Boxing


Manfredo & Dawson go to head of class

05.05.04 - NABO junior middleweight champion “The Pride of Providence” Peter Manfredo, Jr. (20-0, 10 KOs) and WBC Youth middleweight title-holder “Bad” Chad Dawson (15-0, 10 KOs) are putting much more than their titles on the line May 14 in “Young Gunz 2004,” live on ESPN2 Friday Night Fights from the Rhode Island Convention Center in downtown Providence.

“Peter and Chad’s titles are stepping stones to more prestigious championships,” CES promoter Jimmy Burchfield noted. “They are young prospects taking great risks. Just take a look at some of the others holding the same belts in different weight classes. A few of them are top 10 challengers, very close to getting major world title shots, and wins by Peter and Chad will better position them in the ratings. Peter’s already No. 6 in the World Boxing Association; Chad’s No. 24 in the World Boxing Council. They’re both in the toughest fights of their young careers and putting it all on the line.”

NABO champions include leading contenders such as super middleweight Kabary Salem, middleweight Kingsley Ikeke, welterweight Ishe Smith, junior middleweight Miguel Cotto, featherweight William Abelyan and junior bantamweight Eric Morel. WBC Youth title-belt holders, 23 years of age or younger, include hot prospects such as heavyweight Samuel Peter, lightweight Juan Diaz and super featherweight Mike Anchondo.

Classic Entertainment and Sports, Inc. and Mohegan Sun, in association with Bacardi USA, Inc, present “Young Gunz 2004”.

Manfredo, 23, of Providence, defends his NABO junior middleweight belt for the first time against Anthony “The Bullet” Bonsante (24-3-3, 13 KOs), IBA middleweight title-holder, in the 12-round main event. Bonsante, fighting out of his native Minnesota, is best known for knocking out Tony Ayala, Jr.

The 10-round co-feature matches Dawson (15-0, 10 KOs), 21, of New Haven (CT) in his first title defense against Ian “The Truth” Gardner (15-1, 7 KOs), of Brockton (MA) in the most highly anticipated fight featuring two New England based boxers since Vinny Paz-Dana Rosenblatt (mid-nineties).

The highly anticipated pro debut of Providence-native Matt Godfrey, 2004 U.S. Nationals heavyweight champion and Team USA Olympic second alternate, is the special attraction on “Young Gunz 2004.” Godfrey, 23, faces Glen Morgan (1-1, 1 KO), of San Antonio (TX), in a four-round cruiserweight match. Godfrey’s longtime friend and stablemate, Team USA Olympic super heavyweight Jason Estrada, will be in Matt’s corner.

CES sends out a total of seven unbeaten fighters in “Young Gunz 2004.” In addition to Manfredo, Dawson and Godfrey, also wearing CES colors is Providence’s “Steamin’” Josh Beeman (2-0), gold medal winner at the 2000 Eastern Olympic Trials, returning to the ring versus TBA, as well as NABA rated No. 15 light heavyweight Joey “KO Kid” Spina (10-0, 7 KOs), of Providence, squaring off against Salah Zabian (5-2, 4 KOs); world top 10 rated featherweight Missy “The Fury” Fiorentino (8-0, 6 KOs), of Cranston (RI), vs. TBA; middleweight Reynaldo Rodriguez (4-0, 2 KOs), of Woonsocket (RI), against Bobby McAndrews (2-3-1, 2 KOs), of Worcester (MA). (All matches and fighters are subject to change.)

Tickets, on sale Friday, are priced at $150.00 Jimmy’s Platinum Club (limited), $100.00 Gold VIP Ringside, $75.00 Silver Reserved, and $40.00 General Admission. Tickets will be available at CES’ corporate (401.724.2253/2254) and Connecticut offices (860.432.4253), R.I. Convention Center (401.458.6000) and Manfredo’s Gym (401.723.1359). Visit www.cesboxing.com for additional information.

Article posted on 05.05.2004



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