News - Godfrey relinquishes SNBC title

PROVIDENCE (July 22, 2009) World rated cruiserweight contender Matt “Too Smooth” Godfrey has relinquished his Sovereign Nations Boxing Council (SNBC) belt so that worthy contenders may fight for it as he prepares for a major world title shot.

SNBC links federally recognized tribes throughout the United States and Canada. Its mission is to develop, promote and help regulate professional boxing and mixed martial arts in a fair and professional manner by federally recognized tribes that are sovereign nations.

Godfrey (19-1, 10 KOs), a full-blooded Wampanoag, became the first SNBC champion last November, winning a unanimous 10-round decision against Edward Gutierrez at 4 Bears Casino in New Town, North Dakota.

Godfrey successfully defended his SNBC belt, as well as his NABF title, with a unanimous 10-round decision (99-91, 98-92, 97-93) against previously unbeaten Shawn “The Sioux Warrior” Hawk in the main event on a recent ESPN2 Friday Night Fights show in Philadelphia.

After their fight, Godfrey handed his SNBC title belt to Hawk, who grew-up on the Crow Creek Reservation, South Dakota. “I was honored to be the first SNBC champion and I am proud of my Native American heritage,” Matt explained. “I’ve relinquished the SNBC belt only because I am concentrating on a major world title fight and it’s only fair that others have the same opportunity to fight for the SNBC belt that I had. It’s very special to me because it’s the only Native American title in boxing. I handed it to Shawn as a goodwill gesture because he probably should have fought Gutierrez when I did. Hawk and I are both Native Americans, but he grew up on one of the toughest reservations, and I’m from the city. I meant no disrespect at all. Shawn has a lot of potential and he will win the SNBC belt soon.”

SNBC President Pat Packineau understood Godfrey’s gesture. “Matt Godfrey was a great first SNBC champion and we wish him luck when he fights for a world title. All Native Americans will be in his corner. We were honored to have him as our cruiserweight champion. We appreciate him giving other contenders an opportunity. Shawn Hawk is scheduled to fight for the now vacant SNBC cruiserweight title on October 24 at 4 Bears Casino.”

The 28-year-old Godfrey, rated No. 10-ranked by The Ring magazine, as well a No. 3 by the IBF and No. 6 by the WBC, took a different approach to his fight against Hawk, effectively boxing as a southpaw, opposed to his three previous ESPN FNF knockout performances against Emmanuel Nwodo, Felix Cora, Jr. and Shaun George.

Godfrey is primarily an orthodox fighter who often turns around and fights left-handed. Against Hawk, though, Matt fought exclusively as a southpaw. “I outclassed Hawk,” Godfrey said. “I kept him off-balance with my jab. We knew going in he had no experience fighting southpaws. If I kept circling, we knew he’d follow; my jab out of the southpaw stance kept him confused. It’s always good to have two weapons.

“I picked it up in the third round and hit him with some good shots. But he’s a tough, dangerous kid and there was no reason to change our plan when it was working so well. I always listen to my corner and I was told not to go crazy. I won nine rounds against a previously unbeaten fighter.”

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SNBC and SNMMA is committed to serving the communities and advancing the lives and economic situation of all Native people, as well as all professional boxers and MMA fighters, in a positive and professional manner. For more information about Sovereign Nations Mixed Martial Arts call 701.6277539, go online at, or write to SNMMA, P.O. Box 5, Parshall, ND 58770.

Article posted on 24.07.2009

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