Puerto Rico's undefeated lightweight sensation, Jorge "Machito" Maysonet, Jr. (10-0, 9 KO's) returns to the ring February 23, 2013 at the Cosme Beitia Salamo Coliseum in Cataño, Puerto Rico.
Maysonet's opponent is fellow Boricua Pedro Salcedo (3-5, 2 KOs), a fighter who has never been knocked out, and has fought undefeated fighters José Pedraza ( 11-0, 7 KO's ) and Emmanuel Rodríguez ( 11-0, 7 KO's ), among others.
"Salcedo is a good opponent, and I plan to be the first to knock him out," said Maysonet. "Finally I'm fighting in front of my people of Cataño, that's a step every boxer dreams about. The training has been very intense and I will prove on fight night that I am one of the top lightweight fighters in the world."
Maysonet's last fight was on October 26, 2012 in Puerto Rico, where he defeated one of the most evaded warriors in Puerto Rico, Ramesis Gil (8-4-5, 5 KO's), who had a spectacular 2012 with victories over former undefeated fighters Carney Bowman (16-1, 7 KO's) and Luis Joel González (9-1-1, 5 KO's). Both fights were decision victories.
As an amateur standout, Maysonet Jr., amassed a record of 140 wins with only 10 defeats, winning various local tournaments like the José Barrientos and the José "Cheo" Aponte competitions. In professional boxing, all Maysonet's knockouts have come in the very first round.
Maysonet Jr. is a member of "Team Puerto Rico", a collaboration between Gary Shaw Productions, Universal Promotions, Di Bella Entertainment and Warriors Boxing. Their goal is to gather Puerto Rico's best boxing talent.
PROVIDENCE, R.I. -- More than six years have passed since Peter Manfredo Jr. knocked out fellow Providence native Joey Spina on national television at The Dunkin' Donuts Center in what was, at the time, Rhode Island's biggest turf war.
As they prepare to face one another again Friday, March 15th, 2013 at the Twin River Event Center in the latest chapter of their longstanding rivalry, both Spina (26-3-2, 18 KOs) and Manfredo Jr. (38-7, 20 KOs) are dealing with the fact there's much more at stake now than there was the first time they fought in 2006.
The pressure's higher than ever; Manfredo Jr., now on his second fight since returning to professional boxing in November, will turn 33 later this year, while Spina, coming off consecutive losses for the first time in his career, is 35. Time is no longer an ally, and a loss March 15th could derail both fighters in what is shaping up to be their final run at championship glory.
The Spina-Manfredo Jr. II showdown, promoted by Jimmy Burchfield's Classic Entertainment & Sports and appropriately titled, "Unfinished Business," will be fought at a catch weight of 170 pounds as the 10-round main event of a spectacular card at Twin River, which also features the return of heavyweight Jesse Barboza and the Rhode Island-debut of female bantamweight Noemi Bosques.
"The first fight between these two local heroes was the talk of the town six years ago, and the latest installment of this rivalry promises to be even bigger than ever," Burchfield said.
"No two fighters draw bigger crowds in Rhode Island than Peter Manfredo Jr. and Joey Spina, and with the two of them facing one another in front of what will be a packed house at Twin River Casino, this will turn into the must-see event of 2013.
"Our fans have been waiting more than six years for this rematch. We're the only promotional company in the world capable of turning this dream into a reality. Nobody makes bigger fights, and nothing divides loyalties better than a good, old-fashioned rivalry. Spina or Manfredo Jr.? Take your pick - it's going to be a huge night."
When Manfredo Jr. and Spina first faced one another in 2006, both fighters were at crossroads in their respective careers. Manfredo Jr. had just made the jump from middleweight to super middleweight, a move punctuated by his third-round knockout win over Scott Pemberton earlier that year. Spina, the "K.O. Kid," was still undefeated, having just defended his World Boxing Council U.S. National Boxing Council (WBC USNBC) super middleweight for the fourth time while simultaneously capturing the International Boxing Federation (IBF) Inter-Continental crown with a knockout win over Jay Pina.
Earlier that year, Spina dubbed himself "The Contender Killer" following an 11th-round, knockout win over Jesse Brinkley, a participant on The Contender reality television series. This irked Manfredo Jr., who also rose to fame as a finalist on the debut season of The Contender, and led to a high-stakes border war between he and Spina that culminated with their nationally-televised showdown on ESPN2 in October of 2006.
"He's got a big mouth and he has no respect for anybody," Manfredo Jr. said of Spina at the time.
Manfredo Jr. boldly predicted he'd "show [Spina] who's boss," and promptly kept his word, knocking out Spina in the third round of their scheduled 12-round bout. Spina, who broke his hand three weeks before the fight and re-aggravated the injury in the second round, never got over the loss; while preparing for a bout against veteran Tiwon Taylor at Twin River in 2009, Spina lamented the knockout against Manfredo Jr. as a reminder of what he lost both in and outside the ring.
