ShareThis Page

Former lightweight champion Spadafora collects victory in W.Va.

Kevin Gorman
| Sunday, Dec. 2, 2012

CHESTER, W. Va. — Paul Spadafora knew he had a formidable foe, one whose awkward approach may not suit his style.

Spadafora scored a unanimous decision anyway, beating Solomon Egberime on Saturday night during the main event of a pro card at Mountaineer Casino, Racetrack and Resort's The Harv in Chester, W.Va.

Spadafora (47-0-1, 19 KOs) won decisively on all three scorecards as judges Vince Guerra, Rex Agin and Jim Frio scored the fight in his favor.

“He was a tough guy — really crafty and really dirty,” Spadafora said of Egberime. “He knows how to use his head. It was a real good test. All my life, I've had trouble with guys like that, but I adjusted and won the fight.”

Spadafora entered the ring to a self-titled rap song and video montage, wearing his hair in cornrows and a black robe with “A Phoenix Rising” on the back. He wore black trunks with his nickname, “Spaddy,” in gold on the waistband.

Egberime (22-3-1, 11 KOs), a Nigerian who fights out of Australia, is a former Olympian and WBO Oriental champion ranked No. 14 by the WBO.

Egberime represented Spadafora's highest-ranked foe since his eighth and final defense of the IBF lightweight belt, a unification bout with former WBA champion Leonard Dorin in May 2003 that ended in a draw.

It was Spadafora's second fight at The Harv this year after a 22-month layoff. He scored an eight-round unanimous decision over Humberto Toledo of Quito, Ecuador, in August. Spadafora had since climbed to a No. 11 world ranking by the WBA and No. 17 by the WBC. A victory could land him a fight against a top-10 opponent.

The fight started slowly, but by the third round Spadafora was alternating jabs to the head with body blows. Egberime landed a hard right but later walked into a sharp right hand.

Spadafora continued to attack the body in the fourth but found himself susceptible to Egberime's style. Egberime was willing to take a punch to land one and sometimes took two for the sake of hitting his moving target with a hard right.

Egberime controlled the fifth round and the first half of the sixth before Spadafora was re-energized after landing a couple of lefts.

An Egberime shot after the bell in the seventh seemed to light a spark under Spadafora. After spending much of the first seven rounds as a counterpuncher, Spadafora reversed roles and walked down Egberime in the eighth, glaring at his opponent when the round ended.

Egberime opened a cut at the corner of Spadafora's right eye in the ninth. As blood trickled down his face, Spadafora turned cautious.

With cornerman Tom Yankello telling him to “stay slick,” Spadafora stayed out of harm's way in the 10th and final round.

The co-feature was a rematch of the July 14 super featherweight match between Rankin's Monty Meza-Clay and Emmanuel Lucero of Mexico City, a pair of 5-foot-2 brawlers. Meza-Clay had predicted a knockout but settled for a unanimous decision to improve to 34-3. Lucero dropped to 26-13-1.

On the undercard, a junior welterweight bout featuring Youngstown's Jake Giuriceo (16-2-1) was stopped after an accidental headbutt at the fifth-round bell opened a cut above his right eye. It went to the scorecards, and Kenyan Peter Oluoch (12-6-2) won by split decision.

Kevin Gorman is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at or 412-320-7812.

TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using you agree to our Terms of Service.

We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.

While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.

We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers

We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.

We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.

We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.

We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.