Paul Spadafora: Once and Future King
-Uncasville, CT Not so long ago you may have found more than a few people saying Paul Spadafora was the best lightweight boxer in the world. The imagination of the public had been further captured when video of a sparring session circulated between a seemingly rusty Floyd Mayweather Jr. and a prime “Pittsburgh Kid.” The grainy footage gave fight fans just a glimpse into what the slick southpaw from Pittsburgh could do. Just as Paul was rising to superstar status, well publicized difficulties outside of the ring derailed his flourishing career. After a long layoff, Spadafora has slowly been climbing back with dreams of another title shot. Now campaigning around the welterweight division, one thing that hasn’t changed is the ability of Spadafora, a crafty ring general with quick hands, and the ability to make you miss at all times. Something else that hasn’t changed is the 0 in his loss column. This past Saturday was yet another step in the right direction.
In front of a lively crowd at the Mohegan Sun, Spadafora was faced against the gritty Alain Hernandez out of Tijuana, MX. The bout began with Spadafora working off of his sharp jab while nicely controlling distance during the bout’s early moments. A straight left wobbled Hernandez against the ropes early, and like the seasoned pro he is, a calm Spadafora went to the body with surgical focus. After a series of more clean punches, Spadafora showed off some smooth upper body movement slipping whatever shots Hernandez threw. Round 2 continued the dynamic display with straight lefts, quick right jabs and looping right hooks. The straight left seemed to be there for Spadafora throughout the entire fight. As the fight progressed, the body work really slowed Hernandez. Each shot to the body was thrown with emphatic purpose. Explained Paul: “I’m older, more sit-down, more relaxed, and now I’m slowing down when I hit to the body a lot more.” Hernandez did show a good chin until round 5 where he was clipped with a huge right hook. Nearly going down, Hernandez barely made it out of the round. The barrage of punches that came moments later took enough out of Hernandez to where he didn’t bother to answer the bell for the 6th round.
The victory took Spadafora’s record to an impressive 45-0-1 and one step closer to the big fights he’s hoping to get soon. One name that has been rumored next for Spadafora is the Mexican legend Erik Morales. “He’s a great fighter, a legend, and I’d love my chance to get in there with him” said Spadafora, brimming with confidence. “I just wanna be in with the best. That’s all it’s about, being in with the best. All that other shit don’t matter to me man. I just wanna get in there with the best.”