Manfredo Jr. Earns First-Round
KO Win In Comeback Fight
With nights like, Peter Manfredo Jr. won’t have to wait
another three years for his next fight.
“The Pride of Providence” dazzled the capacity crowd at Twin
River Casino Hotel, stopping Melvin Russell with a liver
shot at 1 minute, 19 seconds of the opening round Saturday
night in the main event of CES Boxing’s sold-out event on
UFC FIGHT PASS®.
Fighting for the first time since 2016, Manfredo Jr. (41-7,
22 KOs) made quick work of his opponent for career win No.
41, his first since 2013 and just the third first-round
knockout victory in his storied career. He is now 8-0-1
lifetime at Twin River. The overmatched Russell, a Lloyd,
KY, native, dropped to 11-8-1.
Manfredo Jr.’s thrilling knockout win was one of five
featured fights on CES Boxing’s FIGHT PASS stream, which
began with Cranston, RI, light heavyweight Gary Balletto III
(1-0, 1 KO) earned his first career victory in his
professional boxing debut with a fourth-round knockout over
Washington’s Luis Iniguez (2-3-1).
Having fought seven times as a pro in mixed martial arts,
Balletto III successfully transitioned to boxing Saturday,
following in the footsteps of his father, Gary “Tiger”
Balletto. The 24-year-old Balletto III dominated the fight
from the opening bell, but picked up the pace in the third
in fourth rounds before dropping Iniguez for good with 20
seconds remaining in the fight courtesy of a swift two-punch
In a fight billed as the showstopper for weeks, Holbrook,
MA, super featherweight Joshua Orta (6-0) kept his perfect
record intact with a majority-decision win over Providence’s
Michael Valentin (6-1-1), handing Valentin his first career
loss in the highly-anticipated battle of the unbeatens.
The two took turns grabbing the momentum throughout the
fight. Valentin did his best work on the outside by using
his superior hand speed, but Orta consistently burrowed his
way on the inside and kept Valentin pinned against the ropes
with effective flurries to the body and head.
While Orta never hurt Valentin, he prevented his opponent
from mounting his own offense, which was just enough to earn
the 57-57, 59-55, 58-56 win on the scorecards. Judge Frank
Lombardi had it a draw while Ken Ezzo and Peter Hary scored
it in favor of Orta.
In the co-main event, Cranston super lightweight Nick
DeLomba (16-2, 5 KOs) looked as good as ever in a dominant
win over Argentinian Diego Vicente Perez (13-9-1), earning
the stopping at the 2:33 mark of the third round with a pair
of knockdowns. DeLomba’s slick footwork and surprising power
frustrated Perez, who, despite 11 knockouts in his 13 wins,
could not inflict enough damage with the hard shots he fired
off in the opening round and wound up on the wrong end of
DeLomba sent Perez to the canvas twice in the third round,
prompting referee Johnny Callas to wave it off. DeLomba has
now won five in a row, including three by knockout.
Also on FIGHT PASS, Providence welterweight Victor Reynoso
(6-0) also looked sharp in his toughest test to date,
outworking the always-dangerous Roque Zapata (6-3-5) of
Virginia by scored of 59-55, 60-54 and 60-54. The consummate
road warrior, Zapata snapped Reynoso’s five-fight knockout
streak, but got stopped in his tracks most of the night by
Reynoso’s reach, particularly with the right hand. Zapata
managed to do some damage on the inside in the middle rounds
to keep the fight close, but Reynoso got his second wind
toward the end in the first six-round fight of his career to
earn the win.
Fighting for the first time in six years, former world-rated
middleweight contender Brian Barbosa (32-7) of Providence,
RI, highlighted the preliminary card with a hard-earned
majority decision win over Canadian veteran Tim Cronin
(11-4-2), his first win since 2012.
The 46-year-old Barbosa did his best work at the beginning
of the fight, working the body effectively to set up the
overhand right, which was his best punch in the early
rounds. Barbosa fatigued toward the end, but his experience
and ring generalship carried him down the stretch as he held
off a late rally by Cronin for a 57-57, 59-55, 59-55
decision on the scorecards.
Cruiserweights Omar Acosta (1-6-1) of Hereford, TX, and Chad
Leoncello (0-0-1) of Brockton, MA, fought to a draw thanks
in large part to Acosta losing in a point in the final round
for continuously spitting out his mouthpiece. Acosta knocked
Leoncello to the canvas in the second round and had the
fight in hand, but Callas took a point away when Acosta lost
his mouthpiece for the fourth time, momentarily delaying the
action. The final scores were 38-36 in favor of Acosta and
In other preliminary action, New Bedford, MA, super
lightweight Wilson Mascarenhas (3-1) won his third
consecutive bout, outworking previously-unbeaten Sedalia,
MO, native Jose Zaragoza (2-1) by unanimous decision, 39-37
on all three scorecards and Everett, MA lightweight Shayna
Fappiano (2-0-1) returned strong in her first fight in more
than a year with a 40-36, 39-37, 38-38 unanimous decision
win over debut Raquel Santos (0-1).