By Randy Wright
Professional boxing returns to the Mecca of world-class thoroughbred racing when local rising star Shannon Miller takes on popular heavyweight contender Vinny Maddalone (24-2, 17 KOs) at the Saratoga Springs City Center on Friday, August 19, 2005. Televised live by ESPN2’s “Friday Night Fights,” the card will be held during the heart of the famed city’s horse racing season, one week prior to the 136th running of the Travers Stakes, one of the most prestigious races in the sport. Miller, who trains at the Uncle Sam Boxing Club in Troy, NY, is no stranger to the boxing ring. Training since he was a child, he is undefeated as a professional after a successful amateur career. “If Maddalone thinks he can come onto my home turf and beat me, he is gravely mistaken,” said Miller (11-0 with 6 KOs), who will be stepping up his opposition level for the first time in his career. Miller is trained by his father, Bob Miller. The elder Miller, a fixture in Upstate New York boxing, founded the boxing club famous for such contenders as Verno Phillips and Kevin Pompey. “Shannon has been training really hard for this and I am confident this is going to be an exciting fight,” said Lisa Elovich of Pugnacious Promotions, who promoted the region’s last show on May 13th at Saratoga Gaming and Raceway. Pugnacious Promotions is co-promoting the event with Joe DeGuardia’s Star Boxing, which has promoted professional fights for over 15 years, most recently the two Tarver-Johnson light heavyweight Championship cards.
Maddalone, of Flushing, New York, is an exciting fighter in high demand as one of the hottest ticket sellers in New York and surrounding areas. He is known for thrilling fights and his last appearance on ESPN (a war versus Brian Minto) was one of the most exciting heavyweight bouts of 2004. “I am thrilled to be fighting in Saratoga,” said Maddalone, who is promoted by Star Boxing. “I love it there and I go up there every year during racing season. It is the place to be.”
Also on the card, Gary Wilcox (18-3-1, 6 KOs), the Saratoga-based cruiserweight contender, will make his return to the ring to begin a new campaign at heavyweight at the Saratoga Springs City Center on Friday, August 19, 2005.