Shane Benfield Looks to Regain His Pride From Providence

By Neil Dennis: Previously undefeated prospect Shane “The Irish Hitman” Benfield (17-1, 9KOs) hit a snag last year that forestalled his light heavyweight dreams. He ran headlong into a rising power puncher from Youngstown, Ohio. No, it wasn’t Kelly Pavlik, but rising late-bloomer DeAndrey Abron (15-1, 10KOs). The 2003 Golden Gloves light heavyweight champ has come a long way in a short time thanks to former Mike Tyson and Jesse James Leija trainer Ronnie Shields. Benfield was on the same trajectory to toward the higher rungs of the division as Abron when they clashed this past September. Unfortunately for Benfield, Abron dominated him in a shutout decision performance while gaining the NABO light heavyweight title.

Rather than take on some complete unknown to get his footing back, Benfield is continuing undaunted in his fight to gain respect and a shot at a light heavyweight title. First step, a bout with super middleweight “Contender” Peter Manfredo, Jr. in The Pride of Providence’s own backyard. Set to go off March 14 at the Twin River Event Center in Lincoln, Rhode Island, it is being billed as another “tune-up” fight for Manfredo (28-5, 13KOs) following his close decision loss to former champion Jeff “Leff Hook” Lacy. The fight will be at a catch weight of 171.

Win, lose, or draw, Benfield has already lined up a fight with one-time rising prospect Laferrell Bunteng. Bunteng (16-3, 16KOs) is coming off back-to-back losses to super middleweight contenders Jean Pascal and Anthony Hanshaw. The fight will be on the undercard to the Jean Paul Mendy-Jason Naugler fight at the Mississippi Coast Stadium in Bilioxi on April 12.

Article posted on 22.02.2008

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