Pound4Pound, Boxing News

  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 Striking Unlimited.

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 crowd.

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 weight".

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.


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