Hoping History Doesn't Repeat itself: An Interview with Peter Manfredo Jr.
Interview by Tom Dickey (August 20, 2005)
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Peter Manfredo Jr.
On the very first episode of NBC's "The Contender" Peter Manfredo Jr. got upset by little known Alfonso Gomez. This would be the shocker of the show as Manfredo was one of the more highly touted fighters going into the show. The loss ate at Manfredo, and when he was granted a second chance on the show, (Jeff Fraza came down with a case of chicken pox), Peter made the most of it. He was determined to show his mettle. He would make it all the way to the championship fight, avenging the loss to Gomez along the way. Manfredo was defeated by Mora in the title match, and final show of the season. He is now determined to avenge that loss, just like he did against Gomez.

Manfredo will get that shot on October 15th from the Staples Center in Los Angeles on a four bouts "Contender" card. Manfredo took some time to talk to me in Los Angeles during a recent press conference and here's what he had to say.

QUESTION: How has your life from going onto the show?

It changed for the good. People got to see Peter Manfredo not just inside the ring, but outside the ring. They got to see how I am with my family, and how I am on an average everyday basis. Before the show, I was an undefeated 21-0 fighter, but people only knew from the Boxing side. Now they know the real me, and no matter where I go everybody knows who I am.

QUESTION: Before the show, you also did work as an electrician, is that something you're still doing now after the show?

I still help my Uncle out from time to time. But, as of now in order to get ready for this fight I haven't been doing that. You can't do both, if you want to be a full time fighter, you got to be a full time fighter, you can't do this part time. I got the biggest fight of my life coming up with Sergio. It's a rematch with Sergio, and it's a must win situation for me. I'm extremely confident and I'm very hungry for this.

QUESTION: Going into the show you were one of the highly touted fighters, did you feel any added pressure?

I definitely felt a lot of pressure, not a lot of people realized all the weight that I had to drop. I had to lose a lot of weight in the beginning, and I think that's the reason why Alfonso picked me. But, it's part of the game and he definitely upset me, and he became a hero which he deserves because he's an excellent fighter. But, in the second fight I proved to the world what I can do, you know, you saw his face afterwards. When it came to the finale it was so long since that last fight with Alfonso, I think it was 8 months between since I had been in the ring. There was so much pressure going into that fight, not in the ring, just building up before the fight. But, I give it to Sergio, he's a great fighter, but I'll be ready this time.

QUESTION: How did your hometown of Providence react to you during the show?

They were great, the thing that was really great was that even when I lost they always supported me and were there. My nickname's the Pride of Providence and I do take pride in that. I look forward to bringing the Contender belt back to Providence.

QUESTION: Do you feel the show will help you get back to fighting for world titles?

Yeah, it kept me out there and exposed me more than I could have imagined. I do want to get back and fight like the undefeated Peter Manfredo Jr.

QUESTION: Tell what the toughest part about the show was?

The challenges, they were useless and had nothing to do with Boxing. We all wanted to be focused on fighting, and we had to go and do these challenges in the sun that had nothing to do with Boxing. Also the weight loss for me was tough, and we went through hard training.

QUESTION: Now tell me the nicest thing about the show?

Going through all those things that I just mentioned and winning fights. The best feeling and nicest feeling is when you win after going through all those things, especially having to bust the scales making weight.

QUESTION: What did you hope to get out of the show going into it?

The exposure, getting seen on National TV 16 times, that's hard to do in this business. All of us guys wanted a opportunity, but it's hard to get in this business, there are a lot of snakes out there. But, this got us exposure more than we could have ever imagined, and opportunities that are tough to get in this business.

QUESTION: If there was one thing that you could change about Boxing, inside or outside of the ring, what would it be?

I wish that Boxers had their own unions, and had some protection. Boxers work so hard and train so hard, that it's unimaginable to most. Yet, most are still struggling getting good fights or getting paid decent to fight. I hate when I watch a football or basketball game and I hear the announcer say, this is like heavyweights going 12 rounds, because it's nothing like that. What fighters go through before and during the fights is tough. We're risking death or major injuries, and there's no protection for that. There are a lot of snakes in the business who take advantage of this too. So, unions or something similar to it would be my one wish.
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