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Manfredo Wins Big in Middleweight Return

By Stephen Tobey

UNCASVILLE, Conn. – Peter Manfredo, Jr. won the vacant North American Boxing Federation middleweight title with a 10-round unanimous decision over Matt Vanda, Friday at the Mohegan Sun Casino.


John Mackay and Steve Weisfeld scored the fight 100-89; Don Trella scored it 99-90. Manfredo, of Providence, R.I., is now 34-6 (18); Vanda, of St. Paul, Minn. is 42-10 (22).


In the sixth round, Manfredo put Vanda on the canvas with a left hook to the body with about 15 seconds left in the round.

In the sixth round, Manfredo put Vanda on the canvas with a left hook to the body with about 15 seconds left in the round.


In the seventh, Manfredo swarmed over Vanda at the start of the round, landing several uppercuts before Vanda got him off the ropes with his jab.


“He had good defense, especially to the head,” Manfredo said. “I tried to go up and down on him. I had him hurt in the next round, but he had a hard head.”


Manfredo landed the straighter, crisper punches throughout the bout, though he took his foot off the gas a little in the eighth. Most of Vanda’s punches were wide hooks, though he did land some solid punches in the final minute of the bout.


“I was trying to set everything up with the jab,” Manfredo said. “When I hit him with the jab, he ducked down and that opened up the middle.”


This was Manfredo’s first fight at middleweight in five years. His most recent fights, including a 2007 challenge against Joe Calzaghe, were at super middleweight.


“I fought the best in the world at 168,” he said. “Now I’m at 160 and that’s where my power is.”


Lightweight Arash Usmanee of Red Deer, Alberta, Canada, won a technical decision against Jorge Ruiz of Miami after the bout was stopped in the fifth round. Ruiz sustained a cut on the top of his head and was unable to continue after the 2:43 mark of the fifth. The scores were 48-47, 50-45 and 49-45. Usmanee is now 5-0 (2); Ruiz is 7-11-1.


Rachel Clark of Fayetteville, N.C. won a six-round split decision against Addy Irizarry of Hartford, Conn. at welterweight. The scores were 57-56 (twice) for Clark and 58-55 for Irizarry. Clark, 5-3-1 (3), scored a knockdown in the fourth round. Irizarry is now 6-4 (2).


Joseph Perez of Hartford, Conn. won a four-round majority decision over Luis Quezada of Caguas, Puerto Rico at lightweight. The scores were 39-37 (twice) for Perez and 38-38. Perez is 3-0 (1). Quezada is 1-2.


Debuting J’Leon Love, 1-0 (1), of Detroit knocked out Vince Burkhalter of Philadelphia in the first round of a four-round super middleweight bout, Love knocked down Burkhalter twice before referee Benji Esteves reached the count of 10 at 1:33. Burkhalter is now 0-3.


Joseph Elegele of Melbourne, Fla. stopped Chris Russel of Shaddock, Okla. At 1:26 in the first round of a scheduled four at welterweight. Elegele is now 3-0 (2); Russel is 1-1.

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