Today, ESPN and The Contender have unveiled details of their second live boxing special to be held Sunday, Feb. 12, 2006 at The Dunkin Donuts Center in Providence, R.I., immediately following ESPN’s presentation of the NFL Pro Bowl. Billed as The Contender Special – East Coast Pride, the card will feature Contender finalist and Providence native, Peter Manfredo Jr. in a super middleweight showdown versus world-ranked Scott “The Sandman” Pemberton of nearby New Bedford, Mass.
Manfredo Jr., who is coming off a close decision loss to Contender champion Sergio Mora in their October rematch, is returning to the ring to face top flight competition out of the Contender family. This bout will also mark his first fight back in Rhode Island since his Contender debut over a year ago.
“I can’t express how excited I am to return to Providence to fight in front of my hometown fans,” said Manfredo Jr. “My fans deserve to see me in a fight versus a guy like Scott Pemberton and after I win, I’ll deserve to be back in the top ten where I belong!”
Pemberton who has built an impressive 29-4-1 record, also looks to regain his supremacy since recently suffering a loss to undefeated super middleweight champion Jeff Lacy.
In the televised undercard, fellow Contender participants Jeff Fraza of Haverhill, Mass. will move down to welterweight to take on Chuck “Chucky T” Tschorniawsky from Philadelphia, while Miguel Espino will be featured in the third bout. The remainder of the undercard will feature local talent from the historically boxing-rich New England area.
In their first live boxing special together in October, ESPN and Tournament of Contenders, LLC (The Contender’s boxing promotional entity), saw more than 10,000 fans flock to the STAPLES Center in Los Angeles and the bouts generated the highest ratings for a boxing telecast on the cable network in 10 years.
Mark Burnett, executive producer of The Contender and co-founder of Tournament of Contenders, LLC stated, “All of the ingredients are coming together in this recipe for success. ESPN and Tournament of Contenders continue to provide these brave young men with the platform to tell their story in and out of the ring and the viewership garnered in our first live event is proof that boxing fans old and new truly care.”
Ron Semiao, senior vice president, ESPN Original Entertainment, said, “We are thrilled to be working alongside the creative mind of Mark Burnett and all the good people at Tournament of Contenders. They share a similar passion and enthusiasm for boxing. We are also very excited to be showcasing this second Contender special directly following the NFL Pro Bowl – a very strong one-two punch!”
ESPN will air the event live at 9:30PM (ET).
Tickets for The Contender Special – East Coast Pride are available for purchase this Saturday, December 10 at 10AM ET through www.Ticketmaster.com
, all local Ticketmaster outlets and the Dunkin Donuts Center Box Office or by calling 401-331-2211 or 617-931-2000
For more information visit www.espn.com