PROVIDENCE, Rhode Island (January 19, 2006) – USNBC cruiserweight champion Matt “Too Smooth” Godfrey (10-0, 4 KOs) faces the stiffest test of his young career February 12, when he fights battled-tested veteran Ernest “M-16” Mateen (28-11-3, 10 KOs) in a six-round bout on “The Contender Special – East Coast Pride,” at the Dunkin’ Donuts Center in Providence.
Providence-native Godfrey, 24, already is rated No. 25 by the World Boxing Council. “This is a great opportunity for me,” Godfey said about his match against Mateen. “I’m taking a huge step up against a fighter with more than 40 pro fights. Everybody’s going to see where I’m at. I saw him hurt (Richie) LaMontagne (May 2003 at Foxwoods) when he (LaMontagne) was good. He (Mateen) isn’t the most polished fighter, but he puts his punches together.”
Mateen has been idle since November 2003 when he registered an eighth-round TKO against former IBF champion Uriah Grant (for the second time) for the vacant IBU cruiserweight title. “M-16” also has defeated Joey DeGrandis, John Scully and David Telesco twice, Drake Thadzi and Steve Pannell. He fought current undisputed world cruiserweight title-holder O’Neil Bell to a draw and has been in against Antonio Tarver, James Toney and Vassiliy Jirov.
Godfrey’s most impressive fight was against former NABO champion Jermell “The Truth” Barnes (17-8), a high school science teacher Matt took to school, winning every round en route to a unanimous eight-round decision (80-72 three times). Matt captured the World Boxing Council-affiliated USNBC cruiserweight title this last August with a near shutout performance (99-91, 98-92, 98-93) against Willie Herring (11-3-3), who was coming off of an impressive nationally televised draw versus highly-touted Shaun George, in Godfrey’s first 10-round match.
Matt started boxing at Manfredo’s Gym in Pawtucket (RI) with Peter Manfredo, Jr., a finalist in the recently concluded reality television series “The Contender,” along with his current stablemate, 2004 U.S. Olympian Jason Estrada. All three will be in action together Feb. 12 in Providence.
“We’re expecting a lot bigger crowd than normal with people from all over the country,” Godfrey added. “My friends (ESPN fight announcers) Teddy Atlas and Joe Tessitore will be there watching me fight.”
Godfrey is rated No. 7 by the NABF, as well as No. 15 by the NABA and USBA.