Jesse Brinkley will try to make history on Oct. 15 as he tries to become the first Nevada-born boxer to win a world title.
It’s sort of odd really, considering how many boxers are based out of Las Vegas and how many title fights take place there -- but there aren’t any records showing any champions born in the desert state.
As I said though, he’ll be attempting to become the first.
It’s unlikely he’ll achieve it, however, since he’s heading up to Canada to take on IBF Super Middleweight Champion Lucian Bute at the Bell Centre in Bute's hometown of Montreal, Quebec. And since we’re on the topic of birthplaces, Bute’s actually from Galati, Romania, but now fights out of Montreal.
While Brinkley’s (pictured above) heading into the fight with a pretty good record on paper, at 35-5 with 22 KO’s, he’s going to be a huge underdog for a couple of major reasons. He’s not too old at 33, but is basically a C-grade fighter and overmatched against Bute. I like Brinkley, having seen him show a lot of effort and guts in his fights, but he’s not in the same class as the champion.
Yet the division is pretty depleted right now with the super six tournament going on and most of those half dozen fighters dropping like flies (Jermain Taylor, Andre Dirrell, and Mikel Kessler), so there aren't many legitimate opponents out there right now. Add to the equation the fact that Bute isn’t interested in the super six showdown, and we’re left with what many would call a mismatch.
The unbeaten Bute comes in at 26-0 with 21 KO’s, but the 30 year old has fought tougher opposition. He’s beaten stalented guys in Sakio Bika, Edison Miranda, Alejandro Berrio, William Joppy, Fulgencio Zuniga and Librado Andrade. However, his first fight against Andrade probably should have been a loss considering Andrade turned things up in the 12th round and decked the Romanian, who was more or less totally out of it.
The referee helped him out though as he held Andrade back in a neutral corner while Bute was clearly down for a 10-count. When the fight finally proceeded it ended with Bute hanging on for dear life on the ropes -- and he won a decision. He avenged that loss with a fourth-round KO over Andrade a year later.
When looking down the list of Brinkley’s opponents nobody sticks out really. He became pretty popular during The Contender television show, but was beaten on that by Sergio Mora and Alfonzo Gomez. He beat Curtis Stevens in his bout in January and that earned him a shot at the title.
Brinkley just doesn’t have the power to take on Bute though -- he usually outworks his opponents for his wins. Bute’s a lot faster and has quite a bit more power than Brinkley, but there’s always a puncher’s chance of landing something flush on the chin as Bute doesn’t have the strongest one out there.
It’s going to be tough to beat the champion on points and I see Bute wearing Brinkley down with his southpaw style. I wouldn’t mind seeing Brinkley take this fight: Bute may be a better class of fighter (Grade B), but I don’t really rate him as world class.
Put it this way, I wouldn’t bet my money on Brinkley.
Pinnaclesports.com has the odds of a Brinkley win at +1001 while the favoured Bute is at -1801.