Yerington’s Brinkley to headline card in Reno
RENO – An interesting thing happened Wednesday when Yerington’s Jesse Brinkley and Sacramento’s Otis “Triple OG” Griffin stood face to face for the customary press conference staredown in the Aura Ultra Lounge in the Silver Legacy Resort Casino.
As the 6-foot-1 Griffin pulled his head back to further emphasize his height advantage over his 5-10 opponent, Brinkley broke Griffin’s stare and looked away, leaving Griffin with a somewhat puzzled expression.
“I’m done looking at him. I’m ready to hit him,” said Brinkley, 29-5 with 20 knockouts, who will meet Griffin in the 12-round main event of “The Battle for the West” Friday at the Grande Exposition Ballroom in the Silver Legacy. “I have nothing bad to say about him. I have nothing but respect for him. He’s done well in his career.”
“I’m not going to look in his eyes and stand there and smell his breath – it ain’t doing nothing for me or him,” Brinkley said as he sat in a couch and looked over in Griffin’s direction. “We’re ready to fight.”
For his part, the 29-year-old Griffin (boxrec.com lists him as 30) seemed a bit more relaxed than the intense Brinkley. Griffin, 18-2-2 (7), was wearing a sports jacket over a black T-shirt featuring Al Pacino’s character Tony Montana from “Scarface.”
Asked what line Montana would say that would encapsulate this fight, Griffin smiled.
“OK. You want to play rough? I’m reloaded.”
Until recently the IBF ranked Griffin No. 15 in the world at 175 pounds. He and the 31-year-old Brinkley will meet for the vacant WBC United States National Boxing Championship (USNBC) belt in the headliner of the six-bout card.
Both fighters said it was a struggle to make the contracted weight of 168 pounds.
“It’s going to be close,” Griffin said of shedding the last few pounds. “I feel terrible – I’m not going to lie. But I’ll feel better once I take in some fluids (following today’s weigh-in).”
Brinkley, who began his career as a welterweight and moved through the junior middleweight and middleweight ranks, said he’d love to drop back down to 160, but his body is telling him otherwise.
“I don’t know why I can’t make 160,” Brinkley said. “I can get to 166. I’m in good shape. “
Although Brinkley has apparently taken exception to Griffin’s statement that he’d put him to sleep, Griffin insisted he has nothing personal against his opponent.
“My main motivation for this fight is that Jesse is a quality guy,” said Griffin, a correctional officer at the California Medical Facility in Vacaville Prison. “If I score a win against Jesse Brinkley, I’ll be ranked in the top 10 in the world (at 168).”
Tickets are $150, $75 and $30. They are available at the Silver Legacy box office, by calling (800) 687-8733 or by visiting http://www.ticketmaster.com. Doors open at 6 p.m.
The first bout begins at 7.
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