Report and photos by Boxing Bob Newman
Ares Promotions’ Fight Night X kicked off the 2013 boxing season in New York’s capital with a state title tilt on Thursday night at the Empire Plaza Convention Center under “The Egg.” In the main event, New York middleweight champion Nick “Machine Gun” Brinson controlled upset artist Jose “Stinger” Medina over ten rounds to retain his belt.
Right off the bat, it seemed Brinson, a Geneva, NY native fighting our of Rochester, NY, was faster, more relaxed than Quincy, MA resident Medina. With hands held low, he snapped Medina’s head back with crisp left jabs and right crosses. Medina seemed to gain some momentum and turn the fight his way in the third as he lured Brinson into trench warfare. Brinson ended the third turning the tide back in his direction with counters at long range. The fight continued in Brinson’s favor, dictating as he pleased with Medina on the end of his punches. Despite a vast edge in experience and having been in the ring with higher caliber competition, Medina seemed to have no answer for Brinson’s skill set. With all the clean punches landed, neither fighter was ever in danger of going down or visibly hurt. By the tenth round, all skill went out the window as fatigued gave way to wild swinging arm punches. After ten action packed rounds, judge Wynn Kintz saw it 99-91, while judges Don Ackerman and Eric Marlinski agreed at 97-93, all for the retaining champion Brinson, now 14-1-2, 6 KOs. Medina sees his Albany undefeated streak snapped as he dips to 17-13-1, 7 KOs. Brinson retained his belt for the second time, but hinted he may try the waters at 154 lbs.
Vincent Miranda vs. Brian Barbosa Cruiserweights
The co-main event featured what looked like a curiosity show on paper, former USBA middleweight champion Brian “The Bull” Barbosa made his third start since 2011 in a comeback that ended a nearly nine year layoff, against recent Ares signee Vincent Miranda. At 5’8″, the 39-year-old Barbosa, of Providence, RI was considerably shorter than the 27-year-old Miranda, of Bayamon, Puerto Rico, now fighting out of Albany.
Barbosa started the fight going to the lean body of Miranda, adding quick overhand rights to the head for good measure. Miranda used his height and footwork to control the ring against the ever-forward-moving Barbosa, who resembled his apt nick-name with bull-like charges. Miranda tried in vain to match Barbosa’s body work, but the compact build and tight guard of Barbosa made it difficult to land anything clean to Barbosa’s ample midsection. The contrasting physiques and styles often saw the bout delve into a display of low blows, tie-ups and head butts. Barbosa got a rest from referee Ron Lipton in round six after suffering a very low blow. By round seven, Barbosa was sporting a dark mouse underneath his left eye, courtesy of Miranda’s jab. Sensing desperation, Barbosa came out winging in the eighth and final round. The two went toe-to-toe in center ring, and Miranda caught Barbosa with a wicked combo to the head that buckled Barbosa’s legs. As Miranda went for the stoppage, Barbosa clung for life. After his warnings to break were not headed, Lipton assessed a one point penalty to Barbosa for continued holding. The final bell sounded with both fighters grappling against the ropes, completely spent. Judge Al Nace scored it 76-75, Eric Marlinski tabbed it 77-74 and Wynn Kintz saw it 78-73 all for Miranda, who now goes to 16-1 with 9 KOs. Barbosa suffers his first loss in his comeback and slides to 31-7, 32 KOs.
*Just before the fighters and their camps were about the enter the ring, things got a little hot outside the ring as a pair of hanging speakers from the sound system began over heating and smoking! Sharp olfactory senses of the building officials alerted the police and fire staff and fire extinguisher took care of matter, after which, the speaker was removed from it’s mooring in the ceiling and the show went on without another hitch!
Samuel Moura vs. Nyein Muang Welterweights
In the opening bout of the night, Burmese import Nyein Muang relentlessly stalked Plattsburg, NY’s Samuel Moura for four rounds. Southpaw Muang swung wild, singular punches to Moura’s head and body, missing more than he connected. Moura for his part, seemed either unable or unwilling to heed his corner’s pleas to be busy, countering on occasion, with little effect. In the end, scores were 40-36 across the board for the now 1-0 Muang, who resides in Utica, NY. Moura drops his pro debut to start out 0-1.
Tony “All In” Brinson vs. Michael “War Machine” Mitchell Super Middleweights
Brinson, brother of headliner Nick, used tactical skills and ring generalship to master Newark, NJ’s Mitchell for almost all four rounds of their bout. With about 30 seconds to go, Mitchell landed a thundering overhand right to his foe’s temple as Brinson lay against the ropes. Brinson sagged and looked out on his feet, only the ropes holding him up. Inexplicably, Mitchell didn’t finish off his stricken opponent. He either didn’t recognize how hurt Brinson was, or was punched out from his constant pressure. Brinson somehow regained his senses, clinched and bought time. Trying to dance away on rubbery legs, Brinson survived to the final bell. Judge Wynn Kintz saw it 39-37 for the aggressor Mitchell, while judges Eric Marlinski and Al Nace both saw it 38-38 for a majority draw. Brinson goes to 2-1-2 while Mitchell is still looking for his first win at 0-1-1
Joe Gbolo vs. Rigoberto Miranda Lightweights
Local boy Joe Gbolo (The “G” is silent), by way of Liberia, made his pro start against fellow debutant Rigoberto Miranda of nearby Troy, by way of the Bronx. Gbolo reminded one of a smaller John “The Beast” Mugabi with his fearless head hunting style, while Miranda showed a better boxing skill set. It almost looked as if Miranda’s skills wouldn’t matter as he was wobbled in the first by a hard Gbolo right hand to the head. By the midway point of this four rounder however, Miranda began to make things go his way, controlling the fight with his jab and footwork. Round four was all Miranda as he pursued Gbolo around the ring to the ropes with well placed combinations. Judge Eric Marlinski saw it 39-37 Gbolo, while judges Don Ackerman and Al Nace saw it 38-38 for the second consecutive majority draw of the night. Both fighters enter the paid ranks at 0-0-1.
Sarah Kuhn vs. Nicole Woods Welterweights
These lady welters left nothing in the ring as each tried to impose their will on the other. Despite her shoddy record, Woods showed her greater ring experience with a big ending to the third round. In the waning seconds, Woods drove Kuhn the a neutral corner with a series of hard straight rights, seemingly hurting the local lady, who was saved by the bell. Kuhn regrouped well to take the fourth. It looked like anybody’s fight during the last two rounds as both fem fighters plied their trade on even terms. Judge Marlinski saw it 58-56 Woods, while judges Kintz and Ackerman both tabbed it 59-55 for Kuhn. The hard luck Woods drops below .500 at 11-12-2, 3 KOs. Kuhn improves to 6-3-1, 1 KO.