After spending the majority of his young life training inside a gym or boxing in a ring, Peter “The Pride of Providence” Manfredo, Jr. is enjoying life outside the ring for the first time on a daily basis with his family, as he prepares for his upcoming induction into the Connecticut Boxing Hall of Fame (CBHOF).
Manfredo (40-7, 21 KOs) starred in the inaugural season of NBC’s reality television show, The Contender. The two-time world title challenger was born and raised in Providence and he now lives in Dayville, Connecticut. A beloved fan-friendly fighter, he was unbeaten in 11 professional fights held in Connecticut.
“I never imagined when I first turned pro that I’d be recognized like I am today,” Manfredo said. “I’m very excited, humbled and honored to be inducted into the Connecticut Boxing Hall of Fame.”
He learned to box when he was seven and compiled a 154-30 amateur boxing record, spanning a decade in which he dominated his weight class in New England and competed on the same level with elite opponents at national tournaments.
His most notable victims were Frankie Randall, Alfonso Gomez, Grady Brewer, Angel Hernandez, Matt Vanda, Daniel Edouard, Walid Smichet and David Banks.
Six of his career losses were to world champions – Joe Calzaghe, Julio Cesar Chavez Jr., Jeff Lacy, Sakio Bika and Sergio Mora (twice) – and the other to Gomez, a two-time world title challenger.
Manfredo initially retired in 2011 after his WBC middleweight title fight loss to Chavez, but he started a comeback one year later, winning all three additional fights before he hung up his gloves for good Nov. 23, 2013, punctuated by an eight-round technical knockout of Rich Gingras.
“I came out of retirement because I needed more money for my family,” Manfredo explained. “My wife wasn’t working at that time. It was like people had to do during The Great Depression.
“I knew it was time to finally retire after my last fight. Not many fighters know when to retire. Guys I was sparring with, 10 or 12 years earlier, it wouldn’t have taken me nearly as long to get to them. And in the Gingras fight, it took me eight rounds to get him out, but I would have gotten rid of him in one or two rounds in my prime. Financially-speaking, today my wife is working and she’s going to school to be a nurse. I fought for my family but they need me there now for things like my son’s football and basketball games and dance recitals for my (two) daughters.”
Today, the 33-year-old Manfredo is a construction worker. He left the ring for good with all of his faculties’ intact, great memories, and, more importantly, the rest of his life to enjoy his family, unlike during his boxing career when he was often 3000 miles away at training camp in California.
“I’m a laborer and that’s good for me because it’s physical,” Manfredo concluded. “I have a big smile every morning when I bite into my muffin, something I couldn’t eat when I was fighting because I had to watch my weight.”
There’s no turning back now for Peter Manfredo Jr.
Members of the Class of 2014 will be inducted at the 10TH annual CBHOF Gala Induction Dinner on Saturday night, November 8 in the Uncas Ballroom at Mohegan Sun. The new CBHOF inductees also includes former two-time World Boxing Association (WBA) heavyweight champion John “The Quietman” Ruiz, referee Michael Ortega, International Boxing Federation president Daryl Peoples, trainer Paul Cichon and the late boxing judge William Hutt.