‘Heavy Hands’ hits the ring today
Appeal Sports Writer
RENO – It’s a boxing card with more plots and subplots than an old episode of “Dallas” or “Melrose Place.”
Perhaps at the top of the storyline is the return to Reno of Yerington super middleweight Jesse Brinkley. The 30-year-old Brinkley, 27-5 with 18 knockouts, hasn’t fought in the Biggest Little City since he stopped veteran Joe “Cool” Garcia on July 11, 2003, and will face Dallas Vargas, 21-3 (15), of Toledo, Ohio, in the 10-round main event of the six-bout card, which features five boxers from Northern Nevada.
The show, called “Heavy Hands,” will take place tonight in an outdoor arena north of the Eldorado Hotel and Casino parking garage.
“I’m here to perform, bro,” Brinkley said matter-of-factly at the Thursday weigh-ins, held in the Eldorado’s Convention Center. “I’m here to put on a show and get out of the fight successfully. I’m here to do my job.”
The bout with Vargas will be held at a contracted weight of 171 pounds. But in spite of fighting at the heaviest weight of his career, Brinkley, who stopped Luis Lopez in six rounds on June 14, appeared to be in tremendous condition, displaying a rippling washboard stomach.
“I feel phenomenal,” Brinkley said. “I have no excuses for this fight no matter what happens. The best man will win this fight.”
In the 30-year-old Vargas, Brinkley will face a boxer with an extensive amateur career and who goes by the nickname “Deaf Pride.”
Ringside physician Todd Chapman said that the referee would have to alert the hearing-impaired Vargas when the bell rings to end each round. Chapman also found an unusual – yet benign – condition when he looked over Carson City lightweight Mike Peralta.
“(Chapman) said my left pupil is bigger than my right one,” said Peralta, 1-2, who will meet Pernell Jackson, 1-2-1 (1), of Washington, D.C., in a four-round bout. “Only 20 percent of people have the (the condition). If the ref doesn’t know that, he could call off the fight if I get hit.”
Chapman said a referee has to be on guard for a fighter when one pupil dilates more than the other one does if he’s been hurt. When that happens, it could mean the boxer has suffered a cerebral hematoma and needs immediate brain surgery. Chapman said when a boxer suffers a cerebral hematoma, the one dilating pupil will enlarge to nearly the size of the iris itself.
But the 24-year-old Peralta should have nothing more to worry about than any other fighter. Be that as it may, Peralta has always contended that his Nov. 16, 2006 bout with Carlos Musquez was stopped too soon. Musquez had dropped Peralta earlier in the fight and had hit him with a good combination when the referee stopped the contest in the second round.
“I walked right up to ref, I had my hands up and answered all of his questions,” Peralta said of his only loss via stoppage in more than 100 combined amateur and professional contests. “Then he called the fight off.”
Peralta is dedicating this fight to his cousin, Lewis Braxton III, who committed suicide May 4, when he jumped off the parking garage at the Eldorado. Peralta was wearing a shirt with Braxton’s picture on it and will also wear it into the ring.
“There is nothing else in my mind but to go in and do this for my cousin, God, and my dad and mom,” Peralta said. “I thank God I’m here. I want to take my cousin’s death in a mature way and make him happy. I want a positive out of it. I don’t want to let this bring me down. It needs to bring me up. Mentally, I’m there.”
Two other people have a vested interest in the card as a whole – Terry and Tommy Lane, who took over Let’s Get It On Promotions after their father – former Washoe County judge, district attorney and TV personality Mills Lane – suffered a debilitating stroke in 2002.
“It’s stressful, but we’re having a ball doing it,” said 24-year-old Terry Lane, who along with 20-year-old Tommy each have a full shock of hair, unlike their famous father, who was noted for his shaved skull. “It’s exciting to put on a card. We only want to put on fights we’d pay to see. This is a card we’d go to.”
Tommy, who has two amateur fights under his belt, is learning the boxing business in and out of the ring.
