Brinkley outpoints Stevens
RENO, Nev.ÔÇö Jesse Brinkley defeated Curtis Stevens by a unanimous decision in a super middleweight title eliminator at the Grand Sierra Resort.
The fight was more exciting than the official scores – 117-109, 118-108 and 119-107 – indicate.
Both fighters continued to throw punches after the bell to end the fifth round. As trainers from both corners ran into the ring, one of Brinkley's cornermen held Stevens on the ropes before referee Vic Drakukich restored order. Drakulich then ejected that cornerman.
Brinkley (35-5, 22 knockouts) knocked down Stevens (21-3, 15 KOs) in the sixth and his fans expected him to finish the job in the next round. However, Brinkley, surprised that Stevens didn’t throw caution to the wind, coasted in the seventh and actually lost that round.
Still, Brinkley controlled the rest of the fight in the judges’ eyes.
“Stevens was not as strong as I thought he would be,” Brinkley said. “My jab was the key to victory. However, I did not have an 'A' performance. I drifted in the middle rounds and was too cautious in the round after the knockdown. My strategy was to work my jab and not stay in front of him.”
My scorecard was 117-109 Brinkley.