Six months after losing the biggest fight of his life, Joey Gilbert is climbing back into the ring.
Gilbert admits he might never be able to forget his Valentine's Day showdown with Yerington's Jesse Brinkley in the Civil War.
"I don't think anybody in my camp, including myself was prepared for that," said the former Wolf Pack boxer. "But it happens. It was a very bad night for me."
The 12-round loss by decision and broken nose courtesy turned a long-anticipated match-up between two local fighters into a lopsided embarrassment.
Even worse for Gilbert, the hometown Reno crowd started booing the Bishop Manogue graduate for turning the Civil War into a civil foot race.
"People wanted to see a fight," said Gilbert. "I didn't give them a fight. I did a lot more running and clowning around than I've ever done and I heard it from the crowd for that. Now, I gotta get in there and punch."
Gilbert's comeback fittingly begins in northern Nevada with a fight against a super middleweight in Fallon on Saturday night. It's a chance for Joey to return to his roots and show his fans and critics he's back.
This is the first time "Let's Get It On" has promoted a Gilbert fight. The same group backed Brinkley in the Civil War. Tommy Lane says he and his brother Terry are now supporting Gilbert because they firmly believe he can rebound from his last fight
"I think that if he fights the way that he fought since college: tough, come forward basic style; I think he has the opportunity to revitalize his career and come back to the point where he was before (the Civil War)," said Lane.
As for the 33-year-old, confidence wasn't a problem before Valentine's Day and it definitely isn't now. Regardless of what the critics have to say about Gilbert, he insists he will be back.
"You can bounce back from anything," said Gilbert. "It just depends on the right training, the right mindset and you get two or three wins in a row again and you're right back in there."
His first step begins on Saturday night when Gilbert fights Ivan Stovall at the Churchill County Fairgrounds in Fallon.
You can purchase tickets by calling the Fallon convention center at 423-4556.