By Ken Hissner: On the Bridgeman’s Corridor in Northeast Philadelphia Sunday, former IBHOF World Light-weight champion southpaw Paul “The Pittsburgh Child” Spadafora lead 23 new inductees into the PAB HOF for the 2020-21 12 months.
Upon being launched by Nino DelBuono and receiving his award from John DiSanto, Spadafora mentioned, “I need to thank my creator God.” He then walked off the stage to his 71-year-old mom and kissed her.
This author requested Spadafora for a future interview eager to do an article on him and bought it the following night time over the cellphone after receiving an e mail from his former fiance’ and mom of their son Geno Paul Spadafora (who turns 17 on December 1st) Nadine Russo with their cellphone quantity.
Spadafora’s profession ended with a 49-1-1 document with 19 stoppages. He was inducted in 2020, however on account of Covid-19, there have been no PAB HOF inductions till this 12 months. He was 85-5 within the amateurs, successful the well-known Ohio State Truthful twice. He was skilled by PK Pecora in his first fourteen fights earlier than he handed away. Then Tommy Yankello took over, adopted by Jesse Reid and Yankello once more.
“I skilled Paul Spadafora from 1997 to 2003 via his title run from (1999 to 2003). Then once more from 2011 to 2014. I skilled him for a complete of 27 fights. I skilled him for extra fights in his skilled profession than any coach he ever had. Paul was probably the most cerebral fighter I’ve ever skilled. He had nice ring IQ. He really understood the geography of the ring. He was nice at understanding vary and was in a position to beat bodily pace with psychological pace via anticipation, rhythm, and positioning. I consider I’m the one one who really understands how nice he was. Sadly, he’ll in all probability at all times be underappreciated and underrated. Paul was an All-Time Nice! This quote was from Tommy Yankello.
“Mike Acri, of Erie, PA, promoted fairly a number of of my fights and did an important job with me. PK taught me how you can combat. I fought all people within the gymnasium. He mentioned the whole lot you get from a coach, take one thing from it. He mentioned watch out, cautious, and secure. You would not have to maneuver away to be far however keep inside. Tommy Yankello taught me fundamentals. Jesse Reid taught me leverage. I used to be with Pernell Whitaker for 3 years in Indiana. Don Turner taught me you aren’t doing the correct factor in life, consuming proper, your folks ain’t proper, your booked,” mentioned Spadafora.
Turning skilled in October of 1995, Spadafora received his first twenty-six fights earlier than successful the vacant IBF World Light-weight title defeating Israel “Pito” Cardona, 31-2, of Hartford, CT, with a lopsided resolution by scores of 119-1 09, 119-108 and 120-108 on the Mountaineer On line casino Racetrack and Resort in Chester, West Virginia, over 12 rounds, in August of 1999.
Earlier than Spadafora’s subsequent combat after successful the world title on the finish of the summer season of 1999, he had a sparring session with then WBC Tremendous Featherweight champ Floyd Mayweather, Jr. “We agreed to have a sparring session, and as a substitute of the traditional three rounds I insisted on six rounds. Within the third spherical, on account of Mayweather and his father’s bragging previous to this, Paul took over speaking to Mayweather about his bloody nostril and one eye beginning to swell. He owned Mayweather by then. Within the fourth spherical, Mayweather tells me he needed out, however I informed him he was getting his ass kicked, and I insisted he needed to go the complete six rounds as agreed upon. Afterward, Mayweather lay on the canvas for twenty minutes, utterly exhausted,” mentioned Jesse Reid.
Reid, who was then Spadafora’s coach, had arrange a digital camera previous to this and despatched the tape to promoter Lou DiBella saying he kicked his ass as soon as and he may do it once more.
“He’s (Geno) 16 years outdated with 9 novice fights dropping one, and he’s actually good. Having him in Vegas is nice. He has lots of his father in him, bone construction. He’s lean muscular, and about 5:06 and 116 kilos. He’s bought super athletic means. He’s a clear liver and a wise child. He has good reflexes. He’s bought pace and hit more durable than Paul,” mentioned Jesse Reid.
“Paul is likely one of the most loyal people I ever met. I had Jesse Burnett, Johnnie Tapia, and Orlando Canizales, who have been the identical approach. My son was the primary to see Paul combat in Chicago (Rocky Martinez). He mentioned he’s super. When Mike Acri known as me, he mentioned he has a child who wants some assist named Paul Spadafora. Paul is particular with me. He’s somebody God put us collectively. He may have been a famous person. I had him from Israel Cardona to Leonard Dorin,” mentioned Jesse Reid.
