Spadafora to fight July 11 at Rivers Casino
Former IBF lightweight champion Paul Spadafora, coming off his first professional defeat, will fight Hector Velazquez on July 11 in the main event of a pro boxing card at Rivers Casino promoted by Roy Jones Jr.'s TNT Promotions and billed as Rumble on the River 4.
The 38-year-old Spadafora (48-1-1, 19 KOs) is coming off a majority decision loss to Johan Perez for the WBA interim junior welterweight title Nov. 30 at Mountaineer Casino, Racetrack and Resort.
“This is my next fight, not my last fight. I'm looking forward to getting this win and then get another chance at a fight on TV,” Spadafora said. “I'm just looking at it like I'm making another run at a title.”
Velazquez, 39, of Tijuana, Mexico, is 56-21-3, coming off a loss by second-round knockout to Michael Farenas in a super featherweight bout on March 21 in the Phillipines.
Velazquez, however, has a strong resume that includes losses to Rocky Juarez by unanimous decision for the WBC Continental Americas featherweight belt in 2003, to Manny Pacquiao by sixth-round TKO for the WBC International super featherweight title in 2005 and to Edwin Valero for the WBC lightweight title in 2009, when Velazquez didn't answer the seventh-round bell.
“He's tough as hell, man,” Spadafora said. “I've got to get prepared for this kid. He's real dirty, leads with his head a lot. He's fought three times for the title — he fought Pacquiao — but he's coming up in class. He's fought a lot of guys. I've got to be ready to make him miss and counter, do the best I can.
“I'm coming off a loss, so I need this win big-time.”
Tickets, priced at $100 for golden ringside, $65 for silver reserved and $35 for general admission, are available at www.showclix.com/event/3853611 or in the Rivers Casino gift shop.
Following his fight, Spadafora plans to work the corner as a trainer for Rod Salka (19-3, 3 KOs), of Bunola, against Danny Garcia (28-0, 16 KOs), of Philadelphia, for the WBC light welterweight and WBA Super light welterweight Aug. 9 at Barclays Center in Brooklyn.
Spadafora knows that his loss to Perez cost him a shot at Garcia.
“I feel like I'm fighting him anyway,” Spadafora said. “This is the first guy I've ever worked with. I've worked with Rod for a couple years and now he's fighting for a world title. That's a great accomplishment for me, too. I feel like I've helped him out big time.”
Kevin Gorman is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. Reach him at email@example.com or via Twitter @KGorman_Trib.