Brinkley looking for a big shot at Lacy
BY MIKE HOUSER
Appeal Sports Writer
RENO ” Yerington’s Jesse Brinkley didn’t need a kitchen sink after all. After hitting game Jason Naugler with every punch in his repertoire, Brinkley was finally able to do what no other fighter ” amateur or professional ” had ever been able to do: He put the seemingly indestructible fighter from Halifax. Nova Scotia, on the canvas.
With less than 10 seconds remaining in their 12-round contest Friday at the Reno Ballroom, Brinkley connected with a booming right hand and followed up with two more as Naugler went down.
The 30-year-old Naugler, now 18-8-1 (11), got back up before the bell sounded to end the fight, but the 31-year-old Brinkley took home a unanimous decision and successfully defended his WBC-affiliated United States National Boxing Championship (USNBC) super middleweight belt.
Brinkley, ranked No. 14 by the IBF, improved to 31-5 (21) and pocketed $25,000 for his work. Naugler, who underwent observation at Renown Regional Medical Center and was later released, took home $10,000, a faceful of bruises and abrasions and a whole lot of pride.
“That was fun,” Naugler said to his trainer as he walked toward his dressing room following the fight. “Did the crowd enjoy it?”
Although the approximately 1,900 fans in attendance weren’t officially polled, judging by their cheers, it was pretty obvious they did, although the object of their exuberance was directed mainly at Brinkley.
“I love the crowd,” Brinkley said. “I’m fighting my ass off for them. Without a doubt, this guy came to win. He’d never been put down before. He’s the Canadian light heavyweight champ. When he moved his head he was actually hard to hit. And he obviously had a pretty good chin, huh?”
That would be a bit of an understatement. Brinkley also had his whiskers tested on a couple of occasions.
“Naugler did wobble me ” he didn’t hurt me, but he caught my attention two or three times with his left hook. He had some good leverage on it,” said Brinkley, who put on a masterful boxing exhibition. “He’s the toughest guy I’ve fought by far.”
It may have been the most complete showing yet by Brinkley, whose piston-like jab set up booming lefts and rights to the head and body of Naugler. Brinkley’s defense was also superb, as he slipped, dipped and dodged most of his straight-ahead opponent’s offerings.
“I hope now I get a big shot, a big fight,” Brinkley said. “[Former IBF super middleweight champion] Jeff Lacy is the man. I want to find out if I can take him. Him, Edison Miranda ” there are a few big names out there.”
In addition to Lacy, Let’s Get It On Promotions president Tommy Lane mentioned other ranked contenders like Sakio Bika, Allan Green and Jean Pascal as possible opponents for Brinkley’s next fight.
Brinkley said there was the possibility that he’d exercise his one-fight option for his next bout ” possibly in Idaho ” but Lane said while he’d be willing to honor and back Brinkley’s decision, he said he’d rather bring the popular fighter to Reno in late September or early October to fight Lacy or one of the other name contenders mentioned.
“Jesse’s due for a big-money fight, a big name,” Lane said. “He had to take this steps to get to this stage. Now he deserves a big name. He says he wants big-money and name opponents. Going to Idaho isn’t going to make that happen.”
“Style-wise, Lacy would be better than Sakio Bika,” interjected matchmaker Chris Middendorf.
“Let’s get it on,” Lane concluded.
NO HINKEY JINX
McDermitt super middleweight Derek Hinkey and his brother, heavyweight Tyler Hinkey, both scored knockouts, but in different fashions. Derek, 5-1 (5), scored three knockdowns and badly cut Gabriel Gil, 3-1 (1), of Madera, Calif., to score a six-round stoppage, while Tyler, 4-0-1 (3), steamrolled Michael Finney, 1-1 (1), of San Jacinto, Calif., in a one-round KO.
The 25-year-old Tyler opened up with a body attack before a sequence of right hands deposited Finney on his back at the 1:09 mark.
“He didn’t have much of a punch,” Tyler said. “I don’t believe he had enough power to sting me. I tried to stay focused when I got him hurt. He was keeping his hands high, showing me a lot of his body. I had to soften him up a little bit.”
For his part, the 27-year-old Derek thought he’d have an early night. As Hinkey backed up into the ropes, he floored Gil for a three-count with a counter left hook. A scathing six-punch combination prompted referee Pat Schellin to jump in and apparently wave it off, but an enraged Gil was swinging back. Schellin gave Gil what amounted to a standing-eight count, but was ruled a knockdown.
Standing-eight counts are only used in professional bouts in Nevada when the ropes are the only thing preventing a boxer from going down.
As Hinkey moved back in, he said he caught a right-hand slap, which he said “blew out” his left ear drum.
“My balance was out ” it was one of those things that kind of scared me,” Hinkey said. “My balance was way off. My movement was very limited and that’s when I went to the ropes.”
For the most part, Hinkey was able to whether the storm while he covered up along the ropes, but he did take several shots from the scrappy Gil. Hinkey unleashed a vicious flurry of punches in the sixth and final round, knocking down Gil with a right hand and opening up a wide, deep cut under his right eye. After conferring with ringside physician Steven Brown, Schellin called an end to matters with 41 seconds remaining in the bout.
“I thought it was a done deal [when Schellin stepped in for the second-round standing-eight],” Hinkey said. “When I saw his eye split [in the sixth], it surprised me a bit. He wasn’t in a good way. He was still standing. I’ve got to give it to him ” he was a tough guy.”
LOCALS GET BEAT
The three other local fighters on the card ” heavyweight Chad Forrester (Sparks), heavyweight Alfred “Lil Bum” Happy (Lovelock) and middleweight Flavio Cardoza (Carson City) ” each ended up on the wrong side of the win column.
After bloodying and battering Michael Goins, 1-1 (1), of Las Vegas, in the first round, Forrester walked into a fight-ending left-right combination at the 1:18 mark of the second round. It was the 34-year-old Forrester’s pro debut.
Happy, a 1998 Pershing County High School graduate and a former Mustangs basketball center, was aggressive throughout, but was unable to find Alvaro Morales, who used his 250-fight amateur background to outbox the 6-foot-7, 294-pound Happy.
Morales, of Las Vegas, moved to 3-1-4 with the majority decision. Happy is now 5-1 (4).
Cardoza fell to 1-3 after walking into a straight left hand delivered by southpaw Mark “The Italian Bazooka” DeLuca, of Brockton, Mass., 2:41 into the first round. DeLuca improved to 6-0 (4) and expressed a desire to return to the area.
“You can’t get this kind of crowd in Boston,” DeLuca said. “It’s unbelievable here. “The Lanes are the best people I’ve worked with in boxing ” period ” as an amateur or a professional. Flavio Cardoza was just a gentleman at the weigh-in.”
Let’s Get It On chief executive officer Terry Lane said he envisioned Reno fans adapting DeLuca as one of their own because of his personality and ring skills.
– Former Mongolian amateur star Batkhuu Otgonchuluuh had a successful pro debut, knocking down Omar Valencia in Round 2 and stopping him at 1:29 of Round 3. Valencia, of Las Vegas, fell to 0-2.
– Former University of Nevada student and current mixed martial arts star Gina Carano was in attendance. Carano, daughter of Silver Legacy executive and former Dallas Cowboys quarterback Glenn Carano, is also a member of the new “American Gladiators,” where she goes by the nickname of “Crush.”
– Tommy Lane said Let’s Get It On will present a professional boxing card Aug. 29 in Fallon. The event, which could possibly be televised on ESPN2 Friday Night Fights, will feature Tyler and Derek Hinkey, possibly some other local fighters and may be headlined by some known contenders from out of the area.