By Ken Lupo
Photos by Jason Marchetti
In the main event, Peter Manfredo, Jr. outboxed Walter Wright from Seattle over 10 rounds in another ‘Contender’ showdown at Twin River. Wright took the fight on only 2 weeks notice as promoter Jimmy Burchfield was left hanging after original opponent, Joey Spina, withdrew from the bout. Wright, like Manfredo, gained notoriety from the reality boxing show, ‘The Contender’, season 2, where he had some success but lost to K9 Bundrage in the quarterfinals.
Manfredo seemed to control the fight early and swelled Wright’s face with his jab and left hooks by the end of the 2nd round. Wright won some of the middle rounds by effectively counter punching, but Manfredo did not let up as he confidently and comfortably controlled the pace of the fight. The highlight of the fight was in the 6th where Manfredo wobbled Wright with a punishing straight right hand while against the ropes.
Wright’s eye became so swollen by the 8th round that he had to basically fight with one eye through the rest of the fight. Finally, the two traded punches in the 10th as Wright knew he was behind on the scorecards. The judges scored the fight a win by unanimous decision for ‘The Pride of Providence’ Peter Manfredo Jr., 98-93, 100-90, 97-93. Manfredo improves to 39-7 with 20 KO. Wright showed amazing toughness and we hope to see him in Providence again, perhaps fighting at middleweight. Manfredo, on the other hand, is still looking for an opportunity to land a big fight, however, he is selling tickets locally and we’d like to see him step up his quality of opposition if he decides to move forward.
In a very close fight, Joe Gardner (11-5-1, 1 KO) outpointed Reynaldo Rodriguez (6-6-1, 3 KO’s) in a 6 round bout at super middlewight. Gardner looked to continue the momentum from his win over Alex Amparo last fall at Twin River. He locked up with Rodriguez, who like Gardner, hails from Woonsocket RI. Gardner spent the early part of the fight trying to establish his jab, but Rodriguez was very aggressive and fighting inside. Gardner had success in the third, most noticeably a three-punch combo that included a monster right hand that landed flush. The 4th and 5th rounds could have gone either way. Both fighters were throwing punches in bunches with about the same amount of success. They came out and fought the 6th round like both fighters thought the fight depended on it. It went the scorecards and the judges scored the fight as a unanimous decision victory for Gardner 58-56 on all cards. It was certainly a close fight as many ringside media had the contest for Rodriguez.
Gardner (left) vs. Rodriguez (right)
Thomas Falowo improved with another TKO victory, this time over Julio Garcia at middleweight. Garcia (6-3, 3 KO’s), trained in Boston by ‘former heavyweight champion, John Ruiz, came out swinging in the first round, throwing wide left hooks. Falowo used his slick style to avoid the hooks and answer with combinations through Garcia’s defense. Falowo continued to control the fight in the second and third rounds. His speed was clearly too much for Garcia to handle. Although Garcia landed some nice shots of his own and showed toughness, his face was too swollen to answer the bell at the beginning of the sixth. Another Manfredo, Sr. protege, Falowo looked impressive- his record now stands at 9-1, 7 KO’s.
Falowo (left) vs Garcia (right)
Kevin Cobbs entered the ring tonight with an eye on getting his career back on track after losing his last fight. The fight versus Paul Gonsalves was an all out brawl, as both fighters seemed to be looking for a knockout. Cobbs dropped Gonsalves at the end of round two with a powerful right hand just before the bell. Gonsalves spent most of the night loading up with power shots and often paid for it with counterpunches by Cobbs. The judges scored the fight a SD for Cobbs 39-36, 37-38, 39-36.
Cobbs dropped Goncalves in the 2nd.
Patryk Szymanski and Antonio Chaves Fernandes squared off in a 6 round bout at welterweight. The early portions of the fight were slower paced as the fighters tried to figure out their opponents. Szymanski began to take advantage of his reach and landed power punches throughout the middle rounds. Fernandes looked dazed at points but managed to survive some powerful flurries. Fernandes was wobbled in the 4th, 5th, and 6th. The judges scored the fight a unanimous decision for Szymanski (60-54, 59-55, 58-56) who improves to 6-0, 2 KO’s.
Fernandez (left) vs. Szymanski (right)
Noemi Bosques (1-0-1) from Providence and Vanessa Greco (1-2-2) from Brooklyn, NY, fought a spirited fight to open the night at Twin River. Bosques frequently landed her jab while Greco loaded up on hooks. There wasn’t much in the way of defense as both fighters landed shots at will. Greco’s power hooks started to wear Bosques down towards the end of the fight. The judges scored the fight as a majority draw. 39-37 Greco and 38-38 (twice).
Greco (left) vs Bosques (right)
Local favorite Benny “The Boss” Costantino faced off against Emmanuel Medina in a 4 round super middleweight bout. In an odd turn of events, Costantino went down in the second round without being hit, and stumbled a few more times later in the round with what appeared to be a knee injury. The ref stopped the fight 2:42 seconds into the second round. Medina wins by TKO to improve to 3-3-1 3 KO.
Emmanuel Medina (3-3-1)