This Friday night from Pullman Park in Butler, PA, heavyweight contender Brian Minto 33-2 (21) will face off against the undefeated hard hitting heavyweight Donnell Holmes 31-0-2 (27) in a twelve round heavyweight match-up for the WBO NABO heavyweight title.
Minto, who will be fighting in his hometown of Butler for the sixth time throughout his seven year career is not only looking to rake in the green as the fighter/promoter, but hopes to take a step closer to a title shot with a win over an undefeated fighter. While the visitor Donnell Holmes is not only looking for an upset to keep his unblemished record in tact, but to finally gain some recognition as a force in the heavyweight division. So both have something more to gain in this fight than just a victory, and both have something more to lose than the fight itself.
How do these heavyweight combatants match-up up against one another? Let’s break it down.
We will start with Brian Minto, Brian is particularly small for today’s heavyweights, standing at 5’11”, Minto usually weighs in around the 215-225 pound mark. All though not the most talented heavyweight in the division, he has a few accolades that the fight fans can respect. Heart, toughness, and the willing to brawl if need be, which can be entertaining talents that can come in handy in the fight game.
Minto’s most memorable bouts were the two throw downs Brian had against all around tough guy Vinny Maddalone. The first match-up Minto climbed up off the canvas in the first round to go on and knock out Maddalone in the tenth and final round. The second shindig went seven rounds in Minto’s favor.
Minto has had two losses in his career, one an upsetting split decision loss to an aged Tony Tubbs, which has plagued Brian at times with the media, and the last L came from the hands of Luan Krasniqi, where Minto lost the bout unanimously across the pond in Germany. Since his loss to Krasniqi, Minto has gone on to bang out six consecutive wins, with four ending in the opening round.
All though decisive wins, Minto has been slightly scrutinized unfairly by some, on the caliber of opposition he was facing, but to be fair, in the process of fighting the likes of Byron Polly, Chad Van Sickle or James Poore, Minto was looking for a fight with a much bigger named opponent, but had to stay busy as well as stay in the mix.
So now, he will take on the fighter with an unblemished record in Donnell Holmes.
What do people know of Donnell Holmes, not a lot compared to his opponent Brian Minto. Hailing from Ivanhoe, NC, a state that is not dripping with boxing talent as the likes of Philly or New York, but does have its fighters strung about here and there.
We know that Holmes is unbeaten in thirty-one bouts, has knocked out nearly eighty-two percent of his foe, and had an extensive amateur background, but all though with that amateur background has yet to be tested as a professional.
Holmes’s biggest wins came over the likes of Don Steele, Stacy Frazier, and Billy Zumbrun. Not household name fighters, but credible record builders in this bang for your buck sport.
Holmes, has speed, heavy hands, and more experience than his opponent Brian Minto, but lacks in the quality of opponents department. And most certainly, Holmes is very full of confidence, and a confident fighter, can be a dangerous, either to his opponent or himself.
The deal with this fight is, it is should be a good one, not a major title fight or for a Ring Magazine ranking, but again we have seen some of those recently and they weren’t up to par as far as entertainment goes.
When these two men climb in the ring Friday night, we know this, Minto, who all though has not always fought the highest caliber of opposition, has stepped up in his career. Holmes hasn’t. Holmes does possess more ring experience than Minto, but again, that is counting more opponents and not the rounds, it boils down to opposition. Most of Holmes’s fights ended in the early to middle rounds, with only four of his fights going eight. Minto has had nine bouts go eight or more, and has fought around fifty six more rounds than Holmes.
Both have had quality sparring, more than enough time to prepare for this fight, and have seen one another in action, so they know what they are getting, well to a certain degree. Minto based his camp in the Wild Card Gym with famed trainer Freddie Roach. All though a great trainer can build exceptional fighters, they are not the ones taking the shots. So it will be interesting to see what the addition of Freddie Roach has done to affect Minto’s style.
If victorious, Minto gains his seventh consecutive win, and should bump up the rankings and get a title shot, a loss can be devastating at this point and time. But for Holmes, a loss honestly would not throw him out of the picture, especially since this is his first step up fight, well, unless he gets rubbed out in the opener. So I feel Minto has a lot more to lose than Holmes in this scrap, but both have about the same to gain.
More or less, I think this will be a decent scrap, worth the $10 you can pay to watch it live. After looking at the stats, (which can be thrown out come fight night) I think people would lean more towards Minto in this fight. He has faced the better opposition, had the high quality training camp, I myself believe Minto has the better beard, and all though will not blow over Holmes, should get the guy out in the middle to later rounds.
Benny Henderson Jr.