In addition to celebrating the New Year, CES Promotions held a party last week in Providence, Rhode Island to kick off the promotion of The Contender event at the Dunkin Donuts Center in Downtown Providence on February 12, 2006. The highlights of the evening came when the main event fighter, Peter Manfredo, Jr., called in from his training camp in California [Editor's note: it must have been a crazy party if a telephone call was the highlight]. “I am training hard and I am coming to win this fight for all of my fans in Providence,” said Manfredo, via phone. “I know it will be a great night and I am looking forward to having all of my fans pack the Dunkin Donuts Center. I will tell you all that I am gonna kick Scott Pemberton’s ass. I know him well and I know that he cannot compete with me.” Fellow Contender Alfonso Gomez will be fighting in the co-feature.
Gomez made a great sacrifice in breaking his training camp in California to come to Rhode Island for a couple of days to help promote the event. “Everyone in Rhode Island had been great,” said Gomez, who has a record of 14-3-1, 5 KO’s. “I was a bit nervous coming to Rhode Island since I was the one to defeat Peter Manfredo in the first round of the Contender. But, everyone has been awesome and I cannot wait to fight here February 12th. I just hope that everyone comes out to see me because I guarantee that I will put on a tremendous show.” Gomez was 3-1 on the Contender, defeating Manfredo and also losing to him. He has since moved down from the 158 lbs. weight class which the show was contested at, and has resumed fighting at his natural weight of 147 lbs. In the main event on February 12th, Providence’s Peter Manfredo, Jr. looks to turn his career around with a win over former world title challenger Scott “The Sandman” Pemberton (29-4-1, 24 KO’s). Manfredo was 21-0 when he entered the Contender, but has gone just 3-3 since, including two losses to Contender champion Sergio Mora, the second of which was very controversial. Pemberton is coming off a knockout loss to IBF world super middleweight champion Jeff “Left Hook” Lacy.
“This is the ultimate crossroads fight,” said Jimmy Burchfield, whose CES company along with The Contender & ESPN is promoting the event. “The winner of this fight gets his career rejuvenated; the loser is going to have to take a serious look at doing something other than boxing. This, coupled with the fact that we have a true neighborhood war, makes this a very intriguing fight. We also have a tremendous undercard planned where every local fighter is being put to the test.”
Featured on the undercard will be four exciting bouts. One will feature Miguel Espino (10-2-1, 4 KO’s), another Contender, taking on tough veteran Dorian Beupierre (12-4-2, 6 KO’s). In addition two of Providence’s rising stars will be featured in six rounders as Jason “Big Six” Estrada (5-0, 1 KO) takes on former world rated contender Yanqui Diaz (13-3, 8 KO’s) and Matt “Too Smooth” Godfrey (10-0, 5 KO’s) battles former champion Ernest “M-16” Mateen (28-11-3, 10 KO’s). Rounding out the card will be a six rounder featurinig hot featherweight prospect Matt Remillard (6-0, 5 KO’s) in his first six round fight.
Tickets for The Contender Special - East Coast Pride are now available for purchase through CES Boxing at (401) 724-2253, (401) 724-2254, www.cesboxing.com
and Ticketmaster direct at all local Ticketmaster outlets or by calling (401) 331-2211 or (617) 931-2000. Tickets are also available through the Dunkin Donuts Center Box Office.