In case we didn't know already, Tuesday night in Indiana Angel Manfredy showed us that his last title shot was exactly that - his last. At 42-7-1 (31) Manfredy is now a very old 28 years of age - not that 28 is old - but he is old in terms of the number of fights he has been in and the toll this abuse has taken on him. What we saw versus the now 19-1 (11) Courtney Burton was an old fighter who just couldn't get off like he used to and who was unable to adjust to a younger, faster and stronger opponent.
As a result, "Got Jesus" was very likely on his knees shortly after last night's fight; asking the Big Man upstairs some very important questions regarding the future direction of his life inside the ring. His nemesis "El Diablo" just might be around the corner ringing the bell for Manfredy to take the step down. Make no mistake, Manfredy has been a solid professional fighter, but the operative words there are "has" and "been". Clearly, Manfredy is now further from the divisions elite that at any point in his career. While he can boast some credible names on his resume of wins - a big victory over Arturo Gatti comes immediately to mind - the losses he has suffered are really what he and his wife/manager Teresa should be looking at now.
Paul Spadafora merely outclassed Manfredy for the majority of their fight, but the pounding he suffered in losses to Diego Corrales and Floyd Mayweather, as well as the heavy shots he has taken in wins (such as the aforementioned Gatti bout) look to have him one step behind now. Courtney Burton is a solid fighter, but he is exactly the type of guy Angel used to beat.
Burton is the type of guy we should see more of. When Manfredy was introduced by the ring announcer, it was as a four-time title challenger - that's "challenger" and not "champion" - and it says here that it doesn't get any better than that for the Indiana-based fighter. Angel had a heck of a time with the movement Burton showed him and couldn't avoid straight left hands that were being thrown from a southpaw stance, even though he could see them coming. Eventually, he succumbed to the shots and lay reclined in the ropes trying to gain his senses. But he was clear enough to know not to make any attempt to beat the count. He was done and he knew it.
As the curtain closed for Manfredy on Tuesday, he lay against the ropes and interrupted the referee in mid-count by waving his right hand across his neck area in the way a director motioning "cut" to stop a scene he has seen enough of. Manfredy too has had enough. And personally, I have had my fill of Angel Manfredy taking hard shots to the head in the boxing ring.
Here's hoping he and his team make the decision to drop the curtain on what has been a solid professional career. He has played his part well and the reviews were always good. It's just time for the next act.
Who will win #HOPKINSKOVALEV