Hinkey Shines In Return
By Charles Presnell
On a warm desert night in Fallon, NV, Derek Hinkey (9-2, 8
KO's) came into the same fairgrounds he used wrestle bulls
in as a child and made his return to the boxing ring after a
nearly two year layoff against on paper his toughest
opponent to date, Anthony Bartinelli (20-15, 13KO's).
Despite the layoff and experienced veteran opponent, Hinkey
would make this night a short appearance dropping Bartinelli
in the first and then stopping him in the second after a few
sharp combinations. Referee Vic Drakulich stopped the bout
at 1:41 of the second to the crowds cheers and Bartinelli's
anger as he got into the face of Drakulich. The win was
Hinkey's second main event knock win at the Fallon Fights.
There was something in the air just before the main event
fighters came out. Literally, the storm clouds were coming
in and lightning strikes were in the area. Few were
concerned if the fight would be able to proceed if it got
worse. Then over the loud speaker came Anthony Bartinelli's
voice (before their entrance they play a taped recording of
the fighter talking about inspirations and heroes) and the
crowd started getting loud. Next came Hinkey's as the war
drums started and he proceeded to the ring. It had been a
long year and eight months since his last outing where he
claimed his intentions to retire.
"I just can't throw the war hammers Charles, my head tells
me to throw the right, but it feels like needles going
through every time I land it," Hinkey proclaimed after his
split decision loss to Paul Mendez. Hinkey had actually
injured his hand a couple fights before and it never
properly healed. In the interim time between the Mendez
fight and this one Derek would have his hands looked at by
specialists. He also moved on to become an actor/stuntman
for the Tournament of Kings show at the Excalibur Casino.
With the appearance of moving on, Hinkey still spent his
time in the gym, training fighters, teaching MMA fighters
boxing and sparring with top guys like Sergio Mora, Matt
Korobov, Frank Mir, Forrest Griffin and Roy Nelson. Hinkey
dealt with the pain of training by using 20 oz gloves.
Through a change in training methods and gyms, Derek learned
new methods of strengthing his hand and allowing it to heal.
This soon lead to Hinkey being able to use lighter gloves
and punching the heavybag bare fisted again. A return to
fighting was certain, only how would he return? Derek had
become a proficient MMA fighter as well while training at
The answer came on Saturday night as the war drums lead the
path for Hinkey to enter into the professional boxing ring
once more. The clouds, a light sprinkle of rain and
lightning in the background and a true fight environment was
created like a Native American war of the past. The bell
rang and Derek wasted no time showing his dominance with a
measuring jab to invite Bartinelli in and crisp hooks and
right hands. Bartinelli attempted to fight his way in,
nonetheless, could not land anything meaningful.
Midway through first round Hinkey would land a solid left
hook that rolled Bartinelli's eyes into the back of his head
and everyone thought he was out. The crowd went berserk and
Tyler Hinkey (Derek's brother) start to climb the stairs to
celebrate and had to be held back. Bartinelli would show his
durability in making it back up to his feet and then on
shakey legs he made it through the round. The start of the
second round Hinkey was a little more inclined to boxing,
turning southpaw a couple times and wacking Bartinelli with
right hooks. Bartinelli would come on a little more
aggressive then forced Hinkey into the ropes where he landed
an accidental low blow.
Angered, Hinkey started unloading punches to Bartinelli's
head stunning the veteran until referee Vic Drakulich had
seen enough and called a halt to the bout. Derek immediately
started celebrating in the opposite corner as Bartinelli got
into Drakulich's face and started yelling at him. Bartinelli
then started yelling at commission rep. Greg Rice when he
tried to separate Bartinelli from Drakulich, however, it
would take Tyler Hinkey (a heavyweight prospect himself) to
push Bartinelli back to his corner away from Drakulich. The
time of the stoppage was 1:41. Immediately following the
fight the rain started pouring down to cleanse the
battlefield as the Fallon Fights had come to a close.
DonYil Livingston of Palmdale, CA (5-0-1, 3 KO's) and
Roberto Yong of Phoenix, AZ fought to a draw in a slow
paced, but entertaining boxing match where neither fighter
really got the best of the other. Scores were 58-56 split
and 57-57. There was not a debate from either corner or the
Carlos Gayton (3-0-1, 3 KO's) of Reno, NV looked like an old
Mike Tyson getting low and slipping the punches of the
taller Gregorio Viramontes (0-1-1) of Stockton, CA. Gaytan
won after landing some rights and severely staggering
Viramontes at 1:51 of the first round. Gayton joked with the
crowd afterwards saying the inspire him to "lose more
Another Reno fighter, Oscar Vasquez won his pro debut by
unanimous decision against Vicente Medellin (0-1) of LA.
Vasquez had a lot of fans and brought them to their feet
with his quick hands and hard combinations. Scores were
40-36 on all three cards.
Carey Dupree (1-0), also of Reno, won a decision against
Albert Avina (0-1) of Stockton, CA. Dupree controlled the
fight from the opening bell, however, looked very hesitant
to throw punches at times preferring to walk around the ring
and showboat. Scores were 40-35 twice and 40-34.
In a noteworthy fight, Roger Romo (4-0-2) of Oxnard, CA,
made his return a successful one against a game Thomas
Haines (5-8, 3 KO's) of Vallejo, CA. Romo controlled the
first from the beginning with his sharper punches and
footwork as Haines worked his way in with left and right
hooks that would occasionally land. Romo improved as the
rounds went on and the rust came off. Romo endured a late
surge by Haines, but was never in any trouble as he won a
unanimous decision 40-35 and 40-36 twice. Romo is the
sparring partner of Sergio Martinez and the younger brother
of Fernando Vargas who was in attendance.
This was another solid local card put on by Lets Get It On
Promotions and the City of Fallon, NV in their fourth
installment of Rural Rumble, Fallon Fights.