"I never thought in a million years I'd lose to Manfredo," Spina said at the time. "I mean, Peter's a great fighter, but I just feel like I'm that much better."
March 15th will be Spina's last shot at redemption, his final opportunity to prove he's the better fighter. For "The Pride of Providence" Manfredo Jr., it's a chance to take care of "unfinished business" and write the final chapter of this heated rivalry.
Spina-Manfredo Jr. II won't be the only rematch March 15th; Providence's Alex Amparo (5-1, 3 KOs) will look to avenge his first career loss when he faces Woonsocket, R.I., veteran Joey Gardner (10-5-1, 1 KO) in a six-round super middleweight rematch. Gardner beat Amparo by unanimous decision in November.
The undercard of "Unfinished Business" also features a six-round battle between light heavyweights Rich Gingras (12-3, 8 KOs) of Attleboro, Mass., and Dennis Okola (14-8, 4 KOs) of Nairobi, Kenya (now training out of Cheshire, Conn.), and a six-round interstate showdown between Boston middleweight Julio Garcia (6-3, 3 KOs) and Thomas Falowo (8-1, 6 KOs) of Pawtucket, R.I.
Looking to bounce back following his first career loss in November, light heavyweight Kevin Cobbs (6-1, 2 KOs) of Burlington, Vt., will face Paul Gonsalves (4-2, 3 KOs) of Harwich, Mass., in a four-round bout. Barboza (5-1-1, 3 KOs), a Barnstable, Mass., heavyweight, will return to Twin River for the first time since 2010 when he faces Jeramiah Witherspoon (2-2-1, 1 KO) of Altoona, Pa., in a four-round bout, while Bosques (1-0), a St. Petersburg, Fla., native who now trains in Providence, will face Queens native Vanessa Greco (1-2-1) in a four-round bout. All bouts are subject to change.
Tickets for "Unfinished Business" are $40.00, $60.00, $100.00 and $150.00 (VIP) and can be purchased by calling CES at 401.724.2253/2254, online at www.shop.cesboxing.com or www.twinriver.com , at the Players Club booth at Twin River, or through any TicketMaster location. Doors open 6 p.m. with the first bout scheduled for 7.
ANTHONY CROLLA: ‘LIVERPOOL TRIP HOLDS NO FEAR FOR ME’
FOR many boxers, the prospect of facing an opponent on their own turf can fill them with trepidation. For Anthony Crolla, though, it puts him in his element.
The Manchester lightweight, 26, challenges Derry Mathews for the vacant Commonwealth crown at the Echo Arena in Liverpool on March 30.
Crolla believes having the crowd against him will provide the spur for gaining revenge over the man who relieved him of the Lonsdale belt in their thrilling first encounter last year.
“I wouldn’t want this fight any other way,” Anthony said. “He came to me last time and took the title from me in my backyard.
“Now I’ve got the chance to do the same and I’m going to make sure that’s something I do.
“I know I’m not going to get the best reception from his fans on the night, but that doesn’t matter. Once the bell goes it’s just the two of us in the ring.
“A lot of my best performances have come when I’ve been the away fighter in the lion’s den.
“Except for in Prizefighter, I’ve always performed well in Liverpool. When I fought John Watson I was in the same position as in this fight and that turned out to be one of my best ever wins.”
On top of the incentive of revenge and the Commonwealth title, victory for Crolla will likely put him in line for a shot a newly-crowned British champion Martin Gethin.
Crolla made one successful defence of the belt when it was in his possession and is itching to win it back.
“I’m sure the fans will want to see the winner of me and Derry Mathews in with Martin Gethin,” he said.
“Gethin had a fantastic win against Ben Murphy last time out and I’m sure our styles would gel for a cracker. It’s a fight I’d like.
“He’s pretty old school in the way that he hung around for his chance and then took it. I was ringside that night and I was very impressed.
“But first and foremost, I’ve got to think about Derry Mathews.”
WBO World Light-Heavyweight Champion Nathan Cleverly says his clash against big-hitting Serbian Robin Krasniqi will be like Andy Murray facing Novak Djokovic - only he will come out the winner.
Unbeaten Cleverly, 25, puts his title and record on the line at Wembley Arena on Saturday 16th March on a huge night of boxing joint-headlined with Ricky Burns’ WBO/IBF World Lightweight Unification fight against Miguel Vazquez, plus George Groves challenging for the Vacant European Super-Middleweight title, heavyweight Dereck Chisora* and Commonwealth Super-Featherweight Champion Liam Walsh, all live and exclusive on BoxNation (Sky Ch. 437/Virgin Ch. 546).
Cleverly, who stopped Shaw Hawk in eight rounds last November in his US debut, is looking forward to a shootout with the heavy-handed Serb who won his last four fights by KO to get himself into the mandatory position for a shot at the Welsh hero’s title.
