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Manfredo Jr. Wins Battle of “Contenders”

Ringside Report by
Scott Ploof
Photogallery by
Emily Harney

Peter Manfredo Jr. (39-7, 20 KOs) brought the pride back into Providence, RI on Friday night at the Twin River Events Center in Lincoln, RI in the main event of “Unfinished Business,” promoted by Jimmy Burchfield’s Classic Entertainment and Sports. “The Pride of Providence” defeated Seattle, WA’s Walter “2 Guns” Wright (14-4, 7 KOs) in a battle of “Contenders” by unanimous decision in the ten round super middleweight main event.  Scores of the bout were 98-93, 97.93, and 100-90. 

Manfredo Jr., the former IBO super middleweight title holder, and three time world title challenger, was a finalist in the very first season of “The Contender” while Wright competed in the second season. Manfredo Jr. had to change his game plan quickly as Wright took the fight on two weeks’ notice when original opponent Joey Spina pulled out citing an injury.
Both fighters were very tentative in the first round not to throw a punch early that could be countered as they each looked to dictate the pace of the fight. Round two was a completely different story as both fighters stood toe to toe in the middle of the ring slugging it out. 

Each had their opportunities and landed with heavy hooks and uppercuts in close quarters. Wright’s right eye swelled up quickly at the end of round two from an unintentional clash of heads while both were throwing hooks on the inside.
The right eye of Wright began to become an instant target for Manfredo Jr. as he continued to land jabs and left hooks. Wright began to really try to protect that injured eye. He basically fought one handed in most of the rounds with his right almost completely covering that eye.

Manfredo Jr. was then able to settle down, work off of his jab, and work to out box Wright. He used his right mostly to the body of Wright to setup a shot with his left, however Wright was able to block some of the damage by continuously covering up his eye with his right hand.

Wright took some chances in round eight and they paid off as he landed a big right early on Manfredo Jr. He was landing his jab well and following up with some powerful left and right hook combinations. The chances finally caught up with Wright though as Manfredo Jr. began countering him late in the round to the left eye again, which continued to swell throughout the contest.

In the final rounds of the fight, Manfredo was able to land at will as Wright’s eye was completely swollen shut.  Wright displayed great determination and a great chin as he was able to hang on to finish the fight, while Manfredo Jr. was dominant in the final two rounds of the contest. 

“It was a good fight and a tough fight because I trained for somebody completely different. I was training for Joey Spina, who is a bigger man and stronger man the whole training camp and then three weeks prior to the fight he pulls out and then now we have a real contender,” said Manfredo Jr. afterwards.

“He was hungry came to win obviously he boxed nice, but it was just a different fight that I trained for so I feel bad for the fans who came to see an action-packed fight because the kid was boxing smart and I had to box myself to get the win.”
When asked about the mutual respect they had for each other in the ring, Manfredo Jr. responded by saying, “Well I mean I have respect for anyone that steps into this ring. I know what it takes to get in here and do it. That is why I am here and Spina is not.”

He continued by saying, “It takes a real man and a real warrior to get in here and do what we do. He was a “Contender”. He wanted to get the win tonight and as you can see he tried. It was a tough fight and I have mutual respect for him.  We bumped heads a couple of times. I was just showing my apologies and I didn’t mean to do it. He did the same thing he bumped my head and didn’t mean to do it so we have respect for each other. It’s a professional game and we both wanted to win so I am glad that I got the ‘W’.”

“He was slick and he wasn’t going to let me continue to land on that eye.  He had a nice jab, he used his feints, and whenever I got in close he would tie me up. It was a very tough fight tonight. I am a professional and you have to be ready for anything,” said Manfredo Jr. afterwards when asked about staying on Wright’s eye throughout the contest.

When asked what is next for him, Manfredo Jr. said, “Well I want to look better next time. I don’t know that was another paycheck for my family. That will put my wife through another semester of school and money for my kids so I am going to take a week or two off then talk with my manager to see what is next.”


