Peter Manfredo Jr is an honest, working class fighter. On Saturday night, he'll get a shot at Julio Cesar Chavez Jr and the WBC middleweight title, live on HBO from Reliant Arena in Houston. And, he tells RingTV.com, if he doesn't win, he might hang up the gloves:
"How many more shots am I going to get? Let’s be honest here. This is my best opportunity. This guy [Chavez] isn’t a great fighter. Come on. I think I’m better than he is. If I can’t beat him, then I’m going to retire," said Manfredo Jr.
"I’m not going to hang around for years. For what? If I can pull this off, then I can be a rich man and it would set me up for a perfect ending to a wonderful career. But if I can’t beat this guy, then I’ll retire and go home and be a father and be a husband and do my thing."
Manfredo (37-6, 20 KO) is considered an underdog not because of his skill level as compared to Chavez (43-0-1, 30 KO), but because he's a higher-profile fighter in whom much money has been invested, which he tends to return with impressive performances at the gate. Chavez, 25, has been accused of benefiting from the political side of boxing, as his father's name carries weight. Close fights have always gone his way, even bafflingly so: Notably, his first fight against Matt Vanda in 2008, when many felt the journeyman deserved the win, only to receive split decision scores of 96-95 in Vanda's favor, plus a reaching-at-best 97-93 and an absolutely unbelievable 100-90 for Chavez.
Many feel that to win this fight, Manfredo will not only be fighting Chavez, but also an entire political system within the sport.
Whether or not that proves to be the case, we'll find out on Saturday. Hopefully, "The Pride of Providence" gets a fair shake. If he does, it could be a 50-50 fight.
HBO will broadcast Chavez vs Manfredo at 10:30 EST on Saturday night.