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Ex-champ paroled for shooting fiancee plans return

10/24/2006 - Boxing

ERIE, Pa. -- Former IBF lightweight champion Paul Spadafora,
on parole for shooting his fiancee, plans to return to the ring
next month after a two-year layoff.

An opponent has not been announced, but the fight will be the
main event of the 22nd Erie Boxing Classic on Nov. 22, said
Spadafora's promoter Michael Acri.

The former champ passed up an offer to fight Oct. 20 on the
undercard of "Mike Tyson's World Tour" in Youngstown, Ohio.

Spadafora was paroled earlier this year after spending seven
months in state prison and six months in a corrections boot camp
after pleading guilty to shooting his fiancee in the abdomen in
October 2003.

He completed a 90-day alcohol treatment program and has been
training in Erie since his release.

"Since the day he was released from boot camp, he's been
waiting for this to happen," Acri said. "Now, it's reality. He's
been very positive. He has a different attitude on life."

Spadafora (38-0-1) last fought in July 2004, knocking out
Francisco Campos in the third round. That was Spadafora's second
straight win since giving up his IBF lightweight title to move up
to junior welterweight.

"Everything that happened really opened my eyes," Spadafora
said. "I'm more mature right now that I have ever been. 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."