World rated light heavyweight Joey “KO Kid” Spina has had an overall attitude adjustment but he still possess the same devastating power punching ability as always as he gets set to headline the May 22nd “Rage At The River” show at Twin River Event Center in Lincoln, Rhode Island. Spina (24-1-1, 17 KOs), 31, is rated among the top 15 in all four major boxing organizations – No. 12 by the WBC and WBA, No. 13 by the WBO, and No. 15 by the IBF. The rugged Italian-American from Providence, former IBF Inter-Continental and USNBC super middleweight champion, has won four straight since suffering his only pro loss in 2006 to cross-town rival, Peter Manfredo, Jr., in which, Spina suffered a broken left thumb in the early goings. Joey, admittedly, hasn’t been fully focused since then but he has a refreshing new look on life and boxing, which has resulted in a born-again dedication aimed at fully preparing him for a world title shot in the not too distant future.
Prior to his fight against Manfredo, Spina had been on a roll having defeated former world champion Carl Daniels, veteran Anwar Oshana and then, in his career-defining fight to date, stopping Jesse Brinkley with a single body punch in the 11th round of their 2006 throw-down on ESPN that Joey was trailing in.
“I’ve been discouraged since the Manfredo fight,” Spina said. “I’ve been focused, only off and on, but I’m ready now for a big fight at 175, or I can get down top 168 for the right opportunity. I’m a fighter; I knockout guys. I was disappointed in my last fight (WTKO1vs. Matt Gockel) because I wanted to knock him out cold, not hurt him, but put him to sleep. The referee stopped the fight before I could. I’m not looking past my next fight (May 22 vs. 26-14-1, 19 KOs Tiwon Taylor in a scheduled 8-rounder) but, after that one, I want a few good fights and then a title shot. I’d want to get Jaidon Codrington in the ring. I’ll expose him more than (Sakio) Bika did. And I’d like a title shot against (Carl) Froch, a good fighter and tough guy like me. A few more fights and I’ll be ready for him.”
Spina, who is promoted by Jimmy Burchfield’s Classic Entertainment and Sports, Inc., has a new manager, Eddie Imondi, who managed Ron Sandler and Dino Dennis, as well as promoted several world title fights. “I’ve known Joey since he was a kid and I believe he has the potential to be world champion,” Imondi remarked. “He can punch and has a good record with only one loss. Joey’s training real hard for this fight. I told him a fighter only has a short career and that I’d take care of the business end for him. He’s listening to me and making adjustments. We have a very good relationship. Boxing is in my blood and I love it. I’ve also known Jimmy Burchfield all of my life. I’ve followed Joey’s career and when I heard that he was looking for a new manager, I took over his contract.”
Spina appreciates Imondi’s support and welcomed him into his corner. “Eddie used to promote and he brought a few guys to world title fights,” Joey added. “His background is the big reason I signed with him. I have two great trainers, Eddie Mustpha Muhammad will be back working my corner with Jose Santos, and I know that I can punch with anybody. I’m starting to box better, too. The guy I’m fighting (Taylor) is a cute fighter with a good right. I’m going to be aggressive but slip and slide, move my head more. He’s going to looking for my big left hook, but I’m going to drop him with my right. I’m more confident now in my right than my left hook. I’m going to break him down.”
Burchfield’s belief in Joey hasn’t wavered since day one when Spina turned pro with CES in 2001, despite the fighter’s somewhat up-and-down career, in and out of the ring. “There’s a new Joey Spina,” Burchfield claimed. “He’s always had talent but now Joey has a new team to take care of his business with me. It’s like family. I want all of my fighters to be as comfortable as possible so all they have to do is just concentrate on boxing. They need to be supported by quality people – managers, nutritionists, strength and conditioning coaches, and better sparring partners. I see great things for Joey. He’s one of the hardest punchers in boxing and all he needs is to be 100-percent focused.”
Tickets for “Rage At the River” range from $25.00 to $150.00. To purchase tickets or for more information about Spina, “Rage At The River” or CES call 401.724.2253/2254 or visit www.cesboxing.com.