And with British tennis star Murray being blasted out by Krasniqi’s countryman and world number one Djokovic in the Australian Open final last month to crush Murray’s hope of a second major win, Cleverly says he won't let Krasniqi end his dream of going on to unify the titles.
"I watched Murray in the Australian open against Djokovic and that was a great battle over nearly four hours. He held his own, taking some big shots from the Serbian and giving it back, but despite a brave fight and battling back a couple of times, he was out-gunned by Djokovic and also the blisters on his feet couldn’t have helped. Murray a great British talent, though, and he’s my call to win Wimbledon this year,” Said Cleverly.
“Krasniqi is on a roll at the moment, he’s stopped his last four opponents, three of them inside four rounds and one in the last round. He’s never been stopped in 41 fights with only two early points losses in his career. I’ve got twelve rounds or 36 minutes to stop Krasniqi in, this won’t be going the distance, it’s going to be a real fire-fight between us,”
"Facing a big puncher doesn’t bother me, it excites me. People were making Tony Bellew out to be some big puncher but when we got in the ring and I took one of his shots it surprised me by how soft he hits, so reputations don’t always count,”
He added, "While a tennis player can come back and win in his next match, for a boxer a loss is a massive set back. I’m so close to a big unification fight and a slip-up against Krasniqi will be a massive blow to me facing one of the world champions next so it’s crucial that I win this fight.”
Tickets for Rule Britannia, priced at £40, £50, £75, £100, £150 and £200 are available from Eventim on 0844 249 1000 or www.eventim.co.uk
Rule Britannia is live and exclusive on The Home of Champions BoxNation (Sky Ch. 437/Virgin Ch. 546). Join at www.boxnation.com
*Dereck Chisora’s appearance on the show is strictly subject to him being successful with his license application to the British Boxing Board of Control.
Lausanne, Switzerland - It was a night to remember for USA Knockouts at the Eldorado Hotel and Casino in Reno, Nevada, as they recorded their first win of the season with a hard-fought victory over the visiting German Eagles. This highly entertaining World Series of Boxing (WSB) Group B encounter saw Shawn Simpson, Clarence Joseph and Paul Koon III all star for the American team, putting on a really good show for the spectators.
The action got underway with the Bantamweight (50-54kg) contest between promising American teenager Simpson and the Eagles' in-form orthodox fighter Veaceslav Gojan. It was pretty evenly matched, compared to when these two had met earlier this season when the explosive Moldovan had dominated the fight, with Simpson providing stiff resistance against the 29-year-old 2008 Olympic Games bronze medallist early attacks, catching him with some crisp shots on the counter. Simpson was extremely motivated by the vocal support and showed good hand speed and after seemingly landing with the cleaner shots in the earlier stages, survived a late rally from his rival to claim the win by split decision.
It then began at a frenetic pace in the Lightweight (57-61kg) bout as German 20-year-old Kastriot Sopa quickly imposed himself on proceedings with that long jab and hard hooks putting the Knockouts' Eric Fowler on the back foot right from the off. Sopa was also dominant in the second, landing a couple of good right hands and some piercing uppercuts that drew some loud cheers in the packed venue. The speed and shot selection of the Eagles orthodox fighter saw Fowler take some punishment in rounds three and four but the American still managed to stay competitive. A big right hand followed by some big combinations in the fifth confirmed Sopa's dominance as he recorded his second victory of the season in style.
There was hardly anything to choose between the two boxers in the Middleweight (68-73kg) clash as the Knockout's 30-year-old Joseph and Germany's Stefan Härtel went head-to-head. The American was bright and on his toes right from the onset, working the body of his rival with some good shots, before some good one-two combinations over the top had him edging round two. Joseph's endeavour surprised his rival, with those body shots a really effective weapon which constantly put the German under pressure. Härtel never really came to life and although he landed with some good punches in the latter stages, it was the American who delivered with another split decision victory for the Knockouts.
In the final bout of the night, 26-year-old American Heavyweight (91+kg) Koon boxed well in the first two rounds of his fight with the Eagles' Philip Grüner, snapping that jab well before throwing some good hooks to the body to dictate the early exchanges. Koon was enjoying himself, showboating, switching stance and landing some good punches in the third. The intensity was raised even further in the fourth with Grüner landing some hard left hooks and giving the American a bloody nose. Koon landed a sweet right in the fifth to spark a big finish from the two boxers in the closing stages, making it a real entertaining fight to watch. In the end, Koon better shot selection gave him the nod from the judges as he also took it by split decision.
With 24-year-old German Kevin Künzel unable to take to the ring, fan favourite Kennedy Katende was given a walk-over in the Light Heavyweight (80-85kg) contest, giving the Knockouts a 4-1 win over the German Eagles.
The USA next box the Ukraine Otamans at the Yost Theater on Thursday 21 February with Germany hosting the British Lionhearts at the Kuppelsaal Congress Centrum two days later.