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Memo to Paulie: Stay in Pittsburgh
As promised in the other thread, here is a column I did on Spadafora, wasn't a Ring Sports one as I thought, it was one I do for Roxy and Ben Ecksteins site.
MEMO TO PAULIE
By Sonny Palermo
Memo to Paulie Spadafora: Do yourself a favor. Stay in Pittsburgh.
Seems like every fight he enjoys the same advantages over his opponents – height, reach, speed, and the home town crowd. Yet even with these edges Paulie Spadafora seems to be a dream that is about to wake up, a dream he will be rudely awaken from if he follows through with his plans to step up in competition.
Last month, in his hometown of Pittsburgh, Pa., Paulie "the gnat" Spadafora once again stepped into the ring against a smaller, slower man and once again showed the world his mediocrity.
I had the fight scored a draw, 6 rounds a piece. The early rounds all went to Dennis Pederson, while Spadafora took the later rounds. The only telling blow of the bout was delivered by Pederson when he rocked Spadafora with a punch that landed flush to Spadafora’s head and had him staggering to find his legs. Luckily for Spadafora it came at the end of the round and he was able to recuperate. For some unfathomable reason Pederson didn’t come out on fire in the next round to try and push his clear advantage over the frustrated, tentative local hero. He let him off the hook.
Spadafora has to be the least effective puncher I have ever seen. At one point in the fight he managed to hit Pederson with a five punch combo that didn’t hurt him, didn’t stun him, it didn’t even phase him enough to throw him off his rhythm. Pederson never even took as much as one backwards step. Paulie the gnat had struck again.
Spadafora was open to the left hook all night, but Pederson only threw three or four more over the remainder of the fight. And in the end, as usual, Spadafora walked away with a generous hometown decision.
Spadafora said afterwards that he will only fight ‘big name’ fights next year, naming Mayweather and the winner of Ward-Gatti II as possible opponents. While his promoters keep reminding us Spadafora held his own with Mayweather in a sparring session I’d like to remind them that it was just that - a sparring session. With headgear on. It will take more than headgear and hometown decisions to get the weak-chinned Spadafora a win against Mayweather.
And it’s an insult to Ward and Gatti to even mention Spadafora in the same breath. They’re fighters, they’re warriors. He’s a gnat. And unlike Paulie neither of them has ever shown their opponent their back while running away in the ring.
He carries less than zero KO power as a lightweight and he’s talking about a climb up in weight class? Don’t make me laugh.
It’s a sad state of affairs when a non-personality, non-entity, non-fighter like Paulie Spadafora is available only on pay-per-view. Add the fact that he was fighting a guy no one had ever heard of, a guy who isn’t even listed at the main boxing record site, and it’s not hard to see why boxing is a sick sport struggling with attendance problems.
Then again, it’s likely that even if Spadafora had fought on free TV he wouldn’t bring in any new fans to the sport anyway.
I’d call Spadafora an over rated fighter except he doesn’t really fight. He’s an over rated boxer.
And if, as announcer Al Bernstein mentioned in tonight’s telecast, "Spadafora is one of the top 2-3 lightweights in the world today", it only serves notice as to the lousy state of this normally exciting weight class.
Memo to Paulie – stay in Pittsburgh – you need every edge you can get.
Review/Selection: Barrera wins easily over Tapia and I run my record on fight selections posted here to a perfect 5-0. at America’s Line.
For my next selection we’re staying in the most exciting division in boxing today – the featherweights. And though I hate ‘tout’ talk, and words like ‘lock’ and ‘guaranteed’, I am 100% confident I will run my record to 6-0 here because Juan Manuel Marquez is going to beat Manuel Medina and become the next IBF featherweight champion.
I first wrote about Marquez almost four years ago when princess naseema hamed begged off his mandatory defense against Marquez for the THIRD time. Three times the IBF let their most popular fighter off the hook, because they knew, as the princess did, that Marquez would kick her ass. And they weren’t about to risk their number one meal ticket.
Eventually hamed lost to Barrera and the title was vacated due to the usual B.S. boxing politics. It then passed to Medina, who got beat by Tapia (a fight Medina actually won but was robbed in the decision; in that fight Medina threw a featherweight record 1,466 punches, in 12 rounds). When Tapia fought Barrera the IBF took the crown away because he wouldn’t pay them a step aside fee (step aside fee is the boxing council term for extortion). So now we have #1 ranked Medina taking on #2 Marquez.
I’ve said it for years – because most fighters avoid him Marquez is the best kept secret in boxing. He has speed, style and power, and throws some of the best combinations in the business. He uses his uppercut like most fighters use their jab, and is quick enough to get away with it. I rate him as the best featherweight in the world, and in 2003 he will prove me right.
On February 1, the IBF title belt will go to Marquez, and hopefully he’ll gain the respect and popularity he deserves. And if we’re real lucky we’ll get to see him take on the winner of Barrera/Morales III.
Don’t let the price scare you off – Marquez has a date with destiny and will not be denied.
Take Marquez for a 2 units best bet.
Good luck and bet smart.