Boxing key part of Providence’s culture


Boxing key part of Providence’s culture

Manfredo-Bika headlines Nov. 13 “Tough & Tested”at Dunkin’ Donuts Center

Press Release: Unlike many United States cities today, pro boxing remains alive and strong in Providence, which will host “Tough & Tested” on November 13, 2008 at the Dunkin’ Donuts Center. “The Pride of Providence” Peter Manfredo, Jr., runner-up in Season One of The Contender, battles Sakio “The Scorpian” Bika, winner of Season Three of The Contender, in the twelve-round main event at super middleweight. 

Boxing’s rich tradition in Providence started way back in 1890 when George “Old Chocolate” Godfrey knocked out Patsy Cardiff in the sixteenth (!) round. Over the years, Providence was a hot spot for the “sweet science” at places like the National A.C., Marieville Garden, Infantry Hall, Rhode Island Auditorium Arcadia Ballroom, Elks Auditorium, Metropolitan Opera House, Prince Memorial Stadium, Strand Theater, Rhode Island Convention Center, Twin River and the predecessor to the Dunkin’ Donuts Center, the Providence Civic Center.

The late, great heavyweight champion Rocky Marciano was 28-0 in Providence, where a virtual Who’s Who of Hall of Fame boxers have fought, including “Sugar” Ray Robinson, “Marvelous” Marvin Hagler, Sandy Saddler, “Sugar” Ray Leonard, Willie Pep, Sandy Saddler, Ted “Kid” Lewis, Ezzard Charles, Mickey Walker, “Barbados” Joe Walcott, Kid Gavilan, Sammy Angott, Ike Williams and many more.

The last major world title fight held at The Dunkin’ Donuts Center (Providence Civic Center at that time) was October 1, 1991, when Vinny Paz stopped Gilbert Dele in the 12th round for the WBA light middleweight championship. Also fighting on that card, ironically, was Peter Manfredo, Sr. – Peter, Jr.’s father and head trainer -- who won an 8-round decision against previously unbeaten Paul Lynch (6-0).

“Tough & Tested,” promoted by the Tournament of Contenders in association with Jimmy Burchfield’s Classic Entertainment and Sports, Inc. (CES), will air nationally live on Versus television. The co-promoters have called for a ‘Pink Out’ (everybody wearing something colored pink) to show support for the Gloria Gemma Foundation.  A portion of the proceeds from ticket and T-shirt sales will benefit the Gloria Gemma Foundation for research into early breast cancer detection.

“CES has worked hard to keep the boxing fires burning in Providence for the past few decades,” Providence-based promoter Burchfield said. “The November 13th show continues the great boxing tradition here in Providence.”

Manfredo (31-5, 16 KOs), will be fighting in front of his hometown fans, “The Pride of Providence” sports a perfect 16-0 (10 KOs) record in Rhode Island, including 3-0 (3 KOs) in the Dunkin’ Donuts Center. All five of Manfredo’s losses as a pro have been to world champions and Peter, Jr. has an opportunity to join an exclusive club of local fighting stars such as world champions Paz, Joey Archibald and Harold Gomes with a win against Bika.

Bika (26-3-2. 16 KOs), a 2000 Cameroon Olympian now fighting out of Australia, won The Contender III with a dramatic eighth round stoppage of Bridgeport, Connecticut native Jaidon Codrington in the finale in Boston. Bika hasn’t been stopped in 31 pro fights.

In the 10-round co-feature, Grady “Bad Boy” Brewer (23-11, 13 KOs), winner of Season Two of The Contender, meets fan favorite in Season Two of The Contender, Cornelius “K9” Bundrage (28-3, 16 KOs), in a light middleweight bout.  Codrington (18-2, 14 KOs), runner-up in Season Three of The Contender, also is fighting on the card in a super middleweight Special Attraction against an opponent to be determined.

Some of New England’s most talented and popular fighters are scheduled to fight on the undercard including featherweight Matt “Sharp Shooter” Remillard (15-0, 8 KOs), super flyweight Isander “Peachy” Beauchamp (5-0, 2 KOs), Providence light welterweight Jesus Caro (2-0, 2 KOs), and Pawtucket light welterweight Diego Periera (1-0, 1 KO). All fights and fighters are subject to change.

Tickets are on sale at the Dunkin’ Donuts Center Box Office (401.331.6700) or through CES Boxing at 401.724.2253/2254 or Tickets will also be on sale through, at all local Ticketmaster outlets by calling Ticketmaster direct at 401.331.2211 or 617.931.2000, as well as Manfredo’s Gym in Pawtucket (401.723.1359), 401 Gym in Cranston (401.261.9800), Balletto’s Gym in Providence (401.641.9994), Elite Mixed Martial Arts (401.728.1356) and Ultimate Fitness in Bristol (401.253.3539).