Peter Manfredo Jr. told Yahoo!Sports that he will give up boxing if he loses his HBO-televised challenge to WBC middleweight titleholder Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. on Saturday at Reliant Arena in Houston, Texas.
Manfredo (37-6, 20 KOs), who turns 31 on Nov. 26, takes a seven-bout winning streak that includes four knockouts against the Chavez Jr. (43-0-1, 30 KOs), THE RING’s No. 5-rated middleweight. Chavez is the 25-year-old son of the Mexican legend and former three-division champ of the same name.
Manfredo works full time as a laborer in Providence, R.I., where he lives with his wife, Yamilka, and has young children, Alexis Marie, Mercedes Marie and Peter Michael.
“I have to pick one or the other, being a father or being a fighter,” Manfredo told Yahoo! Sports. “And with the kind of money [he’s making,] unless I win this, then there’s no question.”
Manfredo has lost twice to ex-154-pound beltholder Sergio Mora, once to former 168-pound titleholder Jeff Lacy, and been stopped in the third round by both Sakio Bika and former super middleweight and light heavyweight champion Joe Calzaghe among his career highlight losses.
“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.”
Meanwhile, Chavez Jr. told RingTV.com that he already has begun to think big.
Chavez Jr. is being considered for an all-Mexican clash opposite RING No. 2-rated junior middleweight Saul “Canelo” Alvarez, who risks his WBC junior middleweight belt opposite Kermit Cintron on Nov. 26.
Chavez Jr. also has said that he would like to challenge the winner of a scheduled Dec. 3 clash between RING No. 1-rated WBA junior middleweight beltholder Miguel Cotto and Antonio Margarito.
Manfredo Jr. wants to spoil Chavez’s plans so that he might be able to quit his other job, or at least supplement to a greater degree financially.
“I had to sweat and fight and bleed for every nickel I’ve ever gotten in this sport,” said Manfredo. “It sucks being away from my family so much and I just can’t take it anymore. This isn’t how I want to be living my life.”
Photo by Ed Mulholland, Fightwire Images
Lem Satterfield can be reached at email@example.com