Gilbert scores second-round knockout
BY MIKE HOUSER
Nevada Appeal Sports Writer
Reno super middleweight Joey Gilbert scored four knockdowns on his way to notching a second-round knockout of William Johnson Thursday at Michael’s Eighth Avenue in Glen Burnie, Md.
The 32-year-old Gilbert improved to 17-1 with 13 knockouts and one no-contest and stayed on track to meet Yerington’s Jesse Brinkley Jan. 30 in Reno.
“He came to fight,” Gilbert said of Johnson, who fell to 9-19-1 (3). “He caught me with a good shot and tried to force me back.”
Gilbert responded to Johnson’s short-lived offensive by switching over to southpaw and drilling his onrushing opponent with a left uppercut followed by an overhand right that put Johnson on the deck.
“He had long arms ” a good reach,” Gilbert said. “It was a good fight. He was a tough kid.”
Gilbert put Johnson down twice more in the first round and once again in the second before the fight was stopped at the 1:18 mark.
It was the second consecutive two-round stoppage for Gilbert in three weeks. After returning from a 13-month absence (he was suspended for one year after testing positive for one metabolite of the steroid Stanazolol following his Sept. 21, 2007 meeting with Charles Howe, of Grelton, Ohio), Gilbert scored a second-round technical knockout over “Flawless” Dan Wallace, on Oct. 30, in Baltimore.
“My conditioning was good,” said Gilbert, who had roughly two-and-a-half weeks of training for Johnson. “I really let some punches go. It felt natural this time. The last fight (against Wallace) it felt forced. I got away from one, two, three, four (punches) and now I’m seven, eight, nine, 10 (at a time). I’m in such great shape, I can throw those volume punches.”
Gilbert said there was a possibility that he’d take one more fight before challenging Brinkley for his WBC-affiliated United States National Boxing Championship (USNBC) belt.
“I’m going back to Big Bear (Calif.) and keep doing what I’m doing (training),” Gilbert said of his immediate plans. “If I get another (fight), great. I’m going to keep training like I am.”
Matchmaker Chris Middendorf said Brinkley would return to action on Wednesday in a six-round light heavyweight matchup in Baltimore.
The 32-year-old Brinkley, 31-5 (21), is on a five-bout winning streak. He is coming off a 12-round unanimous decision over Jason Naugler June 13 at the Silver Legacy Resort Casino.
Middendorf said former Gilbert opponent Kirk Douglas, of De Soto, Mo., is being considered as Brinkley’s opponent but first has to be approved by the Maryland boxing commission.
Gilbert, who declined comment on the possible matchup, stopped Douglas, 11-14 (9), in four rounds on April 24, 2004, at the Hilton (now the Grand Sierra Resort) in Reno.