Joe Spina: “I am using Brinkley as a stepping stone”
Interview by Benny Henderson Jr. (May 9, 2006)
Photo © Mary Ann Owen
Undefeated Super Middleweight sensation Joe Spina, 17-0-1 (12), returns to the square May 10th at the Foxwoods Resort Casino in Mashantucket, CT on ESPN’s Wednesday Night Fights in a highly anticipated throw down against The Contender participant Jesse Brinkley, 26-3 (17), for the WBC United States (USNBC) Super Middleweight strap.

The hard-hitting Rhode Islander has his sites set on a victory in a big way, KO fashion has been his style and with his punching power on hand along with solid boxing ability the twenty-eight year old knock out artist states that there are no ifs ands or buts about it, “They don’t call me the ‘KO Kid’ for nothing!”

The KO Kid began his career in the summer of ’01 opening up with three straight knockouts, two in the first round before going the distance winning on points. In his nearly four years as a professional banger Spina has laid the leather to the opposition stopping twelve out of eighteen opponents by knockout, all twelve of his KO victories has came within four rounds, four never made it out of the first.

In December of 2004 Spina’s power put to sleep the thirty-one-fight veteran James Johnson in the second round, rendering the Shreveport native unconscious for minutes after the bout prompting Johnson to be carried out of the ring on a stretcher. In his toughest bout to date told by Spina he fought a war against the former WBA Light Middleweight champion Carl Daniels, earning himself the (UD) victory as well as the USNBC Super Middleweight title.

Spina stopped the Syrian born boxer Anwar Oshana in three rounds defending his USNBC Super Middleweight strap in ‘05, and fought to a draw against Jose Spearman in his last go around, a bout where a handful of critics express that Spina should have lost. Do the negative comments put a damper on Spina’s bout against Spearman, does he feel he needs to win convincingly against Brinkley to hush the naysayers? “Look, people are going to say what they want to say, you can’t please all the critics, as long as you keep your hands up, chin down, and butt off the canvas everything will be fine.”

So now here’s Spina’s chance to bring the pain to one more opponent on national television, a rough and tough Nevadan Jesse Brinkley stands in his way of moving up the ladder, a fight where Spina says he isn’t over looking Brinkley but has a fight plan that is going to show the world his best qualities. “I am the bigger man, I will work behind my jab and pressure him the entire fight.”

As for his thoughts on Jesse who trains out of Bob Arum’s Top Rank gym in Nevada, Spina says “Personally Jesse is a good guy, he is a funny guy, and as a fighter he is a strong fighter, but I am going to use him as a stepping stone, God blessed me with power in both hands, I can put you to sleep with either one, and in this fight you are going to see why they call me the ‘KO Kid’.”

Two and a half years under the tutelage of the former light middleweight great champion Eddie Mustafa Muhammad, of whom Spina states, “He just brings so much to the table with his wisdom.” Spina plans on continuing his walk down the unbeaten path delivering a solid performance and handing down Brinkley a solid beating in the process for all the world to see. And not just to move up in the fight game but also to better himself financially to help his father Joe Jr. who suffers from cirrhosis of the liver, Joe wants to be able to bring his father home to live with him and take care of him. Joe speaks highly of his Dad and you can since pride in his voice when doing so, and confidence flows as he talks about his upcoming fight.

So for Joe Spina this bout with Brinkley just isn’t a fight for the belt, for rankings, or for pride, or for money, it’s a combination of all to better himself in his life to give care for his father, mix that drive up with speed, skill and punishing power, you have a dangerous tool that can be used to assault the opposition, and that is Spina’s plan this Wednesday night.

To be continued.

I would like to thank Pat Doljanin for setting up this interview, and thanks to Joe for his time and thoughts, it was a great conversation.

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