In taking a ten spherical resolution over Mexican Rocky Martinez, 29-2, of Chicago, two fights previous to successful the title in Chicago, IL, “I misplaced between 10-15 kilos to make weight,” mentioned Spadafora. That was in January of 1999.
4 months after successful the title, Spadafora returned to his dwelling in Pittsburgh for his first title protection stopping Croatian-born Renato Cornett, 30-2-1, of Australia, at 0:52 of the eleventh spherical of a scheduled 12. The referee stopping the combat was now Pennsylvania boxing commissioner and former referee Rick Steigerwald who attended the induction in Philadelphia, together with supervisor/promoter Derek Gionta.
“I refereed lots of his (Paul) early fights and three or 4 of his championship fights on HBO, Showtime and Fox, and many others. He’s an important dude, fighter, however his largest opponent is his demons! He beats them; he wins all of it,” mentioned Steigerwald!
“It was nice seeing him (Paul) being inducted into the PA Corridor of Fame. He’s been concerned with boxing his complete life and sacrificed the whole lot to make a run at it. With all of the obstacles he encountered alongside the way in which, he nonetheless managed to win the IBF light-weight title and by no means misplaced a title protection. Hopefully, he continues to work with younger boxers in Pittsburgh,” mentioned Gionta.
”My 16-year-old son Geno is an novice and might be turning professional when he’s 18 on December 1, 2022. He’s coaching in Las Vegas with my former coach Jesse Reid. He could get some fights in Mexico after he turns professional”, mentioned Spadafora.
Spadafora works with youngsters at 412 Boxing at third Avenue Gymnasium in downtown Pittsburgh, and he works with different youngsters without spending a dime. He runs with the children very first thing within the morning. He makes a dwelling in the present day by reducing down timber.
In Spadafora’s eighth title protection, he was held to a controversial draw with IBF champion Leonard “The Lion” Dorin, 21-0 (7), on the Petersen Middle, in Pittsburgh, PA, in Might of 2003. Scores have been 115-114 in his favor and 115-113 for Dorin, and 114-114. “I believed I received the combat,” mentioned Spadafora. The referee was Rudy Battle, who was additionally inducted into the PAB HOF the identical night time as Spadafora.
It could be the final title combat for Spadafora at 135 as he moved as much as 140. He hoped for a high-paying rematch with Dorin, however the latter needed nothing to do with a rematch. “It may have been a $750,000 payday in a rematch,” mentioned Spadafora.
Spadafora moved up in weight and went on to win his subsequent twelve fights after the Dorin combat earlier than struggling his first loss at 48-0-1, to WBA Welterweight Worldwide champion from Venezuela Johan “El Horrible” Perez, 17-1-1, by majority resolution in a WBA interim Tremendous Light-weight title combat over 12 rounds by scores of 114-114, 115-113 and 117-111, on the Mountaineer On line casino Racetrack and Resort, in Chester, West Virginia, in November of 2013, combating there for the fourteenth time there.
“I used to be minimize within the first spherical and would find yourself with 21 stitches, however due to my minimize man Buzzy Garnic (has a camp in California, PA, the place Roy Jones, Jr. trains), I used to be in a position to proceed,” mentioned Spadafora.
Dorin from Romania, combating out of Canada, would go on to cease Chucky Tschorniawsky, 23-7-1, in Canada in his subsequent combat at welterweight ten months later. In August 2001, Spadafora had shut out Chucky T. Then Dorin would finish his profession getting stopped by Arturo “Thunder” Gatti, 37-6, in two rounds. “It was a physique shot that stopped him,” mentioned Spadafora.
This author remembers seeing Spadafora in his first protection in March of 2000, managing to get via a televised protection in opposition to Victoriano “El Santico” Sosa, 24-1-1, of the Dominican Republic, over 12 rounds. Spadafora got here off the canvas twice within the third spherical to recuperate, exhibiting the center of a champion taking a 115-112, 114-112, and 116-111 resolution on the Turning Stone Resort & On line casino in Verona, New York.
Sosa would go onto an 11-0-1 document in his subsequent twelve fights earlier than dropping to WBC World Light-weight champion Floyd Mayweather, Jr., 29-0, by resolution in April of 2003 on the Selland Area in Fresno, CA.
Spadafora, however, two months after the Sosa combat would defend his title for the second time defeating Mike “The Hammer” Griffith, 23-6, of Cleveland, OH, by TD in 10 rounds by scores of 98-92 twice and 95-95 on the Mellon Area, in Pittsburgh, PA. Griffith would combat as soon as extra, dropping earlier than retiring.
