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Paul Spadafora

Paul Spadafora
Real name Paul Spadafora
Nickname(s) The Pittsburgh Kid
Rated at Light Welterweight
Height 1.75 m (5 ft 9 in)
Nationality American
Born (1975-09-05) September 5, 1975
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, United States
Stance Southpaw
Boxing record
Total fights 50
Wins 48
Wins by KO 19
Losses 1
Draws 1

Paul Spadafora (born September 5, 1975)[1]McKees Rocks, Pennsylvania is an American professional boxer. Spadafora is a former IBF lightweight world champion.


  • Personal background 1
  • Professional career 2
    • Fight for unification 2.1
  • Troubles outside the ring 3
  • Comeback to the ring 4
  • References 5
  • External links 6

Personal background

Known as "The Pittsburgh Kid", Spadafora hails from a borough outside of Pittsburgh named McKees Rocks.

Spadafora had a fruitful amateur career, winning 75 of 80 bouts. His dreams of becoming a professional boxer were almost dashed before he turned professional: According to the official reports, Spadafora was travelling in a car that was driven by a friend. When his friend began to go over the speed limit, he was chased by a cop. Since the driver refused to stop, the cop fired a shot, hitting Spadafora in the achilles' tendon.

Professional career

On October 18, 1995, Spadafora made his professional debut, winning a four round knockout of Steve Maddux. He won a total of four fights in his initial year.

In 1996, he fought eight times, winning all, six by knockout. In 1997, he fought six times, but his percentage of knockout wins dropped considerably when he only won two of those six bouts by knockout.

In 1998, he continued his winning ways throughout the year, winning all six bouts, three by knockout. One of the aforementioned KO's took place on the exhibition bout card, featuring long retired veteran Dan Maloney and Tim Witherspoon.

He began 1999 by raising his quality of opposition, facing the veteran Rocky Martinez. He won that fight by a unanimous decision, and after one more win he and Israel Cardona met in Chester for the I.B.F.'s vacant world crown on August 20. An underdog in the betting lines, Spadafora nevertheless became world champion, defeating Cardona in a 12 round decision. Then he retained the title with an 11 round knockout of Renato Cornett to finish the year.

He opened 2000 with a 12 round decision over Victoriano Sosa to retain the title, and subsequently defended his title again by knockout over Mike Griffith in round 11, and beat Billy Irwin in a 12 round decision to close the year.

By 2001, Spadafora was already a regular on the HBO Boxing television show. He retained the title with a 12 round decision over Joel Perez and won one non-title fight that year.

He began 2002 by retaining his title over Angel Manfredy with a 12 round decision. His only other bout that year was a 12 round decision win over Dennis Holbaek, also with his world title on the line.

Fight for unification

In 2003, Spadafora and WBA world champion Leonard Dorin from Romania decided to meet to try to unify their world titles. They met on May 18, but the fight was declared a draw (tie), both boxers remaining as world champions in their respective organizations.

On June 27 of the same year, Spadafora announced he was relinquishing the IBF World Lightweight title to move to the Jr. Welterweight division because he was having trouble making weight in the Lightweight division.

Spadafora next fought on July 17, 2004, knocking out Costa Rica's Francisco Campos in ten rounds.

Troubles outside the ring

On October 29, 2003, Spadafora was arrested and accused in the shooting of his pregnant girlfriend, Nadine Russo. The story was that Spadafora and Russo were driving in Paul's new H3 Hummer on the night of October the 26th. An argument broke out between the two over the paternity of Russo's unborn child; it ended outside a local gas station where Spadafora allegedly shot Russo in the midsection. Spadafora was released after posting a $50,000 bond.

On September 7, 2004, he was arrested again for running a car into a parked police cruiser while allegedly driving under the influence of alcohol. At the same time, he announced that he and Russo were planning to get married on September 29, 2004. His personal troubles continued on December 11 when he was arrested after a urine test showed traces of cocaine in his body. On December 20, he pled guilty to drug use charges and was jailed immediately.

On February 23, 2005, Spadafora was sentenced to 21 to 60 months in prison for the attempted murder of Nadine Russo.

On September 22, 2011, Spadafora was arrested once again on a DUI charge. He was processed and released after refusing to have a blood sample drawn.[2]

On September 23, 2012 his manager filed suit against him in Allegheny County court for breach of contract.[3]

Comeback to the ring

Despite his troubles outside of the ring, Spadafora repeatedly expressed his intention to return to the ring. In November 2006 he returned after a 32-month layoff to stop Jesus Francisco Zepeda in round five at the Avalon Hotel in Erie, Pennsylvania. It was Spadafora's first ring action since serving the sentence for the October 2003 shooting of his girlfriend. Spadafora ended up back in jail on a parole violation, but was released in July 2007.

On April 25, 2008, in Erie, Pennsylvania, Spadafora returned to the ring to fight Shad Howard. Spadafora repeatedly connected with sharp jabs and combinations en route to an 80-72 unanimous decision. In 2010 Paul defeated Italian boxer Ivan Fiorletta by knock out.[4] His record stands at 49-1-1 with 19 knockouts.


  1. ^ "Paul Spadafora". April 6, 2012. 
  2. ^
  3. ^
  4. ^ "Paul Spadafora Gets TKO Win In Latest Comeback Fight - Sports News Story - WTAE Pittsburgh". 2010-03-13. Retrieved 2010-12-03. 

External links

  • Pittsburgh Post-Gazette: Can Spadafora rebound from rock bottom?
  • Professional boxing record for Paul Spadafora from BoxRec
  • Paul Spadafora Official Website
Preceded by
Shane Mosley
IBF Lightweight champion
20 August 1999 – June 2003
Succeeded by
Javier Jauregui
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