Khan Consoles Gavin; Manfredo fighting for love of sport

Amir Khan has offered his support to former sparring partner and room-mate Frankie Gavin. Gavin pulled out of the 2008 Olympic Games today after deciding he could no longer make lightweight. Khan, who won a silver medal at the 2004 Games in Athens and is in training for his next fight on September 6, said: "Going to the Olympics is every boxer's dream, and I know how devastated Frankie will feel.

"It's always hard making weight, and it is sad that Frankie can no longer do it. He had a great chance of winning gold in China, and it would have been fantastic for him and the British team if he could have done it. Unfortunately it wasn't to be.

"My thoughts are with him at the moment, but I know what a strong character he is, and I'm sure he will come back from this and be even more successful in the future.

"I'd like to wish him all the best in whatever he does next, and I will always be here if he needs any advice or support."

Manfredo fighting for love of sport

PROVIDENCE (August 7, 2008) – World super middleweight title challenger “The Pride of Providence” Peter Manfredo, Jr., star of The Contender Season One, is finally at peace with himself in boxing as he prepares to fight Donny “The Savage” McCrary (24-7-2, 13 KOs), star of The Contender Season Three, on Friday night, August 22 in the 12-round main event for the NABF Interim super middleweight title, headlining “August Annihilator” at Twin River Events Center in Lincoln, Rhode Island.

“August Annihilator,” part of the “Budweiser Night at the Fights” series, is promoted by Jimmy Burchfield’s Classic Entertainment and Sports, Inc. (CES), in association with Twin River, Budweiser, The Tournament of Contenders, and CN8, The Comcast Network.

The show will be taped live and air Saturday, August 23 at 7:30 PM/ET on CN8, The Comcast Network as well as Cox Sports Television.

Manfredo (30-5, 15 KOs), rated No. 20 by the WBC, is now fighting for the love of the sport and he’s looking at his Aug. 22nd fight against McCrary as a stepping stone to reach his final goal in boxing. His one world title fight against Joe Calzaghe ended in controversy when the referee prematurely stopped the fight and his road back to another possible championship bout was derailed when he lost a lackluster decision to former title-holder Jeff lacy.

“I’ve accomplished a lot in boxing,” Manfredo said, “but I have one more goal and that’s to win a world championship. I want one last shot. I watched Andre Berto and Sergio Mora become world champions and I know I can, too. I have a game plan: destroy McCrary and get a fight against somebody like Sakio Biko, rated No. 8 by The Ring magazine. I’d really like a rematch against Jeff Lacy – I blew that fight – but I doubt I’ll get that. (Joe) Calzaghe is giving up his super middleweight belts and I’d like to fight Carl Froch or Mikkel Kessler next year for a world title. They’re not superman; they’re good, not great.

“I’m having fun again. Before, I hated going to the gym to train, but I did it because it was my job and I needed the money for my family. I always liked to fight and the thrill of the fans, but I’m married with three kids and I didn’t like leaving them for long periods of time (like training camp in Los Angeles). I also love to eat and couldn’t. I wasn’t able to plan family trips, either. But the Lacy fight really woke me up. I blew it. I’m training at home now, not away from my family. We’re having a great camp – me, Jessie Brinkley, Edwin Rodriguez and a couple of amateurs. Now, I love going to the gym, every day. I work hard and then go home to my wife and kids. I can’t really explain why. Maybe it’s because I’m more mature. But I know that I’m fighting because I love boxing.”

Manfredo is a rare breed today in boxing: he has a huge, growing fan-base that transcends New England because of the exposure he received on The Contender, which also showed the public his vast skills, valuable experience, affable personality and true character.

“Peter Manfredo, Jr. is all about what boxing should really be,” promoter Jimmy Burchfield explained. “He’s a gentleman, in and out of the ring, as well as a family man who ordinary people easily relate to. He’s one of the few fighters today who is a throwback to the old days around here when Vinny Paz fought. The biggest thing I see now is his desire to please his family, friends and fans. What he really wants is a world title. His fight for the NABF Interim title is a step in the process towards another world title fight for Peter. Today, the money and more and more champions are in Europe. Peter has the ability to bring a belt back here to the United States. Little girls, housewives….everywhere he goes people want to meet him, get his autograph, or pose with him for a picture. Peter is that rare boxer who is popular, not just in boxing, but in mainstream America. He continues to expand markets for himself and boxing in general, which, most certainly, is what boxing needs now.”

In the co-feature, former USNBC and IBF Intercontinental super middleweight champion Joey “KO Kid” Spina (22-1-1, 15 KOs), also fighting out of Providence, meets former IBC Americas heavyweight title-holder Jim “Steel Chin” Strohl (27-6, 21 KOs), of Las Vegas, in a six-round bout.

On the undercard in a pair of six-round super middleweight matches, Rhode Island super middleweight Angel Camacho, Jr. (10-0, 4 KOs) tests his unbeaten record against Brooklyn’s Ariel Espinal (6-3-2, 2 KOs), while Providence favorite Richard “Bobo The Bull” Starnino (9-4-1, 2 KOs) takes on Lowell (MA) brawler “Irish” Joey McCreedy (8-2, 5 KOs) in an old fashioned throw-down.

Also on the undercard card is undefeated middleweight prospect Edwin “La Bomba” Rodriguez (7-0, 5 KOs), former two-time U.S. national amateur champion out of Worcester (MA), facing Marcus “Team Savior” Upshaw (8-2, 3 KOs) in a six-round bout. Providence junior welterweight Jesus Caro (1-0, 1 KO) squares off against Larry Foster (0-3) in a four rounder.

Fighting opponents to be determined are the two newest members of Team CES, featherweight Sandy “Lil’ Tyson” Tsagouris (7-1, 3 KOs), former world title challenger, and Providence junior lightweight Omar Pena making his pro debut. All bouts and fighters are subject to change.

Tickets for “August Annihilator” are priced at $40.00, $50.00, (Bronze), $75.00 (Silver), $100.00 (Gold) and limited $150.00 (Jimmy’s Platinum Club) and are available to purchase by calling CES (401.724.2253/2254), going on line at or, at the Twin River Events Center (100 Twin River Road, Lincoln, RI), at the Players Club booth (2nd floor) at Twin River, or any TicketMaster location.

Tickets are also on sale at Manfredo’s Gym in Pawtucket (RI), 401 Gym in Cranston (RI), Rivera Brother’s in Lynn (MA), Balletto’s Gym in Providence, Big Six Academy in Providence, and Larry Army (508.407.5152).

Contact CES (401.724.2253/2254/ or Twin River Events Center (877.82.RIVER/ for more information. Doors open at 6 PM/ET, first bout at 7 PM/ET.

(Twin River has waived its 18+ rule for “August Annihilator.” Anybody under the age of 18 must be accompanied at all times by an adult and they must enter through the West entrance.)

Article posted on 08.08.2008

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