MANFREDO RETURNS WITH WIN OVER SAUNDERS
Rob Soucy @ ringside
Peter Manfredo Jr. W10 Rayco Saunders... On a CES boxing event in Rhode Island on Thursday, Peter Manfredo Jr. outworked Rayco Saunders over ten rounds to earn a unanimous decision victory. Manfredo (38-7 with 20 KOs) had been out of the ring for a year and hadn't won a bout in 22 months. Boxingtalk scored the fight 97-93 for Manfredo while the official scores were 99-91 and 100-90 (twice) so, as expected, the Rhode Island judges leaned towards Manfredo. However, there was no controversy overall because Manfredo clearly won the majority of the rounds. He made it look easy for the first three, using his jab and frequent combinations. It appeared Saunders would provide very little resistance, but at the start of the fourth round, he went to work immediately and wobbled Manfredo a couple of times with looping rights. Although he moved well all night, as the fight went on, it seemed Manfredo didn't have strong legs when Saunders landed cleanly. In the fifth round, Saunders landed a perfect straight right hand that Manfredo did not take well. Whenever Saunders landed, he was able to stun Manfredo. From the fourth round on, the feeling ringside was that Saunders was always one punch away from ending the fight. Unfortunately for Saunders, he did very little over the second half of the fight as Manfredo outworked him by a wide margin. The sixth through ninth rounds all looked pretty much the same as Saunders stalked Manfredo but threw few punches. Manfredo took advantage by using his jab effectively and ripping Saunders with left hooks to the body and head. Manfredo wasn't able to hurt his opponent at all but landed enough to win most of the rounds convincingly. Saunders falls to 22-19-2 with 9 KOs despite being the aggressor throughout. In the ninth round, Manfredo suffered a nasty cut in the corner of his left eye from an accidental head butt. Saunders won the tenth by landing the only significant punch. Manfredo knew he was comfortably ahead on the cards and chose to circle the ring for most of the round. It appears that Manfredo is well past his prime and should consider retiring on a high note with this win. Although Manfredo looked very soft, he did prove to be in better condition than his soft appearance showed. It remains to be seen where he goes from here. A fight with fellow Rhode Islander Vladine Biosse is possible but Manfredo will have to be in much better shape to overcome Biosse's youth, high work rate, and superior athleticism. UPDATE: Biosse was supposed to fight Dennis Sharpe on the undercard. However, the fight was scrapped just hours before the show as Sharpe said he had a family emergency back home.