By Bob Trieger
The 29-year-old former US amateur star who hails from Providence, Rhode Island, Matt Godfrey, has been training in Rhode Island and nearby Connecticut for the last seven months in preparation for his first world title shot. Matt originally was supposed to fight Steve Cunningham last March for the vacant IBF title, but a series of date changes and miscommunications led to that fight being canceled. Matt took a few days off and went right back into training for what turned out to be a showdown with Huck. Godfrey, rated No. 8 by the WBO and No. 10 by The Ring magazine, is a full-blooded Native American (Wampanoug). He had held a number of regional titles including, NABF, NABA, USNBC, WBA Continental Americas and Sovereign Nations Boxing Council.
Matt’s most notable victories to date have been against Felix Cora, Jr., Danny Batchelor, Shaun George, Shawn Hawk, Ernest Mateen and Jermell Barnes.
“Everything has been excellent in camp,” Godfrey said. “I’m excited about fighting Marco Huck for the WBO belt. I’ve been training in a garage (Vernon, CT – owned by his strength-and-conditioning coach, Ross Enamait) for the past seven months, somewhat isolated like in Rocky IV against Drago. It’s in a small town in the middle of Connecticut and I train there with Ross. There’s high altitude and I really like training there. I have everything I need.”
When Godfrey spars or needs serious gym work, it’s usually at Bare Bones Boxing Gym in East Hartford, where his head trainer “Iceman” John Scully, former world light heavyweight title challenger, comes from. Matt also works at Lion’s Den in Middletown (CT), Manfredo’s Gym in Pawtucket (RI) and Big Six Academy in Providence.
“He’s world champion for a reason,” Matt noted. “He’s well conditioned and has a lot of power in both hands. He lacks a strong amateur background and does dome things the wrong way. He doesn’t know, like somebody who boxed a lot as an amateur, that it’s wrong to back-up throwing an uppercut. Some things like that, but he’s been very successful fighting his way, and it’s not easy fighting an awkward fighter like him.”
Godfrey’s lone loss as a pro was in 2008 by decision to Rudolf Kraj in a WBC title eliminator held in Germany.
“If you want to be the best in the world,” Godfrey believes, “you have to fight around the world, not just on the East Coast. I need to prove myself to everybody; I have to go over there and take his belt.”