Peter Manfredo Jr. vs. Walter Wright on March 15th in Lincoln, Rhode Island
PROVIDENCE, R.I. (March 4th, 2013) – As he continues to rewrite his future in professional boxing, Peter Manfredo Jr. must first revisit his storied past, reliving his glory days as a fan-favorite on the hit reality television series The Contender.
With Joey Spina unable to fight due to an injury, thus squashing what was shaping up to be a highly-anticipated rematch between two of Rhode Island’s most beloved fighters, Manfredo Jr. (38-7, 20 KOs) will now face fellow Contender alum Walter Wright (14-3, 7 KOs) in the 10-round main event of “Unfinished Business” Friday, March 15th, 2013 at the Twin River Event Center, presented by Jimmy Burchfield’s Classic Entertainment & Sports.
“I like Walter from The Contender Season 2, and I’m also glad he’s stepping up on just two weeks’ notice,” said Manfredo Jr., who rose to fame in 2005 when he reached the finals of the show’s inaugural season. “That’s why he’s a true contender.
“I was training and preparing for Joey Spina, so now I have to get mentally ready for a whole different fight and fighter, but, at the end of the day, the fans will see a great fight.”
Wright, a Seattle, Wash., native and former quarterfinalist in Season 2 of The Contender, hasn’t fought since a six-round unanimous-decision win over Joshua Snyder in 2010, but he’s remained active throughout his layoff, most notably as a training partner for James Kirkland during Kirkland’s preparation for bouts against Alfredo Angulo and Carlos Molina, which were held in 2011 and 2012, respectively. Wright had also been preparing for his own comeback in June against Omar Henry, but that fight fell through at the last minute.
“I’m even more excited about this bout than I was for the potential Joey Spina-Peter Manfredo rematch,” Burchfield said. “The Contender has thrilled boxing fans for years with its candid, in-depth look at the sport of boxing, and its showcasing of great, young talent, and both Peter and Walter are two of the brightest, most successful stars to emerge from the fray.
“Because of their determination and perseverance, they’ve succeeded where other Contender alums have failed, and they’re both as hungry as ever to make another run at a world title, so it’s only fitting they meet face-to-face in front of what will be a sold-out crowd at the beautiful Twin River Casino on March 15th.”
In 2006, Wright won his opening bout on Season 2 of The Contender in convincing fashion, beating Andre Eason 50-44 on all three scorecards before losing in the quarterfinals to future world champion Cornelius Bundrage. Later that year, Wright returned for the Season 2 finale at the Staples Center in Los Angeles and defeated fellow castmate Vinroy Barrett by fourth-round knockout. Proving his success under the bright lights was no fluke, Wright faced off against then-unbeaten junior middleweight Dan Wallace in January of 2007 on ESPN2′s Friday Night Fights and scored a knockout win in the eighth and final round.
For Manfredo Jr., “The Pride Of Providence,” this is the second fight of his much-heralded comeback, which began in November with a unanimous-decision win over Rayco Saunders at Twin River. Tickets for the event are $40.00, $60.00, $100.00 and $150.00 (VIP) and can be purchased by calling CES at 401.724.2253/2254, online at www.shop.cesboxing.com or www.twinriver.com, at the Players Club booth at Twin River, or through any TicketMaster location. Doors open 6 p.m. with the first bout scheduled for 7.
The undercard of “Unfinished Business” features an array of intriguing regional showdowns, starting with an intra-city battle between Joey Gardner (10-5-1, 1 KO) and Reynaldo Rodriguez (6-5-1, 3 KOs) of Woonsocket, R.I. The former training partners will go toe-to-toe in a six-round super middleweight special attraction.
Also on the undercard, Boston middleweight Julio Garcia (6-3, 3 KOs) – trained by former heavyweight world champion John Ruiz – will face Thomas Falowo (8-1, 6 KOs) of Pawtucket, R.I., in a six-round bout while light heavyweight Kevin Cobbs (6-1, 2 KOs) of Burlington, Vt., who is looking to bounce back from his first career loss in November, will face hard-htting Paul Gonsalves (4-2, 3 KOs) of Harwich, Mass., in a four-round bout.
Warwick, R.I., super middleweight Benny Costantino (7-2, 4 KOs) is also back in action and looking to bounce back from his loss in July as he faces Quincy, Mass., veteran Emmanuel Medina (2-3-1, 2 KOs), who appeared in a nationally-televised bout on ESPN2 in January. Unbeaten, 19-year-old Polish welterweight Patryk Szymanski (5-0, 2 KOs), fighting out of North Bergen, N.J., will make a special appearance in a six-round bout against Antonio Chaves Fernandes (2-8-1) of Brockton, Mass. Jesse Barboza (5-1-1, 3 KOs), a Barnstable, Mass., heavyweight, will return to Twin River for the first time since 2010 when he faces Jeramiah Witherspoon (2-2-1, 1 KO) of Altoona, Pa., in a four-round bout, while female bantamweight Noemi Bosques (1-0), a St. Petersburg, Fla., native who now trains in Providence, will face Queens native Vanessa Greco (1-2-1) in a four-round bout. All bouts are subject to change.
(Twin River has waived its 18+ rule for “Unfinished Business.” Anyone under the age of 18 must be accompanied by an adult and must enter through the West entrance.)
