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Last Updated: Tuesday, 3 April 2007, 21:37 GMT 22:37 UK
Manfredo inspired by Raging Bull
Peter Manfredo Jr
Manfredo longs to join the legends of the fight game
Date: Saturday, 7 April
Venue: Millennium Stadium, Cardiff
Listen: Radio 5 Live, Radio Wales & Radio Cymru

Peter Manfredo Jr says a style modelled on boxing legend Jake LaMotta will help him dethrone Joe Calzaghe.

The challenger for Calzaghe's WBO title at Cardiff's Millennium Stadium on Saturday has been nicknamed 'LaMotta' in the Wild Card gym in Los Angeles.

That is based on his bustling style, Italian-American ancestry - and the 26-year-old's supposed hard head.

"See LaMotta in Raging Bull and it's me - just without the brutal part with his wife and all that nonsense," he said.

I have a shot to be up there with the Jake LaMotta's if I beat Calzaghe

Peter Manfredo Jr

"I'm a throw back to the old school days. I'll fight anybody, anywhere, anytime.

"I just want a shot at the world title. How many people get a shot at the world title in this game?

"And not only that, I have a shot to be up there with the Jake LaMotta's if I beat this guy.

"The pressure is definitely on him, I'm going into his back yard in front of 35,000 people screaming his name."

Rhode Islander Manfredo holds a record of 26-3 (12 KOs), with impressive third-round stoppages of Joe Spina and Scott Pemberton in his last two fights.

But he is most famous for being the runner-up in the first US series of boxing reality TV show The Contender, and will be a huge underdog against Calzaghe.

Jake LaMotta
LaMotta's autobiography was made into a film by Martin Scorcese

The American's record bears little resemblance to compatriot LaMotta, a true boxing great who was the subject of Martin Scorsese's Raging Bull, the film of the fighter's autobiography.

Calzaghe, 35, will be making the 20th defence of his title, and will equal the record of ring legends Larry Holmes and Bernard Hopkins if he wins.

"There is pressure on every single defence of my title and I think pressure is a good thing," said the Newbridge man, who holds a record of 42-0 (31 KOs).

"Look at Tyson losing to Douglas, Hagler losing to Leonard, and Lewis losing to Rahman. The favourites in those fights took it for granted that they were the best.

"One of my strengths is that I don't take any fighter lightly. I take them all very seriously indeed. Peter has a massive opportunity - the opportunity of a lifetime."

BBC Wales Sport coverage
31 Oct 05 |  Wales
Calzaghe eyes historic prize
06 Apr 07 |  Boxing
Calzaghe relinquishes IBF title
27 Nov 06 |  Boxing
The Calzaghe Record
05 Mar 06 |  Boxing
Calzaghe uninspired by Manfredo
25 Jan 07 |  Boxing
Living the dream
12 Dec 06 |  Boxing


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