Commentary

Manfredo stops McCrary in battle between 'Contender' contestants

Peter Manfredo got his career back on track by defeating Donny McCrary on Friday.

Originally Published: August 25, 2008
By Dan Rafael | ESPN.com


A roundup of the past week's notable boxing results from around the world:

Friday at Nashville
Featherweight
Fernando Beltran Jr. W12 Takalani Ndlovu
Scores: 115-112 Beltran (twice), 114-113 Ndlovu
Records: Beltran Jr., 31-3-1, 18 KOs; Ndlovu, 28-5, 18 KOs
Rafael's remark: Beltran and Ndlovu had at least two things in common before their main event on ESPN2's "Friday Night Fights." First, they both entered the fight with new trainers after splitting with their fathers. Second, they had both lost to Steve Molitor in junior featherweight title bouts in Canada.

In April, Beltran dropped a lopsided decision to Molitor and then moved up in weight. In July 2007, Ndlovu was stopped by Molitor in the ninth round of their title bout and, after one more fight at junior featherweight, he also moved up in weight.

Their fight was more competitive than either of their bouts against Molitor, but Mexico's Beltran emerged with the deserved split decision over South Africa's Ndlovu. Beltran, who had also lost a decision in a junior featherweight title bout -- to Joan Guzman in 2005 -- was a bit busier than Ndlovu and that made a big difference. Beltran was able to overcome the loss of a point for a low blow in the 10th round and the victory made for a nice birthday present; he turned 27 on Aug. 18.

Junior middleweight
Harry Joe Yorgey W12 Jason LeHoullier
Scores: 117-111, 116-112, 114-114
Records: Yorgey, 21-0-1, 9 KOs; LeHoullier, 21-1-1, 8 KOs
Rafael's remark: Yorgey and LeHoullier aren't world championship material, but any time two undefeated fighters step up to meet each other, it's interesting. In the first 12-rounder for both, Yorgey, the more polished boxer, claimed the majority decision even though the scores probably should have been more lopsided in his favor. Still, it was a decent fight and a solid performance for Yorgey, 30, who was fighting for the first time in 10 months because of management issues. In fact, the fight with LeHoullier was supposed to take place in March, but problems with his management delayed it. LeHoullier, 30, who was cut over his right eye late in the fight, was coming off a March 7 draw on "Friday Night Fights" against Jose Luis Gonzalez, a bout many felt Gonzalez won.

Friday at Lincoln, R.I.
Super middleweight
Peter Manfredo Jr. TKO2 Donny McCrary

Records: Manfredo Jr., 31-5, 16 KOs; McCrary, 24-8-2, 13 KOs
Rafael's remark: In a battle of former "Contender" reality series participants, Manfredo -- who starred in the first season and lost to Sergio Mora in the final -- got the better of McCrary -- a third-season participant -- by stopping him in front of a home crowd. Manfredo, 27, dropped McCrary, 25, in the second round and stopped him with a follow-up attack at 1:24 for this third consecutive victory since losing a decision to former titleholder Jeff Lacy in December 2007. Manfredo, who was also stopped in the third round challenging super middleweight champ Joe Calzaghe in April 2007, said he's put the losses to Calzaghe and Lacy behind him. He has another "Contender" participant on his mind for a future fight (which would be a good one), third-season winner Sakio Bika. Manfredo also called out British contender Carl Froch and Canada's Jean Pascal. Any of those bouts would pose good tests for each fighter. Manfredo isn't blessed with the best ability in the world, but you have to love his willingness to take on any challenge. The loss was a debilitating one for McCrary: He has now dropped three of four, including one to Bika on "The Contender."

Friday at Ponce, Puerto Rico
Lightweight
Daniel Jimenez W10 Shamir Reyes
Scores: 99-91 (twice), 98-92
Records: Jimenez, 18-3-1, 10 KOs; Reyes, 18-6-2, 7 KOs
Rafael's remark: Fighting on a Telefutura card co-promoted by Top Rank and the company owned by its star fighter, Miguel Cotto, Jimenez, 27, of Puerto Rico, pitched a near-shutout of Reyes in an uneventful bout. Jimenez, who is trained by Evangelista Cotto, used his height and jab to control Reyes throughout the fight while Reyes basically was looking to survive. It was a much-needed victory for Jimenez, who lost his pro debut and then didn't lose again until suffering back-to-back losses in his last two fights to Jesus Chavez in April and Roman Martinez in August 2007. Reyes' career, however, is in a free fall. The 27-year-old from Brooklyn, N.Y., once was a notable prospect promoted by Don King at the beginning of the decade. But he's fallen on seriously hard times. Since 2005, Reyes is just 1-4 with a no contest and has become an opponent.

Dan Rafael is the boxing writer for ESPN.com.