Despite squeezing in a four-round bout before curfew, against an opponent strictly in survivor mode, “Bazooka” Joe Linenfelser (10-1-1, 6 KOs) notched his 10th career win on the non-televised portion of the August 20 ESPN Friday Night Fights card in Indiana,. Now, the talented 23-year-old welterweight prospect is looking forward to a Chicago-style showdown in the not too distant future against Henry “Western Warrior” Coyle.
Faced with not fighting at all due to a midnight curfew, or dropping down from six to four rounds, Team Linenfelser chose the latter and “Bazooka” Joe went on to easily win a four-round decision against veteran Ruben “Modern Day Warrior” Galvan (27-18-4, 10 KOs). The much more experienced Galvan has fought world champions such as Zab Judah, Julio Cesar Chavez Jr., and Paul Spadafora, as well as world title challenger Dmitriy Salita.
“I’m happy to get another win against a guy who has been in the ring with a lot of tough guys,” Linenfelser said. “At first, I was a little upset that it was only a four-rounder because you can hurt a guy but he can still survive four rounds. Galvan pressured me until I hit him with a few good rights, and then he just held on to survive. I wish he had boxed more, or moved around a little, and I would have knocked him out if we fought another round. He really stopped fighting after the second round. In the locker-room, he said he didn’t want a rematch because of my power punching.”
Linenfelser won a decision by scores of 40-36, 39-37 and 39-37.
“Once Galvan felt Joe’s power and was wobbled the first time, he just put his head right in Joe’s chest, just trying to survive,” commented Joe’s father and manager, Jeff. “Ruben just held on but, when he was in Joe’s range, he almost got knocked out a few times in the last two rounds. After the fight, he said he was still wobbly and that he had never been hit as hard by anybody, harder than by Zab Judah. With it being only a four-round fight, Joe just threw as many punches as he could.”
Linenfelser now has his sights set on Coyle (16-2, 2 KOs), the former Irish National champion and 2006 World Military Games gold medalist. The Irishman lives and trains in Chicago, when he’s not fighting back at home, and the Linenfelsers believe there’s a natural bragging rights-type fight on the table.
“I went to one of Coyle’s recent fights in Chicago and afterwards I challenged him right there,” Joe explained. “I went there to watch him as a possible opponent for an upcoming fight. We thought that maybe he was a higher caliber fighter than me, but after watching him, I knew I was at least his equal, if not better. A win against him would get me some valuable media attention and rated. In another year, I hope to be fighting for a regional belt, and headlining on television. A big win against Coyle can help get me there.”
Jeff said the fight is a natural in the Chicago area and if the price is right, Team Linenfelser is all for it happening. “They’re two good prospects who come straight ahead,” he explained. “They’re not defensive fighters and somebody’s getting knocked out. It’ll be a good fight, not an easy one, but Joe will win. Coyle will be a good test for him.
“Coyle said something about Joe needing to first get past Ninos Abraham (6-0-1, 2 KOs) before getting a shot at him. The problem is Joe has already sent Ninos into retirement without ever landing a glove on him. We’d take a fight against Ninos, anytime, but he won’t fight Joe. Unless he does, none of the three Chicago-based promoters will ever use Ninos, because they all know about some very disrespectful things he said in public about Joe’s mother.”
When he made his pro debut October 8, 2005, stopping 181-fight veteran Donnie Penelton in the opening round of their fight in Iowa, 17-year-old Joe was the youngest professional boxer in the United States. Six years later, “Bazooka” Joe is ready to explode on the Midwest boxing scene.