(FEB 13) On March 15, 2013,
at the Twin River Event Center, Lincoln, Rhode Island, on the
undercard, Noemi "La Rebelde" Bosques, 1-0-0, a St. Petersburg,
Florida native, who now trains in Providence, will face Queens
native Vanessa Greco, 1-2-1, in a four-round bantamweight bout.
In the Main Event: Stakes are higher
than ever as Manfredo Jr., Spina prepare for long-awaited
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
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
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.
"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
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.
In addition to having one female bout on the undercard, "Unfinished Business" also
will feature 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.