Godfrey vs. Kayode on 6/10; Fans wants Hall-McDonnell; Barrett-Munika on Saturday

PROVIDENCE (June 2, 2011) – World cruiserweight title challenger Matt “Too Smooth” Godfrey (20-2, 10 KOs) finds himself at the crossroads of his professional career, preparing for his June 10 10-round main event throw-down against undefeated, ultra-hyped Nigerian knockout artist Lateef “Power” Kayode for the vacant NABA title, live on ShoBox from Chumash Casino in Santa Ynez, California.

After being stopped for the first time in his career last August, when he unsuccessfully challenged World Boxing Organization champion Marco “Kapt’n” Huck in Germany, Godfrey was somewhat lost and confused as a promotional free agent. Matt put full trust in his manager, Brett Hallenbeck, who negotiated the fight against Kayode, switched Matt’s head trainer, and guided the Providence fighter into signing a contract with Rumble Time Promotions and DiBella Entertainment.

Kayode (16-0, 14 KOs), trained by living legend Freddie Roach, is rated in the top eight in the four major governing bodies: World Boxing Association (WBA) #3, WBO #4, WBC #5 and IBF #8. “Fighting a top 10 fighter is a great opportunity for me to get back where I belong with the top cruiserweights in the world,” Godfrey said. “I needed to take this fight and then win it impressively on one of the biggest networks. A big win puts me in the top 10 and right back in the picture.

“I’m confident I can win against anybody I fight because I have all of the tools to beat the best. It’s just a matter or execution. I saw his (Kayode’s) last fight (in which he looked vulnerable against Nicholas Iannuzzi) and he was tested. But I’m expecting to be fighting him at his best, not like he looked in his last fight, because I know he’s been working on making those improvements. I don’t think his last fight, or mine, have any bearing on this fight. I can’t go back to my last fight. It’s like a quarterback who throws an interception. He can’t take that back out on the field and have it in his head. I can’t go into the ring for this fight thinking about Huck. That’s in my past.”

The 30-year-old Godfrey is a full-blooded Native American (Wampanoug) who was rated No. 10 by The Ring magazine before his fight with Huck. He has held a number of regional titles including the NABF, NABA, USNBC, WBA Continental Americas and Sovereign Nations Boxing Council. His most notable victories as a pro have been against Felix Cora, Jr, Danny Batchelder, Shaun George, Emmanuel Nwodo, Shawn Hawk, Ernest Mateen and Jermell Barnes.

Godfrey-Kayode is a classic match-up of contrasting styles with the consummate boxer taking on the powerhouse slugger.” My game plan is to box but things change sometimes when you get punched in the face,” Godfrey explained. “I realize what this fight means. I’m going in the ring to win this fight with my skills and experience. I will be in the best condition of my life - I guarantee that - and people are going to see the best of me.

“I’m not going to stay in the pocket with him all night, but I’m not going to stay away from him like everybody he’s fought. I have to adjust during the fight and not keep doing the same things over and over again. I’ll do some stuff that’s uncharacteristic for me and I’m going to try and make him do some uncharacteristic things, too.”

Years ago, Matt started boxing at Manfredo’s Gym in Pawtucket with “The Pride of Providence” Peter Manfredo, Jr., another world title challenger and star of The Contender, Season One reality television program, and 2004 U.S. Olympian Jason “Big Six” Estrada.

Godfrey is back training at Manfredo’s Gym. Peter Manfredo, Sr. is his assistant trainer, while Ross Enmait – also a top strength-and-conditioning coach – moved up from assistant to head trainer.

“I’ve been training with Ross the past three, four years,” Matt added. “I had been doing 60-percent of my training with him. So this is no big deal for us. He may be better known as a strength-and-conditioning coach, but he’s also been a good trainer for many years.”

Godfrey was an outstanding amateur boxer, culminating with a 194-23 record, and first alternate position as a heavyweight for the 2004 U.S. Olympic Boxing Team. He captured six national championships (four open tournaments including the 2004 Everlast U.S. Championships, plus two in the Junior Olympics), a Bronze medal at the 2001 Pan-American Games, Silver Medalist in all four of that year’s national major tournaments – National Golden Gloves, PAL (Police Athletic League), U.S. Championships and U.S. Challenge – and reigned as a six-time New England Golden Gloves champion.

His amateur victims included several leading contemporary pros such as former WBA middleweight title challenger Randy “The Gentleman Griffin), Chazz “Mensa With Muscles” Witherspoon, Devin Vargas, Corey “Black Ice” Cummings, Leonard “Haitian Sensation” Pierre and John Johnson.

Now, however, Godfrey is at the crossroads with a monster looming in the opposing corner.

Boxing fans want Hall-McDonnell

FRANK MALONEY says he is under pressure from the fans to make a triple bantamweight title fight between Jamie McDonnell and Stuey Hall.

The promoter wants to stage the big battle in September and hopes to meet with Commonwealth and European champion McDonnell’s team in the next two weeks to discuss terms.

Maloney believes Hall (11-0-1) would sign for the fight instantly and the British champ added: “I will fight McDonnell in his own back yard.”

Doncaster’s McDonnell (17-2-1) retained his Commonwealth title on Saturday easily outpointing Kenyan Nick Otieno, but has suggested he is already a level above Hall.

