By: Jim Amato
This fight has sure generated a lot of interest especially since neither boxer is highly ranked. Still they are both top prospects and the bad blood between them has really stirred up the boxing public.
Peter Manfredo Jr. of course is the better known of the two from his stint on The Contender series. Since his close, controversial loss to Sergio Mora in that year’s Contender finale, Peter took a big step up the ladder in beating Scott Pemberton. Maybe the wars that Pemberton had with Omar Shieka and others had softened him up. Who knows ? Remember that Pemberton had just lost to Jeff Lacy in a bid for the IBF title. There is no doubt that he was still a legitimate contender. It wasn’t that Manfredo won, it was how he won. He took the veteran apart and he proved that he is on the cusp of being among the elite in his division.
Joey Spina is undefeated ( 19-0-1 ). Still he has yet to face the competition that Manfredo has faced. He holds a win over a faded ex- junior middleweight champion in Carl Daniels. He rallied to stop ex-Contender alumni Jesse Brinkley. In his last fight he stopped 42 year old Jay Pina. The only man on his record is a draw with journeyman Jose Spearman. Just based on their records and quality of opposition the edge goes to Manfredo.
Two fine trainers will be working the corners as Freddie Roach will be with Manfredo and Eddie Mustafa Muhammad is with Spina. I look for some fireworks early on but when things settle down the more polished Manfredo will take over. From that point on I look for him to mix up his attack and eventually break Spina down. I’ll have to go with Manfredo by stoppage around the seventh or eighth round.