Brinkley pounds out unanimous decision
RENO – Curtis Stevens told anyone who would listen that Jesse Brinkley had
not fought a boxer as powerful as him and that the Yerington native couldn’t
stand 12 rounds in the ring with him.
On Friday night, Brinkley (35-5, 22 KOs) did stand 12 rounds and put Stevens
(21-3, 15 KOs) on the canvas in the process. Brinkley took a unanimous
decision over Stevens (117-109, 118-08, 119-107) at the Grand Sierra Resort
in front of about 2,000 fans and now has the title shot that he has always
“It’s about time I got it, it’s been a long time coming,” Brinkley said of
With the win, Brinkley was named the International Boxing Federation’s No. 2
spot, which guarantees him a title bout in the next months. Brinkley and his
promoter, Let’s Get It On Promotions, are already in negotiations to face
super middleweight champ Lucian Bute for bout on April 17 in Canada.
“It’s not much of a break, but this is the most critical point in his
career,” said Terry Lane, president of Let’s Get It On Promotions. “He’ll
probably take a couple weeks off, max, and then back to Rhode Island for
Brinkley came in a 2-1 underdog to Stevens, but showed early on that he had
control of the match. He came out of the first round with a swollen right
eye, but moved and utilized his jab enough in proceeding rounds to keep
Stevens from targeting it.
Brinkley was already winning according to ESPN2’s Teddy Atlas in the fifth
round 49-46. But in the sixth round he connected a left hand to Steven’s
chin that sent him stumbling. Brinkley got him against the ropes and
continued the assault before knocking him down for an eight-count.
“I know there was a few rounds that I threw hooks and I thought if I could
catch him with a couple more of those left hooks that it wasn’t going to be
my right hand that coach thought was going to put him out,” Brinkley said.
“I was trying to, but you have to be careful because if you hook a hooker
and beats you to it it’s over.”
Peter Manfredo Sr., Brinkley’s trainer, said that the plan from the
beginning was utilize the jab and that seemed to keep Stevens off balance
all night and took away a chance from him to set up a combo to unleash the
heavy hands he is known for.
“When we were viewing some of his fights, I studied what he was having
problems with,” Manfredo said. “And he had problems, from what I saw, when
someone jabbed at him. I saw about five or six of his fights and when
someone came at him with a jab, it would throw him off balance. The jab is
the best punch in boxing, it nullifies a lot of stuff. “
Brinkley had trouble in the middle rounds as Stevens was able to land some
hard punches to his chin. That also was the same time that Brinkley stopped
following his jabs with a right, something he said was more out of defense.
“He did hit me with a couple good shots, but he didn’t have that same power
that I thought he was going to have,” Brinkley said. “I was kind of a little
more relaxed with taking some of the shots and taking chances. When he goes
on the defense, if I could get him to open up a little more the he would
give me something to counter. That was totally opposite of what my coaches
were telling me, but I had to do what they said but I knew it was working.”
Stevens took another standing-eight count in the 12th, although he never
went down to the mat.
Andre Rozier, Stevens’ trainer, said he almost entirely went away from the
game plan coming into the bout.
“I wanted him to control Jesse with his jab,” Rozier said of Stevens, who
was unavailable for comment. “I thought he was a little flat-footed and he
was reaching for punches and he wasn’t combinating. I was looking for him to
go to the body and slow him down a little bit and I was having a hard time
with his translation of combinations.”
Despite all of Stevens’ talk before hand, it was Brinkley who was left
standing in the end and now at the age of 33 he finally has title bout
staring him in the face.
“I’ve done everything I could do,” Brinkley said. “It’s been a long time