Boxing


Godfrey & Cora on "Collision Course"

PROVIDENCE (March 7, 2007) - Young cruiserweight contenders Matt "Too Smooth" Godfrey and Felix "Bad News" Cora, Jr. are on a "Collision Course" to position the winner for a possible major world title fight later this year, headlining the ESPN2 Friday Night Fights show April 6 at Mohegan Sun Arena in Uncasville, Connecticut..

Godfrey and Cora, roommates at the 2000 U.S. Olympic Trials, will fight in the 12-round main event for Godfrey's NABA title and the vacant NABF cruiserweight belt.

Former world lightweight title challenger Israel "Pito" Cardona takes on light welterweight Juan Maniel Buendia in an intriguing 8-round co-feature.

Jimmy Burchfield's Classic Entertainment & Sports, Inc. is promoting "Collision Course" in association with Mohegan Sun and ESPN2.

"This is like having two main events," promoter Jimmy Burchfield said. "Godfrey and Cora are two of the top young cruiserweight contenders in the world. They are not only fighting for the NABF and WBC Continental Americas titles, but the No. 2 rating in the World Boxing Council. This is what boxing fans want - two young contenders fighting now instead of taking easier fights to improve their records. Matt's No. 6 in the world but he's stepping up to the plate to fight Cora, who's rated No. 12. Cora's a tough fighter who is a lefthander with power and is slick. They both wanted this fight.

"We had everything done for 'Pito' to fight Zab Judah (April 27). 'Pito' was training hard and confident he'd beat Judah (who pulled out to fight Miquel Cotto for the WBO title in June). That's a fight we'd like to do down the road. 'Pito's' training with John Scully and he wants to put on a great show April 6 on ESPN2 so he can headline an ESPN2 show later this year. Fighters on our undercard represent the future of CES boxing. This is a major league show that deserves to be at a beautiful venue like Mohegan Sun and on boxing's most popular boxing network, ESPN2."

Providence-native Godfrey (14-0, 8 KOs), being trained for this fight by Naazim Richardson, is rated No. 6 by the WBC, as well as No. 9 by the IBF and No. 10 by the WBA. Godfrey, also the reigning WBC Continental Americas and USNBC cruiserweight champion, is coming off of four impressive wins in 2006 against Lloyd Bryan (TKO4), Danny Batchelder (WDEC12), Shaun George (TKO1) and Ernest Mateen (TKO2). Matt is the reigning.

Cora (18-1-2, 9 KOs), rated No. 12 by the WBC, is the former USBA and NABF cruiserweight champion who has beaten likes of "King" Arthur Williams, Darnell Wilson and Chris Thomas. Cora is a native of Galveston, Texas, hometown of the late, great heavyweight champion Jack Johnson, lost his last fight to Vadim Tokarev for the NABF title this past May.

Although disappointed that he won't be fighting Judah, Cardona (26-6, 28 KOs) is continuing his comeback with his third fight, after being idle 3 1/2 years due to boxing "politics," coming off a third-round TKO of intra-state rival Shakha Moore last September.

Born and raised in Hartford (CT), "Pito" won his first 24 pro fights, 18 by knockout, including an IBO super featherweight winning performance against Jeff Mayweather. He later defeated Steve Larrimore for the IBO light welterweight crown. In 1997, Cardona stopped "Mighty" Ivan Robinson (23-1) in the third round for their USBA lightweight title and three fights later, Robinson beat Arturo Gatti for the first of two times in their 1998 Ring Magazine Fight of the Year. After his win against Robinson, Cardona extended his win streak to six, including four USBA title defenses against Sam Girard, Richard Kiley, Golden Johnson, which was also fought for the NABF belt, and Joel Perez. In his only major world title fight, Cardona lost a 12-round decision to undefeated Paul Spadafora (26-0) for the vacant IBF lightweight championship in 1999.

Cardona, a lieutenant for a security company in Hartford, as well as a boxing trainer at LA Boxing in Hartford, faces a true Mexican warrior in Buendia (13-1-1, 8 KOs), former Illinois State welterweight title-holder.

Providing chief support on the undercard is Providence heavyweight Jason "Big Six" Estrada (7-1, 1 KO), 2004 U.S. Olympian, in a six-round bout. Also scheduled to fight on the under in separate four-round matches against opponents to be determined are super middleweights Chris Traietti (5-0, 3 KOs), Iraqi War veteran and Westfield State College student, and Angel Camacho, Jr. (4-0, 3 KOs); light heavyweights Manuel Antonio Lopes (1-0, 1 KO) and Bridgewater State College student Mical Wesiberg (1-0, 1 KO); Connecticut prison guard Addy Irizarry making her pro debut as a light welterweight.

"Our show is like a United Nations card," Burchfield added. "We have all different ethnic groups fighting - African-American, Mexican, Puerto Rican, Jewish and Portuguese-American. We also have an Olympian, two colleges students, and Iraqi War veteran and female prison guard making her pro debut. Diversity, fierce competition and entertainment are what CES is all about."

Tickets, priced at $75.00, $40.00 and $25.00, are available through Mohegan Sun's box office. For more information contact Mohegan Sun (www.mohegansun.com/1.800.226.7711) or CES (www.cesboxing.com/1.401.724.2253/3354).

Article posted on 07.03.2007



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