By Jake Donovan
It’s been more than a decade since Paul Spadafora was last seen on the title stage, fighting Leo Dorin to a draw in their 12-round lightweight unification bout in August 2003.
The unbeaten southpaw has since seen his name attached to police blotters more often than in meaningful fights. Still, there remains hope from some that the 38-year old still has something left to offer the sport.
That opportunity comes Saturday evening in his boxing headquarters of Chester, West Virginia. The former lightweight titlist is given a chance to win an interim title in the 140 lb. division, as he faces fringe contender Johan Perez.
The bout airs live of Go Fight TV (http://www.gfl.tv), with the streamed undercard going online at 7:30PM ET.
PREDICTIONS – PAUL SPADAFORA vs. JOHAN PEREZ
"It’s probably impossible for Perez to take a decision in Spadafora’s backyard. But I pick him out of principle alone. Spadafora is as unlikeable as they come, and yes my pick against him is 100% biased.”
- Jake Donovan (Perez SD)
"Now that he’s getting closer to a major opportunity, the old man can’t afford to trip. He won’t here.”
- Lyle Fitzsimmons (Spadafora UD)
"Perez by UD.”
- Ernest Gabion (Perez UD)
"This is the last chance saloon for Paul and he is aware of that. He has the skills to out box Perez but the main question is Father Time going to be on his side. I expect him to out box Perez early but to wear down towards the championship rounds. The younger Perez may put him on the canvas but Paul will get back up. The late rush by Perez will be too little too late as Spadafora will have racked up enough points to earn a UD.”
- Timothy Kudgis (Spadafora UD)
“Seriously, I cannot see Spadafora losing this bout. Spaddy hasn't lost a fight in over 18 years, and fighting at home he will have all the advantages of the world. Perez is not a gimme, not a world-beater too. He was almost defeated by long-faded Steve Forbes, and he was defeated indeed by Pablo Cano. He can win his fight versus Spadafora on skills and elusiveness but the final outcome will not be in his favor, and local judges will ensure that.”
- Alexey Sukachev (Spadafora SD)
“Spadafora finally gets his moment to place himself in position for a title shot. I expect a tough fight where Spadafora will outhustle Perez in the later rounds to win a decision.”
- Bill "Two Scoops" Emes (Spadafora UD)
Paul Spadafora 4
Johan Perez 2
Jake Donovan is the Managing Editor of Boxingscene.com, as well as a member of Transnational Boxing Ratings Board, Yahoo Boxing Ratings Panel and the Boxing Writers Association of America. Twitter: @JakeNDaBox