Brian Minto: Doing it his way
Story by Brady Crytzer
Photos by Gary Sarti
Heavyweight contender Brian Minto is ready to take on the world . . . literally.
Although he has a scheduled defense of his WBA Fedecentro title on the books for Friday, April 17th in Butler, PA against Matthew “The Gator” Greer, Minto has had enough of the veritable traffic jam of contenders and mandatory challengers that exists at the top of the division. Unlike his heavyweight colleagues, “The Beast” is not willing to simply sit back and wait for his chance.
“He could be in better shape.”
“He doesn’t fight well from the outside.
The Klitschko Brothers?
“In Germany, don’t drink out of the water bottles once they’re opened.”
Minto is not out to criticize anybody, but as for any other would-be title challengers out there, “The Beast” has one message: “Bring it on!”
“My record speaks for itself,” Minto explained. “This division needs to see some new people get a chance. When the Haye fight was falling apart, the Klitschko people called me as a possible opponent. I would love to fight Chris Arreola and just settle it. Everyone would be in for a big surprise.”
Minto is doing it the hard way. Unlike other heavyweight contenders who are seemingly one-fight away from title contention courtesy of their high power super promoters, Minto is attempting to challenge the common perception that self-promoted athletes have little hope in a sport like professional boxing.
But is this “Beast” biting off more than he can chew?
“I am a draw in my hometown,” Minto said. “That makes it easy on the fighter. I’ve been down the promoter road and it seems like they (the promoters) never hold up their end of the bargain. It (self-promotion) just gives me more control.”
Beloved in his hometown of Butler, Pennsylvania, Minto enjoys the enthusiastic support of a loyal and committed fanbase. But even Minto, who is currently ranked 10th by the WBO, and 15th by the WBA, recognizes that the window of opportunity to make a real splash is closing.
In his latest television appearance on ESPN Friday Night Fights last July, Minto quickly dispatched a once beaten “Big” John Poore with an impressive first round knockout. Following the bout, and despite the jubilant Butler crowd, ringside guru Teddy Atlas questioned the true quality of Minto’s most recent opposition.
“I’m trying to find the guy that fights the bill and the budget,” Minto said. “World class fighters aren’t willing to fight for a little money. People don’t understand the sport, its not like you can just call up Wladimir or Vitali and say ‘hey, let’s fight.’ You can’t just jump in the ring with anybody.”
“I’m not afraid…but it’s got to make business sense.”
Minto, like many other self promoted fighters, are victims of their own success. While they possess the freedom to determine their own financial success, they are also burdened with playing the stressful role of businessman on top of their already full training schedule.
“I’m a people pleaser and that makes things hard,” Minto said. “I am focusing on my fight, and knocking my opponents out quick, and I still need to worry about matchmaking and other fighters passing their medicals. My friend Pat Nelson helps me a lot, but at the end of the day I’m the business man.”
Pat Nelson, who has been involved in boxing for over ten years, has been at the side of Minto since his first professional fight. With a stable of fighters that includes former lightweight standout on The Contender Michael Clark and 2004 Olympian Devin Vargas, Nelson is proud to work with a heavyweight the caliber of Minto.
“Brian has charisma,” Nelson said. “He has a style that is hard not to like. Brian is ranked so high in the top ten because he is active. He may not fight the world’s best every time, but he fights good fighters. We want to continue to do what has proven to work for him.”
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The Brian Minto vs. Matthew Greer bout will headline the Pro Am card promoted by Beatdown Promotions, Inc. Tickets ($35 general admission and $750 ringside tables) are available while supplies last at the Days Inn Convention Center in Butler or by calling (724) 287-6761.