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News On: Peter Manfredo, Jaime Clampitt

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The highly-anticipated showdown scheduled for Friday night between Peter Manfredo Jr. and Rich Gingras almost didn't happen.

Following a decisive win over Walter Wright in March — the second fight of Manfredo's most recent comeback — “The Pride Of Providence” quietly decided that was enough; it was finally time to hang up the gloves and be a full-time husband and father.

Then everything changed in July when Manfredo's close friend, former Rhode Island boxer Gary Balletto, suffered a fall at his home that left him paralyzed from the waist down.

“When he got hurt, it hurt me,” Manfredo said. “He might never be able to walk again, so I thought it'd be nice to come back and fight for him while I can still walk, talk and move.”

As Balletto continues the fight of his life, doing everything within his power to walk again, Manfredo (39-7, 20 KOs) finds himself in a battle that may very well be the fight of his life, a 10-round showdown against the hard-hitting Gingras (13-3-1, 8 KOs) in the main event of “Pride & Power,” scheduled for Friday, Nov. 22, 2013 at Twin River Casino and presented by Jimmy Burchfield's Classic Entertainment & Sports.

Manfredo has faced some of the best fighters in the world, from Jeff Lacy, to Joe Calzaghe to Julio Cesar Chavez Jr., but Friday's bout against Gingras is a unique challenge at this stage in his career. Manfredo will turn 33 next Tuesday. He's more than a boxer these days; he's a father of three, a devoted husband, and a full-time laborer in Massachusetts. He no longer eats, sleeps and breathes boxing like he did during his heyday when he starred on The Contender reality series and challenged for world titles.

Having to balance his life outside of the gym with his life between the ropes makes every challenge, especially Friday's, riskier than ever, even if Gingras doesn't have as much experience as some of the elite fighters Manfredo has gone toe-to-toe with in the past.

“This is a young man's game now. That's why I retired,” Manfredo said. “I've been in this game 13 years as a pro – all my life, really – and it's tough to do both when you're working a full-time job. You need health care. You need things for your family. To compete at the level I was competing at, you can't work.

“You have to dedicate 100 percent of your time to the sport of boxing. I decided to hang it up and become a full-time dad and worker, but Gary is a friend of mine. There were times when I didn't get along with my old man and he threw me out of the gym. Gary always opened the door for me. He was always a friend.

“As boxers, we all have that side of ourselves where we are brothers. It takes a special person to be a fighter. My heart and prayers go out to Gary and his family. He's in the biggest fight of his life trying to walk again, but if anyone can do it, it's him. I want to go out there one more time and box for him.”

Though he may not admit it, this fight is about more than just honoring Balletto. Manfredo has been Rhode Island's most popular, successful fighter since Vinny Paz stepped away from the ring and passed the torch more than a decade ago. Gingras, who owns a business in Pawtucket, R.I., and lives in nearby Lincoln, just a stone's throw from Twin River, has a chance to dethrone Manfredo and become the talk of the town. Not on his turf, Manfredo says, and not on this night.

“He thinks he's going to come in there and throw a million shots and wear me out and be too much for me, but it ain't gonna happen,” Manfredo said.

“I've seen everything. I've been in there with the best in the world. I have more experience. No matter what he brings, it's nothing I haven't seen. I've prepared myself well. I'm in great shape and I know he's going to be in great shape, too. The best man will win.”

Manfredo admits he originally wanted to face the winner of the July showdown between Gingras and fellow Providence super middleweight Vladine Biosse, but that fight ended in a draw. In the interim, Gingras agreed to step up and face Manfredo, resulting in what figures to be a fitting ending to the 2013 Twin River Fight Series.

“He's definitely going to give me a run for my money, especially now that I'm not in the prime of my career,” Manfredo said of Gingras. “He's a tough kid. He looks good. He's big, strong – I've got my hands full, but when don't you have your hands full? That's why we fight. Nothing is written in stone.”

Neither are Manfredo's retirements. After ending his first retirement in 2009, Manfredo promised he'd walk away again if he lost to Chavez Jr. in 2011. He kept his word for more than a year until he returned for the second time in November of 2012, citing the need to take advantage of his earning potential and provide for his family. Although money is his driving force these days, the passion and hunger always return once that bell rings.

“You turn into a monster. You get that tunnel vision,” he said. “I've always said fighters are born, not made. That fighter comes out of you when the bell rings. You can't hear anything or anybody in the crowd and you're focused on what you need to do.

