Manfredo Jr. proves Spina is no contender! Punishes hometown rival during TKO blowout win

15.10.06 - By Mike Indri: The press conference was ugly; with punches almost being thrown a day before either guy even entered the ring. The pre-fight trash talking was downright mutually disrespectful.

The stage was set for Saturday’s ESPN2 "Contender" televised main event between last season’s runner-up, Peter Manfredo Jr., and his Providence, RI arch rival, the unbeaten Joey Spina, who felt slighted with his being passed over by the reality TV boxing show, and vowed to show all - at Manfredo Jr.’s expense - that he was a worthy fighter and that Mark Burnett & Sugar Ray Leonard had chosen the wrong area fighter.

Billed the "Put Up or Shut Up" fight card, with the downtown Providence Dunkin Donuts Center the appropriate host, Manfredo Jr. entered the ring as the obvious favorite to the hometown crowd, while the bigger and said to be stronger Spina actually heard some boos.

The tension-filled first round saw Manfredo Jr. landing often, while Spina, dubbed "a limited club fighter" by the Manfredo camp, threw mainly wide, looping, loaded up punches - with very few finding their mark.

Round two quickly turned into a pier 6 brawl. Manfredo Jr. began clobbering Spina with vicious shots, catching his defenseless foe with practically everyone he threw. Even though he was getting tagged with too many punches Spina never changed his hands down, face first attack, and paid dearly for his one dimensional fighting style. With the crowd on their feet cheering their "Pride of Providence" hero, an exuberant Manfredo Jr. bounded back to his corner after his three minute assault, while the battered Spina wobbled back to his.

Sensing his prey, Manfredo Jr. banged away at the now-damaged Spina early in round three. After an endless barrage of two-fisted bombs, a Manfredo Jr. right hand sent the overwhelmed Spina crashing to the canvas, with no legs underneath him. Gutting it out and managing to beat referee Charlie Dwyer’s count, Spina (now 19-1-1, 14 KO’s) was not allowed to continue as his trainer, Eddie Mustafa Muhammad, threw in the towel, which ended the one-sided bout at the 1:01 mark in round three of the scheduled twelve round contest.

With his dramatic victory Manfredo, who improved to 26-3(12 KO’s), looks ahead to bigger and better things, with the possibility of a bout against Roy Jones Jr. in the not too distant future.

The "Put Up or Shut Up" co-feature bout saw highly touted super middleweight Allan Green (23-0, 16 KO’s) finally catch up with talented, one-time prospect Jerson Ravelo, dropping the Newark, NJ native twice in the eight and final round before referee Joey Lupino was forced to stop the bout; as Ravelo was out on his feet.

Both fighters began tentatively; respecting each others talent and power. Ravelo did catch the aggressive Green, who hails from Tulsa, OK, a few times in the early going and once late in round six, then became defensive minded as Green’s quicker hands enabled the cocky, undefeated fighter to garner most of the rounds and constantly sting the injury-plagued, 2000 Olympic Dominican boxer. A sharp left hook by Green caught Ravelo flush, which dropped the stunned fighter early in round eight and signaled the beginning of the end.

Quickly up on his feet, Ravelo was on the receiving end of several damaging Green combinations and his now hurt foe, again was sent to the canvas.

With the capable Lupino keenly looking on, Green staggered Ravelo a final time as the referee wisely jumped in and stopped the onslaught at 2:24.

Ravelo, trained by Nettles Nasser - one of the most dedicated and passionate trainers in boxing today, suffered another set back in his once-promising pro career and this fight with Green was to be the likeable fighter’s opportunity to get the credit many thought he truly deserved. Allan Green, said to be a future world champion, did nothing to hinder his chances and, while sluggish at times, stopped the most noteworthy opponent in his career to date.

An exciting night of boxing was seen by the ESPN2 television audience and the Tournament of Contenders Promotions, in association with Classic Entertainment and Sports, are to be commended.

Mike Indri
Retired Boxers Foundation: East Coast Director

Article posted on 16.10.2006

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