Gardner Gets Nod over Rodriguez

It was a battle of bragging rights in the city of Woonsocket, RI as Joe Gardner (11-5-1, 1 KO) defeated inner city rival Reynaldo Rodriguez (6-6-1, 3 KOs) by a six round unanimous decision in the super middleweight division.  All three judges scored the bout 58-56 in a close contest.
Rodriguez was very aggressive throughout the fight as he continuously charged after Gardner. He landed with some heavy hooks and right hands, however Gardner was able to out box Rodriguez.  Gardner was slick moving in and out landing punches and getting right out of the way of a Rodriguez counter.
Gardner was patient landing one punch at a time, while Rodriguez continued to lunge at his opponent.  He was able to tie up Rodriguez whenever he got in close.  
Rodriguez landed the heavier punches in the fight, but it was Gardner’s defense and ring generalship that gave him the close unanimous decision victory.


Falowo Stops Garcia

Middleweight Thomas Falowo (9-1, 7 KOs) used his height and reach advantage to defeat his opponent, Boston’s Julio Garcia (6-4, 3 KOs) at the end of round five when Garcia’s corner, which included former heavyweight champion John Ruiz, stopped the fight.
Falowo was dominant throughout the bout as he used his superior reach and jab to set up several powerful hook and uppercut combinations.  Garcia fired back and was able to counter Falowo during the early part of the contest.
Falowo landed a hard uppercut on Garcia in the second stanza of the fight that caused Garcia’s right eye to swell.  Garcia was in trouble several times during the middle and late rounds of the fight, but he displayed a good chin and stayed in the fight for as long as he could.
Before Garcia could come out of the corner for the sixth and final round, knowing that Falowo had dominated the first five rounds of the contest, his corner saved him from further punishment and stopped the fight.


Medina TKOs Constantino Due to Injury

Emmanuel Medina (3-3-1, 3 KOs) defeated Benny “The Boss” Constantino (7-3, 4 KOs) via a second round TKO at 2:47 after Constantino suffered a left leg injury. 
Early in the first round there was a clash of heads early and referee Eddie Claudio warned both fighters. Medina was effective with his jab and prevented Constantino from getting much offense.
Late in the second round, Constantino without being hit fell to the canvas and the referee began an eight count which he was able to answer.  Shortly after, Medina was throwing lefts and rights at Constantino.  Constantino was able to fight out of the corner, but then slipped to the canvas again, but this time it was apparent that his left knee gave out. 
He regained his footing after the slip.  He was barely able to stand up. Medina had him in trouble in the corner when Eddie Claudio stopped the bout.  Constantino was unable to stand up after the loss, his leg was stabilized, and he was helped out of the arena on a stretcher with the nature of his injury undetermined.


Cobbs Decisions Gonsalves

Vermont’s Kevin Cobbs (7-1, 2 KOs) won a hard fought split decision victory over Massachusetts’ Paul Gonsalves (4-3, 3 KOs) in a four round light heavyweight match-up. Scores of the bout were 39-36 twice for Cobbs while the third judge scored it 38-37 for Gonsalves. Gonsalves was down in round two courtesy of a straight right hand from Cobbs.


Szymanski Decisions Fernandes

Welterweight Patryk Szymanski (6-0, 2 KOs) kept his record perfect as he defeated journeyman Antonio Chaves Fernandes (2-9-1) by six round unanimous decision. Scores of the bout were 60-54, 59-55, and 58-56. Szymanski landed the better power punches as he had Fernandes hurt twice in the fight. Fernandes clinched several times to his opponent and was able to do a good job of staying away from being put on the canvas.


Greco and Bosques Battle to Majority Draw

The opening bout of the evening ended in a four round majority draw as as Vanessa Greco (1-2-2) battled Noemi Bosques (1-0-1) in the female bantamweight division. The scores of the bout were 39-37 for Greco, while the other two judges scored the bout a draw at 38-38.