“I'm already in that mindset. I'm dieting. I'm losing weight. I'm kind of mean right now. You change. People at work look at me and notice the change in me. That's just part of being a fighter. The fighter is coming out of me now.

“On Friday, it's all business. I'm good friends with Rich, but I'm going to try to knock his head off just like he's going to try to knock off mine, and when it's over, we'll have a beer … but I'll have a root beer because I don't drink.”

Asked if he has one more fight in him after Friday, Manfredo, who is also aiming for his 40th professional win, said, “We'll see. That's the beauty of this game. You never know. One shot can change anything. I could be in total control, and one shot could change everything. That's the beauty of this sport.”

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Win or lose, Jaime Clampitt had every intention of walking away from the sport of boxing following her showdown against Holly Holm in 2010.

“That was going to be it for me,” said Clampitt, who won four world titles in the first eight years of her professional career. “It was the culmination of everything I had been through in boxing.”

Had it ended differently, Clampitt might've stayed away for good. Instead of riding off into the sunset leaving everything she had in the ring against an opponent considered one of the best in the sport, Clampitt instead returned home to Rhode Island with an empty feeling following a surprising, abrupt ending to her International Boxing Association (IBA) world title bout.

Midway through the opening round, Clampitt and Holm collided in the center of the ring as Clampitt ducked a left cross from Holm, who inadvertently struck Clampitt with her right elbow. Clampitt dropped to one knee and then began writhing on the canvas in pain, suffering a neck injury that left her unable to continue. Holm was awarded with a technical knockout victory.

“I was devastated,” Clampitt said. “To have it end like that was disheartening.”

As the years passed by, Clampitt found herself preoccupied with an active lifestyle outside of the ring, both as a mother – she now has a 4-year-old daughter and 10-month-old son – and a personal trainer, working with clients from all walks of life at the Striking Beauties female gym in North Attleboro, Mass.

Though her workload increased, her passion to fight never waned. Clampitt (21-5-1, 7 KOs) never really knew when it'd be the right time to return, but she appears to have picked the perfect night as she prepares for her real farewell fight Friday, Nov. 22, 2013 on the undercard of the Peter Manfredo Jr.-Rich Gingras showdown at Twin River Casino.

While it's hard to upstage “The Pride Of Providence,” Clampitt's fight against Dominga Olivo (8-8-1) of Brooklyn, N.Y., on Jimmy Burchfield's Classic Entertainment & Sports' “Pride & Power” card figures to be as highly-anticipated as Manfredo Jr.'s return to Twin River. Clampitt, a Warwick, R.I., resident raised in Saskatchewan, Canada, was a fixture in the Ocean State throughout her career.

In her prime, she captured the International Women's Boxing Federation world title in two separate weight classes and became one of the few females to headline a major fight card in New England, battling fellow Rhode Island Missy Fiorentino in a memorable, back-and-forth showdown seven years ago at the R.I. Convention Center. Prior to that, Clampitt achieved nationwide notoriety for her epic bout against Jane Couch, which was voted the 2004 Ring Magazine Women's Fight of the Year. Clampitt avenged the loss three years later by unanimous decision, capturing the vacant WIBF light welterweight world title for the second time.

Clampitt has always been an ambassador for women's boxing, and her return at the age of 37 is even more remarkable now considering everything she's accomplished since her first retirement in 2008. Balancing motherhood and boxing isn't easy – “You have no idea!” she said – but being back in the ring provides a welcomed escape from the everyday responsibilities of raising two children.

“That's always been my sanctuary,” Clampitt said. “I started at such a young age, so it's all I've known. I love everything about the sport. Nothing beats the feeling of stepping through the ropes, but I love it all, whether it's the training, being in the gym – as soon as I got back into the swing of things, I felt right at home.”

Friday night will feel like old times as Clampitt, Manfredo Jr. and Cranston, R.I., slugger Arthur Saribekian fight on the same card, reuniting a trio of popular, regional fighters who graced Twin River and other venues for years in the early- to mid-2000s.

A decisive win over Oliva, a tough competitor who has faced some of the best in the sport through the years, including Puerto Rican southpaw Amanda Serrano, may stir up rumblings of a second return fight for Clampitt, but the real world – particularly motherhood – might have other plans for “The Hurricane” beyond Friday night.

“I like to fight,” Clampitt said, “but this is definitely it for me.”