Subsequent for Spadafora could be a non-title bout for months later defeating Rodney “Pitbull” Jones, 23-0, 100-89, and 100-86 twice in September in Chester, West Virginia. Three months later, in December of 2000, Spadafora defended his title for the fourth time defeating Canadian Billy “The Child” Irwin, 34-3, on the Lawrence Conference Middle, in Pittsburgh, PA, over 12 rounds by scores of 117-110, 118-109 and 116-111.
In Spadafora’s fifth title protection in Might of 2001, he defeated Joel Perez, 31-4-2, of Texas, by scores of 119-108 twice and 120-107, on the Mild Amphitheater, in Pittsburgh, PA. In August, in a non-title combat, he defeated Charles Tschorniawsky, 20-3-1, by scores of 100-89, 99-91, and 99-89, in Chester, West Virginia.
In March of 2002, in Spadafora’s sixth title protection, he defeated robust Angel ”El Diablo” Manfredy, 39-5-1, over 12 rounds by scores of 115-113 on all playing cards on the A.J. Palumbo Middle in Pittsburgh, PA. Manfredy received a title eliminator in his earlier combat over Julio “The Kidd” Diaz, 23-0, by cut up resolution. “Previous to that combat, Manfredy defeated Lamar Murphy, who I had in camp with me for my combat with
Manfredy, and he was nice puncher,” mentioned Spadafora.
In November, Spadafora’s seventh protection, he defeated Denmark’s Dennis “The Menace” Holbaek Pederson, 43-1, by scores of 118-110 and 117-111 twice on the Mountaineer On line casino Racetrack & On line casino in Chester, West Virginia. This was his final title win previous to the Dorin combat.
After the Dorin combat, Spadafora would transfer as much as tremendous light-weight, successful twelve straight with 4 by stoppage. One of many wins included stopping Costa Rica’s Francisco “Pancho Azul” Campos, 18-0-1, within the tenth spherical on the Chevrolet Ampitheater, in Pittsburgh, PA, in July of 2004.
In November of 2006, Spadafora stopped Frankie “Panchito” Zepeda, 16-3, in 5 rounds on the Avalon Resort, in Erie, PA. In March of 2007, he received a cut up resolution over Osin Fagan, 17-3, on the Hovering Eagle On line casino, in Mt. Nice, Michigan, by scores of 98-91, 97-93, and 95-96, having a degree deducted for low blows in spherical 8.
After two extra wins in September of 2009, Spadafora defeated Chicago’s Jermaine “Too Candy Hawk” White, 17-3, on the Heinz Discipline VIP Tent, in Pittsburgh, PA, over eight rounds. In 2010 he scored a pair of stoppages, one in March over Italy’s Ivan “Matador” Fiorletta, 24-5-2, in 8 rounds, on the Conflict Memorial Auditorium, in Ft. Lauderdale, FL. The opposite stoppage was in November, stopping Mexico’s Alain “Konan” Hernandez, 18-8-2, in 5 rounds, on the Mohegan Solar On line casino, in Uncasville, CT.
Returning the ring after 18 months in August of 2012, Spadafora defeated Ecuador’s Humberto “Bam Child” Toledo, 39-7-2, by scores of 80-72 twice and 79-73, at Chester, West Virginia, over eight rounds. In December, He defeated Nigerian Solomon “Stylin” Egberime, 22-3-1, of Australia, by scores of 98-92, 100-90, and 96-94, once more in Chester, WV, over ten rounds.
In April of 2013, Spadafora defeated Robert “Purple Scorching” Franckel, 32-12-1, over ten rounds by scores of 99-91, 98-92, and 97-93, for the vacant NABF Tremendous Light-weight title, at Chester, WV. Then got here his first and solely loss to Perez.
Spadafora would finish his profession in July of 2014, defeating Mexico’s Hector “Charro Negro” Velazquez, 55-21-3, by scores of 79-73 twice and 80-72, over eight rounds on the Rivers On line casino, in Pittsburgh, PA.
“I’ve photos on a wall of previous Pittsburgh greats like Charley Burley, Billy Conn, Harry Greb, and Fritzie Zivic,” mentioned Spadafora.
It was an important profession for Spadafora, and he ought to ultimately be inducted into the IBHOF.
https://www.boxingnews24.com/2021/10/paul-the-pittsburgh-kid-spadafora-leads-23-inducted-into-pab-hof/ | Paul “The Pittsburgh Child” Spadafora Leads 23 inducted into PAB HOF! ⋆ Boxing News 24