Experts choose Gilbert over favorite Brinkley
BY MIKE HOUSER
Nevada Appeal Sports Writer
With 52 days remaining until Yerington’s Jesse Brinkley and Reno’s Joey Gilbert meet in a fight that is being billed “Civil War,” Casino Fandango and Grand Sierra Resort have released their opening odds.
Dan Shapiro, director of marketing for Lucky’s Race and Sports Book, said Brinkley is a minus-160 favorite and Gilbert is a plus 140 underdog. A $160 bet on Brinkley wins $100, while a $100 bet on Gilbert wins $140.
The line differs at the Cal-Neva sports book in Reno, which opened last week with Brinkley a minus-180 favorite and Gilbert a plus 160 underdog.
Brinkley, 32-5 with 22 knockouts, and Gilbert, 17-1 (13) with 1 no-contest, will meet Feb. 14 at the Reno Events Center in a 12-round bout at a catch-weight of 166 pounds.
Brinkley, ranked No. 11 by the IBF at 168 pounds, will be defending his WBC-affiliated United States National Boxing Championship (USNBC) super middleweight belt.
If the line remains the same at the respective casinos, it will behoove local Brinkley bettors to stay in Carson City and place their bets at Casino Fandango, while those looking to go with Gilbert would be better served to travel across Washoe Valley to visit the Cal-Neva.
WHAT THE EXPERTS SAY
For those bettors not inclined to make their pick based on instinct only, two neutral trainers ” Jesse Reid and Thell Torrence ” offered their input to the Nevada Appeal on Tuesday.
Both picked Gilbert, who was formerly ranked No. 4 at 160 pounds by the WBO and held the USNBC and WBO-affiliated North American Boxing Organization (NABO) middleweight belts.
Gilbert was subsequently stripped of both belts after testing positive for one metabolite of the steroid Stanazolol following his Sept. 21, 2007, bout with Charles Howe, of Grelton, Ohio.
The Nevada State Athletic Commission subsequently fined Gilbert $10,000, changed his one-round victory over Howe to a no-decision and temporarily suspended him for one year.
For his part, Reid said he wasn’t impressed with the 32-year-old Brinkley.
“Brinkley to me is one of the fighters developed through (the NBC reality boxing show) ‘The Contender,'” said Reid, who has trained numerous world champions, including Hall-of-Fame bantamweight champion Orlando Canizales and former lightweight titlist Paul Spadafora. “I’m not really high on him.
“I think Gilbert is a little more experienced. I think Brinkley will give him a good fight, but Gilbert will win. I’m not that familiar with Brinkley, but I don’t think he’s that great of a fighter. He’s more of a club fighter.”
Reid said he caught Brinkley’s 11-round technical knockout loss to Joey Spina on ESPN in 2006.
“They both stunk the joint out,” Reid said. “Jesse was winning, but he quit when he got hit with a body shot. I’ve seen Jesse in the gym. He does better in the gym than he does in fights. I think Joey will have the hometown edge.”
Torrence said the 32-year-old Gilbert, a three-time national boxing champion for the University of Nevada club boxing team, considered taking him on as trainer once he left the amateurs.
“It’s an interesting fight. I like Joey (to win),” said Torrence, who trained as a fighter under the legendary Eddie Futch before becoming a trainer himself (he and Futch together had more than 20 world champions). “Joey’s had some (adversity); his career stagnated because of some personal things. It’s a tough one, but I think the guy that can establish and maintain his momentum, who will stay with his game plan, will do well.”
Torrence said it’s a “50/50 fight,” but that he also gives Gilbert an edge because he will be fighting in his hometown.
“Jesse Brinkley is a tough fight for him,” Torrence said of Gilbert, “but he can maintain and stay within his comfort zone. His home is in Reno. He’s done well up there, so I’m going to stick my neck out and go with Joey.”
ODDS & ENDS
The rest of the card, which will be presented by Let’s Get It On Promotions, of Reno, and TKO Boxing Promotions, of Las Vegas, is beginning to take shape.
Let’s Get It On chief executive officer Terry Lane said Tuesday that ticket sales “have been brisk.”
Lane said he and his brother (and Let’s Get It On president), Tommy Lane, have added 5-foot-11 lightweight Bayan Jargal to their stable, which includes Brinkley and McDermitt brothers Tyler and Derek Hinkey.
Terry Lane said Jargal, 9-0-1 (6), of Arlington, Va., via Mongolia, will fight in an eight-round lightweight bout on the undercard of Brinkley-Gilbert. He also said he expects the 28-year-old Derek Hinkey, 6-1 (6), to meet an opponent to be determined in a six-round middleweight bout.
Tyler Hinkey, who turned 26 on Saturday, is expected to compete in a four-round heavyweight contest. Lane said 29-year-old flyweight contender Glenn Donaire, 17-4-1 (9), of San Leandro, Calif., via The Philippines, and 23-year-old lightweight Stan “The Man” Martyniouk, 4-0 (1), of Antelope, Calif., via Estonia, also will appear on the card in eight- and four-rounders, respectively.
Tickets to “Civil War” are $253.25, $153.25, $78.25 and $43.25. There is a $5 discount on the $43.25 tickets for students, active military, police and firefighters, who show a valid identification.
Tickets are available at the Reno Events Center and by visiting http://www.ticketmaster.com.