News: Rodriguez vs Alexander; Manfredo vs Smichet; DeGuardia's VIP Boxing

Jesus “Chuy” Rodriguez, a winner in 11 of his last 12 matches, signed a contract today to face undefeated World Boxing Council No. 1-ranked super lightweight Devon Alexander “The Great” on Friday, April 24 at Scottrade Center in St. Louis and on SHOWTIME®. Alexander (17-0, 10 KOs) is the Gateway City’s fastest-rising star, and Rodriguez (19-3, 5 KOs), from Salinas, Calif., will look to give him a stiff test in a match scheduled for 10 rounds..

The main event will feature two more St. Louisans battling for the vacant International Boxing Federation junior middleweight championship when former four-time world champion Cory “The Next Generation” Spinks (36-5, 11 KOs) meets IBF No. 6-ranked contender Deandre “The Bull” Latimore (19-1, 16 KOs).

Tickets, all in the lower bowl, priced at $100 ringside, $60, $40, $25 and $10 (with a limited number of Golden Circle seats available at $300) are on sale now at Scottrade Center Box Office, all Ticketmaster Ticket Centers, by phone at 1-800-745-3000, or online at A per ticket facility fee will be added to all tickets purchased at all locations, including at the Scottrade Center Box Office. Additional Ticketmaster service charges and handling fees apply. For disabled seating, call 314-622-5420.

Both fights will be televised on ShoBox: The New Generation live on SHOWTIME beginning at 11 p.m. ET/PT (10 p.m. CT, delayed on the West Coast). A full undercard will be presented. Doors open at 6 p.m.

The event is promoted by Don King Productions with Spinks vs. Latimore presented in association with Rumble Time Promotions and DiBella Entertainment.

Alexander, a 22-year-old phenom trained and managed by Kevin Cunningham, was recently named mandatory challenger to the WBC 140-pound champion Timothy “Desert Storm” Bradley, so he has his first world championship match riding on this fight.

Bradley added the World Boxing Organization 140-pound title to his resume by defeating then-champion Kendall Holt on April 4, also on SHOWTIME, which means Alexander will next face a unified world champion if he can get past Rodriguez.

“A world championship fight is what I have been working towards my whole life,” Alexander said. “To earn that chance in front of my hometown fans in St. Louis would mean a lot to me.”

Alexander’s promoter Don King sees a bright future for this budding star.

“Devon Alexander has all the skills to become a world champion and he’s going to earn his first title shot by defeating Jesus Rodriguez in St. Louis on April 24,” King said. “Not only is Devon a great fighter but he’s an outstanding individual, a young man the people of St. Louis can be proud of.”

Rodriguez’s three losses have all come against undefeated fighters. He lost his debut against a fighter also making his first appearance in 1999 and against two fighters who remain undefeated: Vladimir Zykov, who had 15 wins when he faced Rodriguez in 2006, and Mike Alvarado, who had 19 wins when Rodriguez dropped a 10-round decision when they met on Feb. 15, 2008.

It should be noted that Rodriguez defeated Omri Lowther, a highly decorated amateur who was undefeated in nine fights as a professional when they met in 2007. Rodriguez won an eight-round unanimous decision.

Nick Charles will describe the ShoBox action from ringside with boxing historian Steve Farhood serving as expert analyst. The executive producer of ShoBox is Gordon Hall with Richard Gaughan producing and Rick Phillips directing.

For more information on SHOWTIME Sports, including exclusive behind-the-scenes video and photo galleries, complete telecast information and more, please go to the new SHOWTIME Sports website at

Manfredo goes back to the future - Fights Walid Smichet Saturday in Montreal

PROVIDENCE (April 15, 2009) – Former world title challenger Peter Manfredo, Jr., free from his promotional contract ties with the Tournament of Contenders, has gone back to the future, hooking-up with his original promoter, Jimmy Burchfield, and fighting against Walid “Tempete de Sable” Smichet this Saturday afternoon at Montreal Casino.

Manfredo (31-6, 16 KOs), 28, faces Schmidt (20-5-3, 14 KOs) in the10-round co-feature that has career-determining implications for both fighters. Manfredo, star of The Contender, Season I, plans to work his way down to the middleweight division, although this bout is at 168-pounds.

“I only had three weeks to get ready for this fight, so making it for 168 is a trade off, I guess, for fighting this guy in his backyard,” Manfredo explained. “I feel good about dropping my weight to 160. I was too small as a super middleweight and I’ll be just right at middleweight. I won’t be a huge middleweight like Kelly Pavlik, but look at Sergio Mora. I beat him our second fight (Mora won a controversial decision); he beat me the first fight. He won a world title at 154 and now he’s fighting Pavlik for the middleweight title. I see myself as better, or at least the equal of Mora. I know I can be world champion. I have to rebuild but I’m a fighter and that’s what we do….fight! Walid may not be a world champion, but he’s a tough competitor who can fight. Everybody saw what he did to (John) Duddy (Smichet busted-up Duddy, who received 30-plus stitches and lost out on a $1.45 million fight against Pavlik).”

