RENO - Jesse Brinkley has been looking for a top fight for quite some time. Now, it looks like the Yerington native will finally get his shot.
Brinkley (34-5 22 KOs) will face Curtis Stevens (21-2 15 KOs) Jan. 29 at the Grand Sierra Resort for the No. 2 mandatory spot in the International Boxing Federation Super Middleweight World Rankings.
"This fight is the only thing that stands in my way of achieving my dream of having a shot at becoming a world champion," said Brinkley in a statement. "I'm busting my butt in the gym, and I'm going to leave it all out there."
The current IBF Super Middleweight Championship is held by Canadian Lucian Bute, who recently defended his title by knocking out Librado Andrade in the fourth round.
Brinkley has been steadily on the rise and has been victorious in his past eight fights. His latest fight ended in a 10-round unanimous decision win over Mike Paschall on July 10. He also scored a 12-round unanimous decision over rival Reno boxer Joey Gilbert in February.
Brinkley, along with Gilbert, is best known for being a star on NBC's "The Contender."
He is currently rated sixth in the IBF, while Stevens is 10th.
Stevens is on a four-fight winning streak. He is known for his big punch and knockout power with 15 of his 21 wins coming by way of KO - with 13 of those being executed within four rounds.
"On Jan. 29 'Showtime' Stevens will be reaping havoc upon Jesse Brinkley," Stevens said in a statement. "I'm in the business of hurting people, and you better believe Jesse Brinkley is in for a world of hurt when he gets into the ring with me.
"If he thinks that fighting in his backyard is going to bother me, then he has another thing coming. Tell him to watch a copy of my last fight against (Piotr) Wilczewski and see what happened to him in front of all his Polish fans. Make sure to tune in, because I am promising you, I am going to knock Brinkley out cold. 2010 is my year, no one can stop me."
Stevens earned a third-round TKO over Wilczewski (previously 22-0) in a bout scheduled to go eight rounds.
Stevens' last loss came against Andre Dirrell in 2007 in a 10-round unanimous decision. Dirrell went on to lose to Carl Foch in September in a split-decision with the WBC Super Middleweight title on the line.
His only other loss came by way of an eight-round TKO to journeyman Marcos Primera in 2006. He went to avenge the loss four months later in an eight-round decision.
"A lot is on the line," said Tommy Lane, president of Let's Get It On Promotions. "The winner will get a shot at the title; the loser will continue to wait in line. I just can't wait to see the fight."
Ticket prices and complete card details will be announced at a later date.
The fighters are scheduled to hold a press conference at 6:30 p.m. Friday proceeding the Reno Xtreme Fights mixed-martial arts/boxing event to be held later that night.