Boxing’s latest version of sad-but-true stories emerged out of Pennsylvania overnight when it was revealed that former IBF lightweight champion Paul Spadafora would resume his professional career after spending time in the clink for shooting his fiancée (we assume it’s now “former fiancée”) in 2003.
Anyone questioning the speed with which Spadafora has been able to rehabilitate himself will be comforted to know that the former champ served a tough seven-month stretch in a state prison before enduring a further six months in a state-run boot camp. If that hasn’t taught him a lesson…
But don’t just assume this regime has sorted the kid out – he’ll tell you himself: “I’m more mature right now than I have ever been,” Spadafora reassured us upon news of his first post-jail bout.
“More than you know, I missed everything I had, and that has pushed me to appreciate it and never let something like that ever happen again.”
His criminal record aside, Spadafora was a talented boxer prior to his moment of madness, racking up an impressive 38-0-1 record until his last pro fight in 2004 (yes, they let him keep fighting after he popped one into his fiancee’s abdomen).
So which fight promoter would be attracted to a flawed talent such as Spadafora, a fighter with an obvious gift but a shady past? Well, the correct answer would be “which promoter wouldn’t?”, but if you answered “Mike Tyson’s World Tour” you’d be right on the money.
Unfortunately for Iron Mike, Spadafora turned down his offer, instead preferring to fight in the aptly named “Erie Boxing Classic” late next month.