Clampitt's promise seems genuine. More than anything else, this is about going out on her terms – the fairytale ending she never had the chance to achieve three years ago in New Mexico. How this script unfolds is up to her.

“A lot of people ask me if this is the first step in a long comeback, but, no, it's one and done for me,” Clampitt said. “When that final bell rings, it'll really be the final bell for me. I just want to end on a positive note, not only for me but everyone who has been there with me throughout my career, from [CES president] Jimmy Burchfield all the way on down. This means a lot to me.”

Ticket for the event are priced at $46, $61, $101 and $161 (VIP) and can be purchased by calling 401-724-2253/2254, online at www.cesboxing.com or www.ticketmaster.com, or at Players Club at Twin River. All fights and fighters are subject to change.

In addition to the 10-round super middleweight main event between Manfredo Jr. (39-7, 20 KOs) and Gingras (13-3-1, 8 KOs), “Pride & Power” also features a special six-round heavyweight attraction with Saribekian (23-4-1, 18 KOs) returning to the ring for the first time in more than a decade to face Hyannis, Mass., product Jesse Barboza (6-1-1, 4 KOs).

Also on the undercard, Cranston, R.I., welterweight Nick DeLomba (2-0) will put his undefeated record on the line against Carlos Hernandez (3-2-1, 2 KOs) of Bridgeport, Conn., in a six-round bout and Providence middleweight KJ Harrison-Lombardi (2-0-1) will return to Twin River in a four-round bout against Mike Rodriguez of Springfield, Mass., who will be making his professional debut. Harrison-Lombardi and Rodriguez faced one another in the amateurs with Rodriguez winning a close decision. Providence light middleweight Publio Pena (1-0, 1 KO) will face Antonio Marrero (0-1) of Hartford, Conn., in a four-round bout. All fights and fighters are subject to change.

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Three Punch Combo: What’s in the Cards for Spence, Kell Brook, and Cotto?

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 THREE PUNCH COMBO: Errol Spence Jr. scored an impressive knockout victory against Kell Brook on Saturday to take Brook’s IBF welterweight title. Both fighters now face interesting possibilities as they move forward in their respective careers.

Spence, who entered the fight with a lot of questions, not only showcased his tremendous skills but proved he has a very good chin as well as the willingness to dig deep when needed. He is without a doubt a future superstar in this sport. With momentum strong right now, he would be wise to be as active as possible even if not landing one of the big names his next time out.

I sense that Spence’s advisor, Al Haymon, will in fact get him back in the ring this summer. One name I would speculate as an opponent is Adrian Granados. Coming off a debatable loss to Adrien Broner, Granados has earned another shot at a top fighter. Granados is not a big puncher, but will put forth a good effort. The translation here is that he is someone that can be sold to the public as an opponent for Spence while bigger names are lined up, and also someone against whom Spence can in all likelihood look impressive once again.

After a summer tilt, I would expect to see Spence back in action towards the end of the year in a more substantial fight. Keith Thurman will still be on the mend at this point, recovering from elbow surgery, so that fight is out until next year. But Haymon has plenty of other welterweights and one that I suspect he steers toward Spence will be Lamont Peterson. Peterson is a name and has a belt. He also has a stated desire to want one of the big names next along with the payday that it would command. With Thurman out, this would seem the likely immediate path for Spence as such a fight would draw plenty of attention and be easy to sell.

As for Brook, he is going to need an extensive rest before restarting his career. He suffered a beating as well as an eye injury in September against Gennady Golovkin and then suffered another beating as well as injuring his other eye against Spence. After a rest, expect to see a tune- up bout followed by a massive fight in the UK against Amir Khan. The Khan fight has always been big and one of the reasons it has not been made is that it could frankly be made anytime with it still being a very significant event. Considering where both fighters are presently in their respective careers, the timing seems right for it to happen sooner rather than later. They both get a big payday and the winner gets well positioned for another big payday in what is a loaded territory at welterweight and junior middleweight.

Errol Spence Jr. and Kell Brook gave us a great fight on Saturday. While their career paths will head in different directions, expect to see both involved in big events once again down the road.

 Miguel Cotto’s Future

 Miguel Cotto announced this week that he would be returning to the ring on August 26th to face Japanese brawler Yoshihiro Kamegai for the vacant WBO junior middleweight championship. Cotto, who split from his promoter Roc Nation last week, will work with Golden Boy Promotions for this fight which will be televised by HBO.

