Peter Manfredo Junior-Dmitry Pirog A Possibility - DiBella, Pelullo In Talks

By James Slater: There is no doubt about how former “Contender” Peter Manfredo Junior is both in line for and deserving of a big fight in the near future. Having come through some tough times and showing real character in regrouping after his 2008 loss to the much bigger Sakio Bika, the 30-year-old has strung together six decent wins and has also signed a deal with promoter Lou DiBella.

“The Pride of Providence,” now campaigning at a more comfortable 160-pounds, is 37-6(20) overall and he has recently had his name mentioned as a future challenger of world middleweight king Sergio Martinez. Thanks to DiBella, Manfredo - a proven fan-favourite and ticket seller - is in line to challenge for a major belt at middleweight; maybe against Martinez, maybe not. The latest word from DiBella, via his Twitter page, is that Manfredo is possibly in line to fight unbeaten Russian star and WBO 160-pound champ Dmitry Pirog - in a fight that could see the winner go on to challenge the world ruler from Argentina.

DiBell, one of the best promoters in the game, has revealed how he is now in talks with Pirog’s promoter Art Pelullo, about the possibility of a fight between Manfredo and the Russian who burst to prominence with that 5th-round stoppage of the previously unbeaten “Golden Child” Danny Jacobs last summer. Having the look of a good fight, Pirog Vs. Manfredo could go either way.

Sure, 30-year-old Pirog, 18-0(14) looked great in bursting Jacobs’ bubble, but he failed to sparkle in his first title defence back in March. Winning a clear but somewhat dull 12-round UD over Argentine Javier Francisco Maciel, the 6’1” Pirog didn’t put on the showcase many fans felt he would. Maybe the inactivity he had between the Jacobs and Maciel fights affected him (some eight months), but some fans began to wonder if Pirog was the future star they thought he was. Against the more experienced Manfredo, we will perhaps find out.

Coming back from financial and career setbacks, the gutsy Manfredo has claimed some respectable-looking wins over the past three years, climbing gradually up the middleweight ratings as a result (Manfredo is now ranked at #11 by the Boxrec ratings). As hungry as ever and craving a legit belt to wrap around his waist, Manfredo is willing to go in with anyone from Martinez to Kelly Pavlik. It looks like he may get Pirog next, though, and what a win that would be for him. But can the former NABF and IBO champ get a victory?

The fight is by no means set yet, but DiBella and Pelullo are at least in talks. At 5’10,” Manfredo would be giving away a fair amount of height, and he is perhaps less fresh than is Pirog. But the experience the former reality TV show star has under his belt could well play huge dividends if and when he faces Pirog.

I for one would be most intrigued to see this match-up made.

Article posted on 13.04.2011

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