Brinkley, Spin win to set up possible showdown
Appeal Sports Writer
RENO – Staying true to the card’s moniker “Collision Course,” Yerington’s Jesse Brinkley and Rhode Island’s Joey “KO Kid” Spina disposed of each of their opponents and look to be on track to meeting each other in Reno in early February.
Brinkley scored his third consecutive knockout by dropping Isaiah Henderson three times and stopped him at 2 minutes, 5 seconds of the first round in a scheduled 10-round middleweight contest in the headliner of a six-fight card presented by Let’s Get It On Promotions Saturday in Grand Exposition Hall in the Silver Legacy Resort Casino.
Earlier on the card, Spina, of Providence, R.I., twice knocked down Shannon Miller before stopping him at 1:58 of round four to keep his possible meeting with Brinkley alive.
Brinkley, who weighed in at 166 pounds, walked into a punch early, but a quick left-right put down Henderson for a nine-count. Brinkley, now 29-5 with 20 knockouts, stayed on top of Henderson, 167, of Columbus, Miss., and followed up a combination with a right uppercut that put down Henderson again.
Henderson, now 11-7 (7) with 2 no contests, got up once more, only to be caught by another left-right, which put him back on the canvas for the final time as referee Vic Drakulich called a halt to the one-sided affair.
Henderson was a late substitute for Brinkley’s original opponent, Donnell “Cadillac” Wiggins, who pulled out of the fight Monday because he couldn’t make weight.
“I’m thrilled with this performance,” the 30-year-old Brinkley said. “I trained like a maniac the last six weeks. Wiggins pulled out, they bring in a respectable opponent and I got him out of there.”
Brinkley caught the right-handed Henderson trying to make the transition to southpaw.
“I tried to use my experience and step on his right foot, but I almost fell down,” Brinkley said. “I hit him with my right hand. He came out more aggressive than I thought. Hopefully I’ll get a rematch with Joey Spina in February – that’s what I’m hoping for.”
The free-swinging Spina, 172, 20-1-1 (15), seemed to win over the Reno crowd as he lambasted Miller with an endless array of bombs. Grinning and flicking his tongue at Miller, Spina showed no regard for defense as he loaded up on each punch.
Spina badly hurt Miller in the first round with a right hand, caused him to do a little dance with a right-left in the second and after another big right in the fourth, Miller melted to the canvas on his own.
Referee Pat Schellin called it off as the 173-pound Miller, 23-38-8 (17) with 2 contests, claimed to have thrown out his shoulder in the second round.
“I was a little rusty, but I felt good,” said Spina, who was fighting for the first time in a year after suffering a third-round knockout at the hands of Peter Manfredo Jr. “I did a little more in the fourth round and cut off the ring. I went to the body.”
Spina also went to Brinkley’s body when he scored a come-from-behind 11th-round knockout in 2006.
“I was off a year, I was having a good time,” said Spina, who added he would fight again in November. “I want to come back here and have a rematch with Jesse (in February). I’d like that very much.”
In other bouts:
•McDermitt middleweight Derek Hinkey kept his record perfect, knocking down Oakland’s Ray Craig four times en route to a fourth-round knockout.
The 27-year-old Hinkey, 163, now 4-0 (4), dropped Craig, 166, 4-3 (2), with a single right hand in the first round. Craig got up after Drakulich counted to eight and came back to give the quicker, sharper Hinkey a good battle.
The two traded some shots in the second and a left-right by Hinkey put Craig down again in the third. A right uppercut put Craig down for the last time in round four and Drakulich waved it off at the 1:10 mark.
“In the early rounds I didn’t utilize the jab,” Hinkey said. “I used the right hand and left hook. I need to listen better to the man (trainer Kenny Adams). I need to keep my composure.
“You talk about a balancing act…I wanted to show he could hit me and not hurt me. I should try the UFC (Ultimate Fighting Championship) if I don’t use the jab.”
Craig was happy to oblige Hinkey and managed to land several strong shots throughout the fight, but was never able to seriously hurt his opponent, although he did some cosmetic damage to Hinkey in the third round.
“I felt strong,” Hinkey said. “I felt like I could walk through walls and knock down towers. But you can’t always be the biggest King Kong in the building. I knew I had him hurt. It was just a matter of catching him. I lost my composure at the end.
“All my life I’ve fought big guys. That might be a problem now. In the third round I said, ‘Hit me. You can’t hurt me.’ And I lost a tooth.”
•McDermitt’s Tyler Hinkey, 260, was held to a draw by old nemesis Alvaro Morales, 275, of Las Vegas. Morales, now 0-0-2, owns two amateur victories over Hinkey, 1-0-1 (1).
Dick Houck scored it 39-37 for Hinkey, Paul Smith had it 39-37 for Morales, and Burt Clements saw it even at 38-38. The Nevada Appeal had the more active Hinkey ahead at 39-37.
“I’m a little down – what can I say,” Hinkey said. “A draw is better than a loss. I thought I did enough to win the fight. I wanted to do more body work, but I wasn’t able to hit him with a solid punch. He was real crafty.”
Beginning in round one, Hinkey came forward behind his left jab and managed to land a few rights to the body. Hinkey looked to have control in round two and pushed the larger Morales back.
Round three saw both boxers land some decent shots and round four was the closest round of the fight.
“I didn’t do what I was supposed to do,” Hinkey said. “I didn’t throw enough punches. I felt good. I didn’t have a problem with conditioning, but he was wrestling and holding. I’m looking forward to my next fight. Four of five fights down the road, maybe I can fight him again.”
•In an all-Northern Nevada bout, Carson City’s Flavio Cardoza, 158, moved his record to 1-1 after taking a unanimous four-round decision over South Tahoe’s Simon Ruvalcaba.
The crude-but-effective Cardoza was consistently busier than the 160-pound Ruvalcaba, 3-9-2 and walked through his best punches.
•Tony Hirsch, 163, of Oakland, remained undefeated with a unanimous four-round decision over Cromwell Gordon, 163, of Los Angeles. Hirsch, 3-0 (1), was the longer, leaner boxer and he found the range with his right hand after the first round against the shorter, more muscular Gordon, 3-7 (3).
•Contact Mike Houser at firstname.lastname@example.org or 881-1220