Best Boxers of All Time From Rhode Island
Have you ever seen a Vinny Paz (Pazienza) boxing match?
Vinny Paz (Cranston, Rhode Island)
"The Pazmanian Devil" is the former lightweight and junior middleweight world champion. He retired with a resume that reads: 50-10 with 30 of those victories coming by way of knockout. He had boxing skills to be sure especially in the lighter weight classes he fought in. Paz showed unmatched heart and stamina in the ring and an unbelievable belief in himself that enabled him to overcome his defensive limitations at times. Paz was in a horrible wreck and was expected to be paralyzed. He somehow overcame and trained with a neck and head brace on until he was ready and he came back with success.
Vinny Paz's best victories came from defeating: Greg Haugen, Gilbert Dele, Lloyd Honeyghan and Roberto Duran.
Vinny Paz vs. Roberto Duran
Joey Archibald's Top Victories
Joey Archibald (Providence, Rhode Island)
Joey Archibald is the former two time featherweight champion of the world and he retired sporting a record reading: 60-42-5 with 29 knockouts on his docket. He had average power and speed but he was an adept defensive boxer and he had a splendid jab and right hand. His slower hand and foot speed cost him in several bouts but he could take a punch and keep coming forward which he proved time and time again. Archibald could have done even more with his career with better connections.
Mr. Archibald's best accomplishments came from beating: Harry Jeffra, Larry Bolvin, Leo Rodak and Mike Belloise.
Harold Gomes (Providence, Rhode Island)
Harold Gomes is the former jr. lightweight champion of the world and he retired from the squared circle with a record of: 51-10 with 24 knockouts to his credit. Gomes had a soft chin but a big heart to help even out the problem. Also, Gomes was a good counter puncher with descent footwork and a solid stick as well.
Mr. Gomes's biggest wins came from besting: Paul Jorgensen, Eduardo Guerrero, Jimmy Kelly and Ike Chestnut.
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Demetrius Andrade (Providence, Rhode Island)
"Boo Boo" won two National Golden Gloves titles and the World Championships as an amateur boxer. As a professional Andrade is the current (2015) junior middleweight champion and his record stands at: 21-0 with 14 knockouts. His offensive skills including a long, accurate jab and long, hard right hand are magnificent. Andrade uses fast footwork, fast hands including combination punching and reflexes that allow him to slip shots to control and sometimes dominate his opponents. Andrade will probably advance up this list in the future because he is a young pro with lots more accolades to achieve.
Demetrius Andrade's best wins came from topping: Vanes Martirosyan, Grady Brewer, Freddy Hernandez and Angel Hernandez.
Vinny Pazienza's Boxing Highlights (Video)
Jason Estrada (Providence, Rhode Island)
"Big Six" had a highly successful amateur career winning a gold medal at the Pan Am games in 2003 and going to the 2004 Olympics. As a professional he currently (2015) has a record of: 20-6 with 6 knockouts. Estrada could have went far as a pro because he has the talent but he does not have the drive and comes in the ring out of shape sometimes. On his best days he can rip fast combinations and his offense is very good.
Jason Estrada's best wins came from defeating the likes of: Zuri Lawrence, Derek Bryant, Lance Whitaker and Charles Shufford.
Boxing Headgear on Amazon
Gary Balletto (Providence, Rhode Island)
"Tiger" is a former lightweight contender who retired from the sport with a mark of: 31-3-2 with 26 knockouts. Average speed and an average defense were flaws but he had a good jab, he was accurate and he also punched hard in combinations. The biggest accomplishment of Gary Balletto's career may be the fact that he fought for a boxer's retirement fund and union as a representative and long time member of JAB which stands for Joint Association of Boxers.
Gary Balletto's biggest wins came from besting: Matthew Strode, Aaron Torres, Mike DiBenedetto and Johnny Walker.
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George Araujo (Fox Point, Rhode Island)
Mr. Araujo was a former ranked lightweight contender who retired from the squared circle with a resume reading: 58-9-1 with 33 knockouts to his credit. He fought every top boxer of his era including Jimmy Carter and Sandy Saddler. Araujo could box from the outside using the ring and boxing in circles or he could bang away to the head and body on the inside.
George Araujo had some significant wins including toppling: Redtop Davis, Paddy DeMarco, Sandy Saddler and Charley Riley.
Demetrius Andrade Interview (Video)
Birthplace of Matt Godfrey (Providence, RI)
Matt Godfrey (Providence, Rhode Island)
"Too Smooth" was a superb and very accomplished amateur boxer who was the U.S. Amateur middleweight champion in 2000 and the U.S. Amateur Heavyweight champion in 2004. Also, he was the National Golden Gloves heavyweight champion and a bronze medal winner in the Pan Am games. As a professional he was a world ranked cruiserweight who challenged Marco Huck for the title but lost. A light puncher but a fast puncher Godfrey had fast hands, feet and slick head movement.
Matt Godfrey's best wins came from defeating: Shaun George, Felix Cora Jr, Michael Simms and Shawn Hawk.
Melissa Fiorentino (Cranston, Rhode Island)
"The Fury" is the former featherweight champion in women's boxing and she left the ring with a record of: 17 wins, 2 losses and 6 of those wins coming by way of knockout. Fiorentino was a come forward banger but she could slip shots pretty well on her way inside. Her chin, heart and stamina usually pulled her through in huge bouts.
Melissa Fiorentino's top victories came from beating: Cindy Serrano, Leona Brown, Esther Schouten and Ela Nunez.
© 2015 Buster Johnson