26.11.03 – Unbeaten junior middleweight prospect Peter Manfredo, Jr. (19-0, 9 KOs) has signed a promotional contract with Classic Entertainment & Sports, Inc. (CES), promoter Jimmy Burchfield announced yesterday at an official signing ceremony in Camille’s restaurant in historic Federal Hill.
“This is the biggest day of my boxing career,” the 22-year-old Manfredo commented. “I left CES because I wanted to experience the business of boxing. The 10-11 months away from CES was a struggle. My best decision was to sign this contract. Other promoters were interested in signing me, but Jimmy stepped up to the plate and I’m very comfortable working with him. I’ll also have the opportunity to fight in front of my hometown fans and bring Providence another world champion. I’ve training hard, dieting, and doing everything possible to be a world champion.
Manfredo, known in the ring as “The Pride of Providence,” is rated No. 7 by the NABA, as well as No. 12 by both the NABF and USBA. He is the former IBU World and EBA light middleweight champion.
“This is a very important day because two powerful teams are back where they belong,” Burchfield said. “We’re going to continue where we left off – 16-0 in 22 months, which is a tribute to the Manfredo team being ready to fight all of the time. Team is most important to CES. I’ve always believed in Peter – 165 amateur fights and a 19-0 (pro) record. He reminds me of Willie Pep; the way he boxes, the way he moves.
“I can’t afford to worry about fighters drinking, smoking, getting arrested….that’s not even a concern with Peter. He’s married with a beautiful daughter, works and goes to school to learn how to be an electrician. He respects everyone and can really fight. We’re going to show the world; we’re going to climb the mountain together with no detours.”
Negotiations are being conducted regarding a nationally televised fight January 23 at one of the Connecticut casinos for Manfredo.
“The guy we want is former Olympian, Dante Craig,” Burchfield noted. “His people are using every excuse possible to not take the fight, but the reason is they’re afraid to fight Peter, who will be fighting in the co-feature on the Scott Pemberton-Omar Sheika rematch card. There will only be six fights on this show, but every fight will be dynamite. Another of our top prospects, Angel ‘Gee Roc’ Torres (2002 New England Most Improved) will be fighting, off TV, for a title I want to show the world that we have great fighters in New England.
“Our mission is for Peter to win a major world title. The first step will be winning a title – NABF, USBA, NABO or WBC Youth, Those lead to major world championships. Peter will be fighting at 154-pounds. He’s a junior middleweight, whether he’s in a title fight or not.”
Craig was the 147-pound representative on the 2000 U.S. Boxing Team at the Olympics. The Cincinnati native was the 1999 National Golden Gloves Champion.
Manfredo realizes that he needs television exposure to get where he wants to be in boxing. “I’m looking for bigger and better things,” Manfredo concluded. “Hopefully, I’ll be fighting Craig, but if he doesn’t want to fight me, we’ll get somebody else. I fight the guy that’s in the ring with me. People have heard of Olympians like Craig, Jermain Taylor, Michael Bennett and some others. I’m not as well known as they are. The world’s going to learn that I’m the best kept secret in boxing today.”