Burchfield, president of Classic Entertainment and Sports, Inc. (CES), signed Manfredo in 2000 and masterfully moved Peter to 21-0 in 3 ½ years, including wins against former world champion Frankie Randall and The Contender III eventual winner Grady Brewer, as well as The Contender I star Anthony Bonsante, before agreeing to release “The Pride of Providence” in order to participate in The Contender, in which, Manfredo reached the season finale against Mora. For the past three years, CES worked in association with the Tournament of Contenders, outside of the television reality series, on behalf of Manfredo.

“We’re picking-up where we left off,” an excited Burchfield said about getting back with Manfredo. “Peter is still one of the most marketable fighters in the world. He’s only 28 and wants to be world champion There’s a lot of upside. We had just signed a 3-year promotional contract and passed the CES ceremonial torch from Vinny Paz to Peter, when he asked for permission to fight on The Contender. He was the NABO champion and No. 3 in the WBO, but Peter’s like a son to me, and I couldn’t stop him from getting a shot at a $1-million prize for his family. That experience helped him become a household name in boxing circles. Our plan now calls for him to fight outside of New England for awhile, possibly one time in Italy, before fighting back at home. We have targeted (John) Duddy at middleweight.”

Nothing happens for Manfredo, however, unless he gets past Smichet, the former Canadian middleweight title-holder who has knocked-off previously unbeaten Matt O’Brien, fought a draw with Donny McCrary, and been in tough against Sebastien Demers and Duddy.

“He is a tough, hard-nosed, come forward fighter,” Manfredo’s father/head trainer Peter Manfredo, Sr. broke-down Smichet. “He is easy to figure out. Peter needs fight smart – box, angles, double-up on his jab, and work behind it. He can’t stand in front of him or it’s going to be a much harder fight. Everyone saw what this guy did to Duddy. You can’t get in too close with him because he has a nice right hand. I give a lot of credit to his trainer, Otis Grant.”

All of Manfredo’s pro losses have been to world champions or world-class fighters --Joe Calzaghe, Mora (twice), Jeff Lacy, Sakio Bika and Alfonso Gomez – and half were of them super middleweight. Peter is on his way down to 160 pounds with Duddy clearly in his sights.

“Duddy’s a great guy, unbeaten contender and a big draw,” Manfredo concluded. “We could make a lot of money for each other, Italian versus Irishman, in a great fight for fans like (Arturo) Gatti and (Micky) Ward. If that fight doesn’t happen there’s guys like Demers and others, but I have to take care of Smichet first and show people I still have it.

“I’m glad to be back with Jimmy. He’s a great guy, like family. I started with him and trust him. I can talk to him about what’s on my mind, vent if I have to, and he’ll always send me in the right direction. I believe he can take me to the place I want to be – world champion. I have the name and he has the connections. Together we can make one last run. I’m taking it one fight at a time and we’ll see where it takes us.”


On April 28th Joe DeGuardia's Star Boxing new series, "VIP Boxing," will premier at the elegant Russo's On The Bay in Howard Beach, NY. The show will be made up of a scheduled five bout card, headlined by Star Boxing's fan favorite heavyweight Vinny Maddalone (31-5, 22KO), Queens, NY, and the return of the Bronx's lightweight contender Jorge Teron (22-1-1, 15KO).

The show will kick off at 7PM sharp with an hour long cocktail party. Immediately following the cocktail party a four course elegant dinner will be served, at which time the first bout will go on. There will be cocktail service throughout, with an open bar running for the remainder of the evenings fights.

In addition to the fights, Star Boxing has teamed up with Bruce Eagel's, Eagel Sports Promotions to showcase some of the most incredible sports and entertainment memorabilia for auction throughout the night. A silent auction will be going on at different tables throughout the arena during the bouts, with the feature items of the evening being auctioned off inside the ring between fights. Proceeds from the auction will benefit local charities.

Below is a list of some of the items being showcased that evening:

-Muhammad Ali collage from 4 of his greatest fights signed by Ali.
-Derek Jeter autographed photo
-1980 Olympic gold medal team photo signed by entire team
-Eli Manning Jersey signed with inscription SB MVP
-Joe Namath signed jersey
-David Wright signed jersey
-1986 Mets Team signed Mets jersey
-Baseball signed by Willie Mays/ Mickey Mantle and Duke Snider
-David Tyree Autographed photo of ' the catch ' in Super Bowl

Article posted on 15.04.2009

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