This is an interesting development in the career of Cotto. Reportedly HBO had not been interested in televising the proposed Kamegai fight unless it received assurances from Cotto that it would lead to a bigger fight to be televised by the network. Also, Golden Boy’s involvement in the promotion signals that they could be involved in Cotto’s future. Obviously, this would mean the opponent for a big fight for Cotto would come from under the Golden Boy banner.

The obvious choice for Cotto’s big fight opponent is David Lemieux. Lemieux has been chasing a fight with Canelo Alvarez. However, with Alvarez deciding to go after Gennady Golovkin, Lemieux gets left on the outside looking in. In need of a big fight for Lemieux, Golden Boy saw an opportunity with Cotto having been previously negotiating the Kamegai fight with Roc Nation. A fight between Cotto and Lemieux makes sense for both as Cotto wants a name who isn’t a slick boxer and Lemieux wants a big fight with the payday it commands as well as the opportunity to put a signature win on his resume to bolster his future ambitions.

But I also think Golden Boy has another potential plan for Cotto. Golden Boy’s main cash cow, Canelo Alvarez, is in a high risk, high reward fight with Golovkin in September. There is no rematch clause if Alvarez wins and, of course, a win by Alvarez cements him as a mega star in the sport. He will be eyeing a return in May 2018 during Cinco de Mayo weekend. With momentum behind him, Alvarez would be wise to seek a name opponent to further boost the event. A rematch with Cotto would not only do huge business but keep the momentum going. For Cotto, it would be a chance to avenge the loss from 2015 to Alvarez and give him one massive payday as his career nears a conclusion.

Miguel Cotto is determined to close his career out with something big and it appears likely he will get his wish.

Kudos to Golden Boy

 When Golden Boy announced its new series on ESPN this winter, I was cautiously optimistic in the fights they would produce. I must say that the matchmaking thus far on this series has been superb and is getting even better with some recently announced cards. These are the types of televised shows the sport needs to generate some badly needed positive buzz.

On June 17th, Pablo Cesar Cano takes on Fidel Maldonado in a junior welterweight contest. This fight is not only very evenly matched but can’t be anything except a slugfest given the styles of the two fighters. Cano is a high pressure fighter who is willing to exchange to get his own punches home. Maldonado has the ability to box, but often gets drawn willingly into wars. In 2015, he had a back and forth shootout with Amir Iman in a fight that got some talk in fight of the year chatter. As a matter of fact, round three was probably round of the year that year. Maldonado has a tendency to fire back when he gets hit and with Cano’s style Maldonado is going to get hit a lot. This one is guaranteed action and a perfect fight for television.

About two weeks later, Golden Boy returns with another ESPN card featuring a high stakes junior featherweight contest between Randy Caballero and Oscar Negrete. Caballero is an undefeated former bantamweight belt holder and is a very skilled boxer puncher. Negrete, also undefeated, has shown much improvement inside the ring in his last few contests. The styles of these two should mix well to provide an entertaining fight. It is also evenly matched, and with so much at stake we should see the best of both men inside the ring.

One point I harp on a lot is the importance of good matchmaking, especially in televised fights. Golden Boy is doing an excellent job so far with their new ESPN series providing high quality, well-matched fights. The boxing public is taking notice and Golden Boy deserves much praise in delivering excellent events for the fans.

Check out more boxing news on video at The Boxing Channel.

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George Foreman Youth Center in Houston Hosts Amateur Event

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George Foreman Youth Center

George Foreman Youth Center –  -Starting with the ring of the bell on October 22nd, local area boxers will be fighting for a spot to represent the Gulf Coast Region at the USA Boxing National Championships & in International Travel.

Weight categories will include: Pee Wee 8-9, Bantam 10-11, Intermediate 12-13, Juniors 14-15, Youth 15-16, & Elite 18-40 in both Open and Novice divisions. Winners will represent the Gulf area at the 2016 USA Boxing Elite, Youth and Junior National Championships to be held in Kansas City Missouri December 4-10, 2016. This tournament is a sanctioned event through USA Boxing the National Governing Body of Amateur Boxing and is a feeder to National and Olympic recognition.

The George Foreman Youth and Community Center was founded 32 years ago in 1984 by Olympic Gold Medalist and 2-time heavy weight champion George Foreman. The GFYCC is dedicated to providing a safe and secure location for youth to participate in sports and after school activities.

