Through the hit series “The Contender,” many things were proven, how far a man will go to achieve his dream, and how far he will go to feed his family. But after the controversial rematch between “The Latin Snake” Sergio Mora and Peter “The Pride of Providence” Manfredo Jr., not to mention the complete and utter robbing of Manfredo, one thing stands out above all in my mind… Stevie Wonder, Ray Charles, and Hellen Keller would have indeed been more efficient judges than those used on “The Contender.”
However, last night when “The Pride of Providence” took on Scott “The Sandman” Pemberton on “The Contender Special: East Coast Pride,” he did not give the judges a chance to take away yet another hard-earned decision.
Many people saw this fight as even going in, given the six inch height advantage and the extreme power advantage for Pemberton 29-5-1 (24 KO's), as well as the blazing speed possessed by Manfredo 25-3 (11 KO's), but the fight was anything but.
Round one began with both fighters attempting to establish their jabs with neither man landing. Mandfredo then landed a sweet pair of power rights as Pemberton tried to lean in, unsuccessfully. It soon became clear toward the middle of the round that Manfredo was just too fast for Pemberton, as he slipped all of Pemberton's punches and began to land blistering combinations behind that super-fast jab, basically at will. Peter then landed a nice right, followed by a blinding left, staggering Pemberton. Manfredo continued the assault, coming in with lead right hands and most importantly making Pemberton miss. Peter then landed another hard right, once again shaking up Pemberton, who indeed looked his age, 39, on this night. Round one… all Manfredo.
The second started out with Manfredo once again coming in with that lightning fast jab, followed up by some more poetic combinations. Pemberton then began trying to use his reach advantage, but it was no match for the speed of Manfredo, as he was able to get in and land clean, hard shots whenever he chose to. Midway through the round, Manfredo began to put the pressure on Pemberton a little more as Pemberton began back up and take cover. Manfredo continued to land that crisp jab of his forcing Pemberton to hold, simply because he had no idea what else to do. At the end of the round it became ever so clear that Manfredo was without doubt the superior fighter. Round two. Manfredo all the way.
Round three began with Manfredo landing a nice left hook, stunning Scott Pemberton. Smelling the blood and fear, Manfredo came on strong, landing vicious combinations, punctuating it with a beautiful right uppercut which floored Pemberton, who rose at the count of five. Manfredo continued to put on the pressure as Pemberton held on for dear life. Manfredo now began to press Pemberton harder than ever as he continued to land awesome combinations, eventually flooring Pemberton again with one of the most devastating right hands I have ever seen. Pemberton rose from the canvas again at the count of six this time and once again walked into another onslaught of punches by Manfredo. One more obliterating combination, followed by a right hand flush on the chin of Pemberton, and the referee waved off the action 2:06 into the round.
With the extra day to rehydrate and regenerate due to the horrific weather conditions, Pemberton weighed in at a monstrous 182 pounds, while Manfredo was not far behind at 180. This extra day proved to be an advantage to Peter Manfredo Jr., who showed the world that he does indeed possess the power to knock out even the big boys.
After the fight there was plenty of talk about a possible third fight between Sergio Mora and Peter Manfredo. My only advice to Peter would be to only accept the fight if it were to take place in Providence, and considering that “The Contender” does everything but change Mora's diapers for him, to make sure he once again does not give the judges a chance to steal yet another victory from him.
On a side note: Tonight's undercard also featured two more starts from “The Contender.” Jonathan Reid, 34-4 (19 KO's), lost a majority decision to the hard pressing, power punching Mohammad Said, 17-4 (10 KO's), while Miguel Espino, 11-2-1 (4 KO's), on the other hand, won an easy unanimous decision against Dorian Beaupierre 12-5-2 (6 KO's).