Promoters Paul Graham and Chris Gilmour preview March 8th Card as ‘The Steelmen Return’
Looking forward to his next show on March 8th at Ravenscraig Sports Facility, Bellshill based promoter Paul Graham admits the logistics of his biggest show to day has kept him busy in the weeks to build up “We have twelve fights on the card, and to match the fighters so there in competitive and meaningful fights has been tough. On a few occasions I have agreed a fight, only for the fight to fall through down to injury or something else. But this is boxing, so you do expect it but I take it on the chin.
With twelve fights on the March 8th card, which is called ‘The Steelmen Return’, the headlining fight sees Stranraer’s Paul Allison take on Glasgow’s Gary McCallum for the vacant Scottish Middleweight title. With each fighters being represented by Prospect Boxing and Chris Gilmour, both promoters seem confident “I am confident Gary can win this fight. He had a fantastic 2012 and he has really come on in form. I hear he is training hard and has some good sparring and I can see him making it a hard nights work for Paul Allison” said Chris Gilmour.
Unsurprisingly Prospect Boxing owner Paul Graham, who promotes Paul Allison disagrees “Paul has had some time out since his last fight with Eubank Jnr. He tells me he is feeling fresh and has had a ‘proper training camp’ as he describes it. He is a good mover and has a good engine on him and those two factors will be the difference in this fight.
With a chief supporting slot on the under card, twenty year old Iain Butcher, from Jerviston returns in an six round fight in the Flyweight division, but a bigger test could lie in wait for him reveals his promoter “We have asked for Iain to be made mandatory for the British title at Flyweight. We are looking to get him that fight within the year, and are confident that we can make it.
He added “Iain showed his maturity in his recent win over Michael Ramabalesta to lift his first title. I am confident we will see a strong performance on March 8th from him again and he will pick up his seventh straight win.
With a 2-0 record, Wishaw butcher Mark Parvin looks to extend his wins as he returns with a six round fight in the welterweight division. “Mark is a hungry fighter, he wants to keep busy. He has fought at Ravenscraig as an amateur and I know he is looking forward to fighting there again as a professional” Explains Paul Graham.
Also looking for his third win, Wishaw based Light Middleweight Ryan Scott returns overcoming an injury “Ryan’s first fight was in 2008, but didn’t fight again till last year. Unfortunately he picked up an injury that cost him a slot on our December show. At age 29 he cant wait around so were looking for a strong performance from him.
Making their pro debut on the Ravenscraig card are duo Martin Taylor from Livingstone and Wishaw based Alex Montgomery who fight in the Light Welterweight and Super Middleweight division respectively.
In the Super Featherweight division, Fauldhouse battler Sean Watson returns after a disappointing draw in his last fight against Spanish fighter Ryan Peleguer. Looking to go a step further and pick up the win, he is expected to have a tough night against James Ancliffe “Sean was frustrated after his last fight, he had a good camp and worked hard, only for it to finish on a technical draw. But we cant dwell on that, and James Ancliffe will be here to cause as many problems as he can. He’s got a good jab on him and will look to upset the odds” confessed Paul Graham.
After moving to Prospect Boxing Last year Sanquhar’s Rhys Pagan has continued to show his class to build up a respectable 4-0 record, and this time his manager and promoter is expecting much of the same “Rhys confidence is improving with every fight. He is showing that he is a good fighter with a varying variety of punches and for a 19 year old he really has a lot in his arsenal, in my stable I think he is one who could go far if he continues his development.
Another fighter looking to continue his development as a Professional, is Glasgow’s Jordan McCorry who currently holds a 4-0 record. After a recent win over Jason Nesbitt, his promoter Chris Gilmour thinks he McCorry has a bright future “We had a late change of opponent which involved Jason Nesbitt coming in at short notice, but that didn’t seem to phase Jordan and he boxed brilliantly to a points win. If he can keep in the gym and keep his head down he could certainly lift titles in the future.
After a successful debut in Paisley in October, Glasgow brawler Darren McAdam expectations are high that he will impress again “For his first fight, you don’t always expect them to pick up a KO, but he did a good job on Damien Dinwiddy, who had only had one fight himself. As a welterweight he seems quite heavy handed, which we hope develops into a exciting style” said Chris Gilmour.
With a recent British Masters title win under his belt, Cumbernaulds Mitch Prince returns to action, as 2013 looks like a year that could see him move on to bigger things “Mitch has been in good form and this year we hope to have him fighting more often. In his last win against Ideh Ockuko, he put on a good performance and boxed well. I can see how he has improved with each fight. Also recently announced as a late addition Welterweight George Thomson will be looking to build on a successful début he made in St Andrews Sporting Club last year.The Stirling fighter is fighting in a 6 round attraction.
Prospect Boxing and Chris Gilmour present ‘The Steel Men Return’ an evening of Professional Championship Boxing at Ravenscraig Sports Facility on Friday March 8th. Headlined by Gary McCallum v Paul Allison for the Vacant Scottish Middleweight Title.
With a 11 fight under card featuring Rhys Pagan, Mark Parvin, Sean Watson and Ryan Scott. Jordan McCorry, Darren McAdam, Mitch Prince and Martin Taylor makes his pro debut in the Light Welterweight division while Alex Montgomery makes his debut in a Super Middleweight bout.While George Thomson is a late addition to the card.
Tickets are priced at £30 (unreserved) and £40 (ringside) ,and further details are avail from www.prospectboxing.com and www.facebook.com/ProspectBoxing and @ProspectBoxing