|Peter Manfredo Jr. meets Joe Spina on Saturday, October 14 at the Dunkin’ Donuts Center in Providence, Rhode Island in a fight billed as “"Put Up or Shut Up’". Both men grew up in the small town within a mile of one another, but while Spina has been in relative obscurity, Manfredo||
is known as "The Pride of Providence". Spina has made no bones about his dislike of his opponent and SaddoBoxing caught up with Manfredo at his training camp in California for a response.
SaddoBoxing: Peter Manfredo, it’s a pleasure to speak to you. How are you?
Peter Manfredo: "Good morning. I’m good."
SB: Let me start by saying that I didn’t know about you until The Contender, but around the office you were the guy we all looked forward to watching.
PM: "Thanks a lot."
SB: This fight is on regular ESPN, right? Not PPV?
SB: Is there any real bad blood between you and Joe Spina?
PM: "We were fine until the past year, we never hung around. We sparred about three years ago when he was fighting at light heavy and I was at 154. He started opening his mouth because of The Contender."
SB: It seems like being on The Contender was a double-edged sword. On the one hand you get national exposure, but do people not take you seriously because you were on a reality TV show?
PM: "Definitely, but I earned where I am. I already had the NABA title, I won WBO fighter of the year. It was difficult [there] not having your trainer, doing crazy stunts before the fight, but then again, you’re in America’s homes for 16 weeks."
SB: You don’t have a high KO percentage; how are you planning to beat Joe?
PM: "I’m gonna take him out. I have more power at 168, I’m sitting down on my punches, I mix up my punches; it won’t go past 8 rounds. Joe has power, but he’ll die out after 3 or 4 rounds if he makes it that long."
SB: I was just coming to that. You seemed more comfortable in your body at 168 against Pemberton. Is that the case?
PM: "Making weight was hurting me. I feel strong at 68. That’s why I rocked Scott Pemberton. People said I couldn’t beat him."
SB: When you’re not in training at what weight do you normally walk around?
SB: Is there anything that Spina does that you’ve had to prepare for?
PM: "He grabs a lot, he fights dirty; I have to watch out for cuts. But he throws his hooks from left field. He fights like an amateur."
SB: So he’s the Mayorga to your De La Hoya?
SB: Back to The Contender; it seems like the difficulties there factored into you getting the three losses; the one to Alfonso Gomez and the two to Sergio Mora. What were those difficulties?
PM: "6 round fights. I over trained for the first fight with Mora and I was tired. The second fight I won 6 out of 8 rounds, but the judgesâ€¦Mora couldn’t go 10 rounds back then. He probably can now; he just beat Eric Reagan."
SB: Not to look past Joe Spina, but who would you like to fight down the line?
PM: "Oh man, I’m eager to fight. I’ll fight anybody, I do it for my family, I’m an old school fighter, put me in with anyone; Calzaghe, Kessler; I don’t care."
SB: Thanks for talking to us, Peter. Any closing words?
PM: "Thanks to my fans for the fights. I just do what I do and thanks for supporting me."