After scoring a sixth-round technical knockout over former heavyweight champion Axel Schulz in Germany last November, Butler’s Brian Minto returned there to fight Luan Krasniqi for the vacant WBO Intercontinental heavyweight title last Saturday in Stuttgart.
Minto (27-2, 16 knockouts), who was giving up 11-plus pounds to Krasniqi (29-2-1), was knocked down in the 12th and final round and lost by unanimous decision (112-115, 111-116, 111-116).
Minto’s trainer, Tom Yankello of New Brighton, believes the fight should have been scored in Minto’s favor.
“He got jobbed,” Yankello said. “I know when I say that it sounds like sour grapes, but punch that in the computer Click here and watch the fight and tell me who won the fight. I haven’t talked to anybody who didn’t think he won the fight.
“He won eight rounds clearly. He got knocked down in the 12th round. Even if you get knocked down and have a 10-8, you still win by two points. He won the fight.”
The 215-pound Minto is probably best suited for cruiserweight, but he’s trying to cash in with the heavies. Minto has fared well so far, with his only losses coming at the hands of Krasniqi, who led Lamon Brewster on every card before losing by ninth-round TKO in a WBO title fight in September 2005, and former WBA champ Tony Tubbs by 10-round split decision in December 2004.
If you follow Yankello’s career, by the way, you should have noticed that his former prized heavyweight, Calvin Brock, also fought last Saturday.
Brock (30-1, 23 KOs) scored a first-round TKO of Ralph West at American Bank Center in Corpus Christi, Texas. It was Brock’s first fight since a seventh-round TKO loss to Wladimir Klitschko for the IBF/IBO titles Nov. 11 at Madison Square Garden.
Yankello and Brock apparently have had a falling out in the aftermath of that loss. Yankello said Brock’s new corner man is Pernell “Sweet Pea” Whitaker, who won world titles at lightweight, junior welterweight and welterweight.
“I don’t know what’s going to happen,” said Yankello, who trained Brock, a Charlotte resident, at his World Class Boxing gym in Ambridge. “He doesn’t want to come up here anymore. He wanted me to come down there, and I wasn’t doing it.”