Maloney says: “The best are fighting the best domestically and Jamie against Stuey is a natural between two top drawer fighters.

“I think Jamie and his team are reluctant to travel to the north-east and perhaps it could happen in Doncaster even though I believe the fight generates more money in Darlington or Sunderland.

“I have one more show left this season and in an ideal world it would be a great way to kick off the new term.

“It will mean a lot more to the public for Jamie to tackle Stuey than a European they are not so familiar with.

“I believe the winner will go onto a world title fight and that should be a big enough lure for both fighters.

“It is a fight TV viewers will love and I am sure Sky Sports would love to broadcast what looks a pick ‘em fight' fight and a fight that will go along way to restoring the credibility of British Boxing and pushing our sport back into the mainstream once again in a positive light.

Ryan Barrett - I Will Still Be Champion On Saturday

On September 11th 2010 Ryan ‘Mr Attitude’ Barrett comprehensively destroyed Mark ‘The Flash’ Alexander, in just one minute and thirty six seconds, to be crowned the International Masters Lightweight Champion.

Ryan was clinical in his approach and within that 96 seconds sent the highly rated Alexander to the canvas no less than three times.

This coming Saturday Ryan will return to the York Hall in Bethnal Green, London, to defend his title, against former Kenyan Super Featherweight Champion Geoffrey ‘The Tiger’ Munika, at the Olivia Goodwin Main Events promoted ‘Search & Destroy’ super show.

Ryan’s opponent on Saturday is no mug either, in his career Munika has challenged for various titles, including the WBF World crown. he’s traveled the World challenging many well known stars, include some here in the UK.

A couple of years ago Munika traveled to London, more specifically York Hall, where he challenged current British Light Welterweight Champion Ashley Theopane. Munika may have lost but he took the heavy hitting Theopane the full fight distance.

Just two weeks later Munika was back in action at York Hall, this time against the current British Welterweight Champion Lee Purdy. Munika went one step further this time, holding Purdy to a 57-57 draw.

Three months later Munika returned to the UK to face two-time British Lightweight title challenger John Watson. However this time Munika was less successful and was stopped in the first round.

Out of his last six fights Munika has won four, three by stoppage, had one technical draw, after his opponent was injured, and just the single loss, which is not that different from Ryan, who in his last six outings has five wins, with just the one by stoppage, and a single loss.

Munika’s not the only one to have fought some big British names in his career. Besides Alexander, Ryan has fought Willie Limond, for the WBU Lightweight World title - and if you see that fight you already know some good old home cooking, in Limond’s favour, took place to rob Ryan of that title. Ryan also fought British and Commonwealth champion John Simpson and more famously current WBA Light Welterweight World Champion Amir ‘King’ Khan.

That’s all history now though as, on June 4th, these two battle hardened warriors will go to war on twenty foot by twenty foot of canvas at York Hall, for ten rounds, or less, after which one of them will be crowned the International Masters Lightweight Champion as well as catapult up the rankings to compete for further championship honours.

Earlier today Ryan explained how the fight with Munika came about, “He (Geoffrey Munika) said he wanted a crack at a big fight, so I spoke to Steve and Olivia and we made the fight.

he doesn’t seem to travel too well, he got stopped by John Watson and lost to Ashley Theopane on points, so I think it’ll be a sturdy test for maybe a few rounds, like when I fought the Croatian and I think it’ll be a middle, late rounds stoppage for me really.

I am certain I will still be Champion on Saturday”

Ryan then went on to talk about his career since the victory over Mark Alexander to lift the coveted International Masters belt, as well as his future aspirations, “It seems that before the Mark Alexander fight everyone was prepared to fight me, but now the phone don’t ring and I just get lumbered with odds and ends really. It was a bad move by me, it definitely scared them all off.

I think that fight made me realise I’d played around for a few years and messed about with it. I’d not trained properly, I’m always fit just never sparred or did my training how it should have been done.

Once Steve (Goodwin) arranged the Alexander fight, it was a meaningful fight, and since then made me realise if I put my mind to it I can do it.

I’d only ever been given half a chance, they’d call me in at two weeks or so notice. The Khan one was five or six days. I never really got to have a fair crack at it. Under Steve I always get a fair crack, sometimes ten weeks to prepare for a fight, like a championship fight.

I’d get to go away, I might go abroad for a couple of weeks and run in the mountains or I get proper sparring in and I get time to prepare for a fight and one opponent, not a chop and change of opponents. It makes a big difference.

At the 9-9 limit I’d fight any of them really, I’d really like the winner of Murray-Rees or Mitchell-Murray or Alex Arthur doesn’t seem to be doing nothing. Any of those guys I’d fight for the British title.

But before that I have the fight on Saturday, once I win that then we can look at one of those other fights.”

Ryan Barrett versus Geoffrey Munika for the International Masters lightweight Title headlines the Olivia Goodwin Main Events promoted ‘Search & Destroy’ event at York Hall in Bethnal Green, London on Saturday 4th June 2011.

Tickets, priced £35 (Standard seated) and £50 (Ringside) for the ‘Search and Destroy’ event are available on-line now at, in person at The TKO Boxing Gym, Gillian House, Stephenson Street, Canning Town, London E16 4SA or from any boxer appearing on the show. For further information call: 07960 850645

Article posted on 02.06.2011

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