“This year for the first time in Houston boxing history, we are developing an elite international youth boxing team,” said George Foreman, IV. “The team will be selected for the sole purpose of training and traveling to other countries to gain experience on an international platform and promote cultural diplomacy! Utilizing grant and donor funding this team will be representing the George Foreman Youth and Community Center and will be announced Saturday October 22, at the Gulf Region’s Boxing Championship. The team will be reviewed by my father, 1968 Olympic Gold Medalist and 2-Time Heavyweight Champion, George Foreman Sr. The first international trip for this new Houston team is scheduled for Jan. 2017.”

Doors open for the Gulf Gloves Championships on Saturday October 22nd at 11:00 am with announcements and the presentation of the colors by the United States Army Houston Recruiting Command Baytown Beaumont Company at 12:45 pm. The national anthem will be performed by the internationally acclaimed Houston Brass Quintet! Boxing will begin at 1:00 pm. Championship finals will begin at 1:00 pm on Sunday October 23rd.

Media open workouts for Houston amateur standout boxers will be held Wednesday October 19th at the George Foreman Youth and Community Center at 2202 Lone Oak Road Houston, Texas 77093 at 4:00 pm.

Confirmed attendees for interviews will be:

George Edward Foreman IV: Son of 2 Time Heavy Weight Champion, President of Foreman Public Relations

Marlen Esparza: 2012 Olympic Games Bronze Medalist, 2014 Amateur World Champion, 2006 & 2016 Amateur World Championships Bronze Medalist, Nine-Time USA Boxing National Champion.

Rocky Juarez: 2000 Olympic Games Silver Medalist, 1999 Amateur World Champion, WBC Silver Featherweight World Champion.

Raul Marquez: 1988 Amateur World Championships Bronze Medalist, 1992 Olympic Games Quarter-finalist, IBF Light Middleweight World Champion.

Frank Tate: 1984 Olympic Games Gold Medalist, IBF Middleweight World Champion, NABF Light Heavyweight Champion.

Juan “Baby Bull” Diaz: WBA Lightweight World Champion, WBO Lightweight World Champion, WBA Super-Lightweight World Champion, IBF Lightweight World Champion.

“Sweet” Reggie Johnson: WBA Middleweight World Champion, IBF Light Heavyweight World Champion.

In addition to many Houston area professional boxers and Gulf Boxing Association alumni. Event is sanctioned by USA Boxing – Gulf LBC: 16-25-14268

George Foreman Youth Center / Check out more boxing news and videos at The Boxing Channel.

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Michelle Corrales-Lewis Named New CEO of NV Boxing Hall of Fame

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Michelle Corrales-Lewis

LAS VEGAS, NV (October 5, 2016) – The Nevada Boxing Hall of Fame (NVBHOF) a non-profit charitable organization which donates to boxing-related causes, is happy to announce Michelle Corrales-Lewis as its new CEO/President. Respected boxing announcer, Rich Marotta, who founded the NVBHOF in 2012, steps down after devoting years of his life to get the organization off the ground.

With a number of boxing greats already inducted, which include world champion fighters, judges, coaches and promoters, the NVBHOF has rapidly established itself as prestigious group not only here in Las Vegas, but around the world. The NVBHOF has multiple fundraising events throughout the year, helping local boxing organizations fulfill their goals to keep boxing alive within the community.

“I took this organization as far as I could and I’m very comfortable where it is at today,” said Rich Marotta. “Michelle is on the scene in Las Vegas, has a myriad of contacts, both in business and with the boxing community, especially the fighters, and is more than ready to completely run the company. She is incredibly capable and has been an indefatigable agent for growth of the NVBHOF the past three years, taking on additional responsibilities each and every year. It brings me great pleasure to announce her as the new CEO of the Nevada Boxing Hall of Fame.”

After serving as the NVBHOF Chief Operating Officer for many years, Michelle Corrales-Lewis, is thrilled at her new position within the organization.

“It’s an honor to be chosen as the new CEO of the Nevada Boxing Hall of Fame,” said Michelle Corrales-Lewis, widow of former multiple world champion and 2013 NVBHOF inductee, Diego Corrales. “Rich Marotta did a fantastic job building the organization from ground up. His immense work ethic is a great example of how I plan to continue the vision he set forth. My goal is to find a home for the Nevada Boxing Hall of Fame, one where fans from all around the world can visit on regular basis. The boxing community is filled with wonderful people that we will honor as inductees each year. I’m truly grateful for the wonderful opportunity that has been presented to me by my dear friend Rich Marotta.”

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