybe 30 years ago, I was like them.”

That is part of the reason he still wraps his knuckles and laces up the boots.

“I want to set an example that it’s more about in the ring than outside of it,” he said. “I don’t think there is a better example than getting out there and trying to take the championship.”

No matter the outcome, Valentine said when he gets another crack at a championship bout, it will be his last.

“I’ve retired a couple times and people keep calling me back in,” he said. “Win, lose or draw when I get to the championship again, that will be it.”

But it is hard to say when he will be done helping boxers.

“I offer to train boxers,” Valentine. “There are all these people charging for lessons. My door is always open and I don’t charge.”

So even out of the ring, Valentine will likely always have his heart in it.

“It’s in my blood,” said.

Other fights on Saturday include: Kyle Delarosa vs. Codyne Williams (MMA); Brian Lauth vs. Charlie Gallant (MMA); Marco Reina vs TC Storbeck (Boxing); Gabriel Duckworth vs Tevita Moa Maka (Boxing).

• Contact reporter Gregory Philson at or call at 523-2265. Follow him on Twitter at @GTPhilson.

More in News

The Norwegian Cruise Line’s Norwegian Encore docks in Juneau in October, 2022. (Clarise Larson / Juneau Empire File)
Ships in Port for t​​he Week of Sept. 23

Here’s what to expect this week.

Visitors look at the Mendenhall Glacier near the Mendenhall Glacier Visitor Center in August. (Clarise Larson / Juneau Empire)
Shutdown disruptions would be widespread in Juneau

What the looming federal shutdown could mean for the capital city.

New signs were placed this week to accompany the 12 totem poles raised along Juneau’s downtown waterfront. (Clarise Larson / Juneau Empire)
New signs along downtown Totem Pole Trail explain significance of each piece

Details such as meaning of crests carved on totems, clans linked to artists at site and online.

This is a photo of the front page of the Juneau Empire on Sept. 21, 1995. (Clarise Larson / Juneau Empire)
Empire Archives: Juneau’s history for the week of Oct. 1

Three decades of capital city coverage.

Snow covers Mount Stroller White, a 5,112-foot peak beside Mendenhall Glacier, with Mount McGinnis seen to the left. (Photo by Laurie Craig)
Rooted in Community: Stroller White — a man and a mountain

One of the most frequently spoken names in Juneau is Stroller White.… Continue reading

A person departs Bartlett Regional Hospital on July 26, a day after a board of directors meeting raised issues about the hospital’s leadership and quality of care, with then-CEO David Keith resigning a week later. (Mark Sabbatini / Juneau Empire File)
New Bartlett CEO has lots of experience with mergers, transitions as hospital confronts struggles

Meanwhile former CEO still getting paid for post-resignation ‘transition’ despite leaving the state.

(Michael Penn / Juneau Empire File)
Police calls for Tuesday, Sept. 26, 2023

This report contains public information from law enforcement and public safety agencies.

Former Coppa Cafe co-owner Marc Wheeler and current owner Maddie Kombrink smile for a picture at the downtown cafe Wednesday morning. Last week the cafe celebrated its 10-year anniversary in Juneau. (Clarise Larson / Juneau Empire)
‘It’s a wonderful milestone’: Coppa Cafe celebrates a decade of service in Juneau

Ten years is just the beginning, says current and past owners.

Most Read