“Not as a pro fighter, but I know what it’s like to be punched in the face,” said Tommy Lane, who competes at 165 pounds. “I know what it’s like to be in the ring when everybody is yelling and the pressure’s on. I know what it feels like to make weight. I’ve got a good connection with the fighters.”
The Lanes are particularly interested in two boxers on the card, super middleweight Derek Hinkey and his brother Tyler, a heavyweight. The brothers hail from the McDermitt Indian reservation and are the first two fighters the Lanes have signed.
Derek, 2-0 (2), will face Giovanni Rubio, 6-7 (4), of Santa Rosa, Calif., in a four-round bout, while Tyler, who scaled in at 272-pounds, will meet Doug Evensen, of Las Vegas, also in a four-rounder. Evensen weighed 252 pounds for the bout, which will be the professional debut for both men.
“Derek and Tyler Hinkey are two of the classiest, nicest, hard-working people I’ve ever met,” Terry Lane said. “Their family (Dave and Val Hinkey) has been terrific to work with. Personally, Derek and Tyler are great people. Inside the ring they are great fighters.”
Both boxers are now trained by Kenny Adams, who guided former heavyweight Ray Mercer to a gold medal in the 1988 Olympics and on to the WBO heavyweight championship. He has trained several other world champions, including Eddie Cook, Kennedy McKinney and Diego Corrales, among others.
“I like what Tyler does – he listens,” said Adams, who has trained his boxer for just over a month in Las Vegas. “We’ve been working on things. We’ve been working on the jab, how he pivots, goes to the body and defense. I wish I had him longer, but he’s in great condition. He’s had great sparring and his hands are really strong.”
Tyler had 90 amateur fights and has a 12-month-old son, Kess. He said he’s happy he’s making his debut in Reno.
“It feels good to do it here in town,” said the 6-foot-1 Tyler. “I’ve basically been here five or six years. Honestly, I’m a little bit nervous. It’s the first time in a while.”
For his part Derek Hinkey (who had 133 amateur fights) said he is looking to showcase some other skills after blasting his way through Cedric Howard (TKO 2) and Patrick Sierra (KO 1) to open his career.
Derek (who used to train with Thell Torrence) and Adams have been working together for just more than two weeks. Derek has been sparring former world junior middleweight champion Winky Wright and getting him ready for his July 21 fight with former world middleweight and light heavyweight champion Bernard Hopkins.
“He’s a helluva fighter,” the 6-foot-1 Derek said of Wright. “He’s a helluva man. He’s a great person – very respectful. It took me by surprise. And out of everyone in camp, the one that most impressed me (sparring) was Carlos DeLeon Jr.”
DeLeon’s father, Carlos DeLeon Sr., held the WBC cruiserweight championship from 1986-88 and 1989-90.
“I’ve had great training, great sparring,” the 29-year-old Derek said. “It’s been different training, too. I like (Adams’) style. I’m working off the jab, using my skills, my speed. My power is there. Everyone says I hit hard, but I’d like to show people I can box and use my speed.”
Adams said both Tyler and Derek possess the kind of clay he can mold into top fighters.
“Derek has good hand speed,” Adams said. “He’s very hyper. He has great ability. I want him to slow down. I want him to keep his height – to box tall. He has a tendency to lean down to his (shorter) opponents. He’s done a great job. He’s got a good right hand, a good hook and good combinations. He’s doing real good.”
The other local fighter on the card, Reno’s Jaime Rodriguez, 2-2-1 (1), will take on Shavaris Buie, 0-1, of Brooklyn, N.Y., in a four-round junior welterweight bout. Buie had 84 amateur bouts and won two New York Golden Gloves championships.
In the other fight, Maureen Shea, 10-0 (5), of New York City, will face Olivia Gerula, 7-8-2 (2), of Winnipeg, Canada, in a six-round junior lightweight bout.
Doors open at 6 p.m., with the first bout beginning at 7. Reserved tickets are $200, $150, $100 and $50. Bleacher seats are available for $25. Call (800) 879-8879 for more information.