by James Slater – Originally, Butler, PA’s 34-year-old Brian “The Beast” Minto was to have faced faded former WBA heavyweight champ Bruce Seldon in his next fight, instead, the exciting slugger takes on the far more dangerous and unbeaten Donnell “The Real Touch Of Sleep” Homes next. Set to clash in an intriguing and risky (for both men) fight, Minto and North Carolina’s 36-year-old Holmes get it on on August 14th in Minto’s hometown. The bout, arguably the biggest yet for either fighter, will contest the interim WBO NABO heavyweight strap..
Though he has a statistically very impressive pro record at 31-0-2(27), Homes has not had that much exposure as of yet. Fans know a lot more about Minto, having seen “The Beast” in action against guys like Vinny Maddalone, Axel Schulz and Luan Krasniqi. Looking down Holmes’ record, the only semi-recognisable names are Billy Zumbrun (who Holmes scraped a split decision win over, with Minto also out-pointing this common opponent) and 37-36-2 king of the journeymen Stacy Goodson. Homes’ two draws came against a guy named Mark Doku (back in Oct. of 2003) and Earl Ladsen. A pro since January of 2003, the approx 225-pound Holmes, who has fought mostly in either South or North Carolina, takes a big step up in class against the proven Minto.
The fight is a good match-up, and the winner could possibly go on to land himself a big fight, especially if he wins in impressive fashion. Minto, due to his decent track record against fair to good opposition, must be made the favourite. Also, the fight taking place in Butler, the scene of two of Minto’s last three outings, may give him an advantage. However, an unbeaten fighter is a dangerous one, and Holmes will be looking to win his breakthrough fight after having fought for six years under the radar. Now promoted by Gary Shaw, Holmes, who has had enforced idle spells (just one fight in 2008) can arrive as something of a player if he defeats tough guy Minto.
In his last fight, back in April of this year, Minto had a hard night’s work in beating a determined and stubborn Matthew Greer, who took an amazing amount of punishment in lasting the full 8-rounds. Keeping busy up until then, against more so-so opposition, Minto now takes a risk against an unbeaten fighter who can punch – the fireworks could well fly in yet another Minto fight as a result. In the past, the approx 215-pound 34-year-old has thrilled us in wining fights against Maddlone (twice) and Greer, and he also gave us good action in his losing effort against Germany’s Krasniqi. Closing in on the world title shot he has wanted for some time, Minto will not want to blow it against Holmes.
Both guys should be commended for taking this fight, and a pretty big crowd is likely to show up to see the two punchers rumble. Having seen precious little of Holmes – who began his pro career late, after winning around 73 of 86 or so amateur bouts – it’s tough to make a prediction. Minto must be the pick though, going by how game and determined he’s shown himself to be in the past.
Currently 33-2(21), Minto will make it to 34-2 on August 14th. Whether or not he can add another KO win to his record against Holmes remains to be seen.