Manfredo punishes Spina
It was clear, in the run up to Saturday night's fight, that Peter Manfredo and hometown rival Joey Spina had a genuine dislike for each other. Both men had engaged in a vicious verbal back and forth that inspired the 'Put Up or Shut Up' title for ESPN's C
In the end, however, it was the Contender season one runner up Manfredo, 26-3 (12KO), who would prove before a national television audience that unlike his opponent, he had the boxing ability to support his mouth. Manfredo demolished Spina, 19-1-1 (14KO), over two and a half brutally one sided rounds.
In the first round, Manfredo opened with straight right hand, a punch that would prove to be the weapon of choice in his systematic destruction of Spina. From the beginning, Manfredo controlled the action countering anything Spina could muster with hard, pin-point accurate shots.
In the final seconds of the opening round, the naturally bigger Spina, managed to work Manfredo against the ropes and let his hands go attempting to use his undoubted power to hurt the naturally smaller man. In a masterful display of defensive action, Manfredo blocked the majority of what came at him and countered beautifully until the bell.
In the second, the apparent difference in class took over. Manfredo consistently found his opponent with crunching right hands, one after the other, punishing Spina who could only respond with wild looping shots that rarely landed. Spina, midway through the round, had clearly hurt his left hand - he shook it repeatedly and winced visibly on the rare occasion that he landed it on Manfredo.
It was more of the same in the third. It was clear from the start of what would prove to be the final round, that Spina would find it hard to take much more punishment from Manfredo. His strength began to give way from the moment Manfredo had completed his first combination early in the round. Shortly thereafter, his legs failed him completely following a destructive succession of blistering punches, as Manfredo beat him around the ring.
Spina could take no more as he finally collapsed against the ropes in front of his corner, and crumpled to the canvas. His trainer, Eddie Mustapha Muhammad, would not allow Spina to beat referee Charles Dwyer's count, as he hurled the towel into the ring, drawing a halt to proceedings 1:01 into the third round.
Manfredo, in an aggressive show of emotion, immediately sprinted across the ring, leaped toward his beaten foe and screamed in Spina's face, who for his part, could only look at the ground with a look of complete dejection.
Those in attendance at The Dunkin Donuts Center in Providence, made it clear who they felt was the real 'Pride of Providence', raising the roof as Manfredo climbed the ropes with his fists raised in triumph.
After the fight, Manfredo's only regret was that he couldn't punish his opponent further. He said, "I was on a different level tonight," said Manfredo, "I didn't want it to end so early. I wanted to punish him for all his talk."
He added, "He was open for everything tonight. He was not on my level. He may have been led to believe he was on my level and you've got to blame a lot of that on his trainers."
Bearing in mind that this was Manfredo's second super middlweight fight, it certainly hasn't taken him long to adjust to the new division. Since moving up from 160lbs in February, he has dominated his opponents, scoring third round TKO's in both outings - the first against Scott Pemberton earlier this year. His success comes as no surprise to Manfredo, who believes strongly that this is his natural weight.
"I'm happy and I feel comfortable at 168lbs." he said, "It wasn't a case of moving up because I walk around at 184lbs. I don't care how big my opponent is - I feel just as strong."
Joe Spina was decisively beaten in Providence on Saturday night. Afterwards, he offered no excuses and admitted that he had never really been in the fight. He said, "Peter is a tough guy and I never thought that I'd hurt him once in the fight."
"I broke my hand in the second round but that's no excuse, but I've never broken a hand before and after that, my concentration went out the window."
When asked whether he had forecast that Manfredo would be able to hit him so effortlessly with big shots, Spina replied "That's the way I fight, I get hit a lot but I've never been hurt before. I just took more leather tonight than normal. I was in great shape, but Peter was the better man tonight."
Going forward, both men find themselves looking at very different blueprints as the go forward with their careers. Manfredo's future leads to a possible showdown with Joe Calzaghe, Allan Green, Jeff Lacy or Roy Jones - who he may fight, January 20th at a catch weight. For Spina, sadly, all signs point to the drawing board. He was taught a valuable lesson in this fight. He walked toward the ring feeling that, even if he was losing, like so many times before - his power would bail him out.
He was wrong.
He came to the table with a big punch and very little else and was outgunned, outworked and outsmarted by fighter on a different scale than any he has fought before. In this battle for hometown bragging rights - the better man prevailed.
Allan Green steps up late to stop Olympian Ravelo
It took Allan Green a while to get going against 2000 Olympian Jerson Ravelo on the co-featured bout in Providence on Saturday night. When he finally did step it up in the eighth round, he displayed the explosive firepower that has made him one of the most feared young super middleweight fighters in boxing.
After seven rounds of somewhat scrappy action, Green getting the better of most of it, the Oklahoma native finally let his hands go in the eighth, landing flush with a massive left hand that stunned Ravelo. Off balance and clearly hurt, Ravelo found himself on the receiving end of another big left as he fell to the canvas.
Ravelo rose and enjoyed a brief respite as the referee called 'time' to enable Green's corner to re-insert his mouthpiece, which had fallen to the floor. The timeout proved unhelpful as Green immediately pounced on his opponent, strafing Ravelo with blistering shots that almost knocked him out of the ring - half of his body protruding through the ropes, as Green was awarded a second knockdown.
Ravelo would not recover and as the two met in the center of the ring following the count, Green landed with another crunching right hand that buckled his opponent's legs, leaving him out on his feet. That was all the punishment that the referee Joey Lupino would allow Ravelo to endure as he wisely waved off the action, handing the Olympian his second professional loss in 19 fights.
Green remains unbeaten and improves to 23-0, collecting his 16th knockout. After the fight, Green admitted that he didn't produce to the best of his ability in stopping Ravelo. He said, "I wasn't doing what my corner was telling me to and it took me a while to warm up. I'm going to take the rest of the year off and, hopefully, next year something big will turn up."
At the time of the stoppage, Green led on all three cards - judges Stephen Epstein and Wayne Lima scoring the fight 69-64 with Clark SamMartino saw the fight 68-65.
Other undercard action:
Unbeaten Eddie Soto (6-0 4KO) dominated Bostonian Felisberto Fernandes (4-5 2KO), knocking him down in the final ten seconds of the fourth and final round, and goes home with a unanimous decision victory under his belt. All three judges scored the bout 40-35.
Making his pro debut, Pawtucket RI native Jose Sanchez sent his opponent Rasool Shakur (0-2) to the canvas three times on his way to a 4th round TKO victory.