FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. (AP)—Former IBF lightweight champion Paul “The Pittsburgh Kid” Spadafora stopped Italy’s Ivan Fiorletta in the eighth round March 12. Spadafora (44-0-1, 18 KOs) started the eighth with a series of solid combinations to the head. Although the punches didn’t floor Fiorletta, referee Frank Gentile felt he had absorbed sufficient damage and stopped the bout at 40 seconds of the round.
“This is a very satisfying win,” Spadafora said. “I was able to land my combinations at will.”
Spadafora, from McKees Rocks, was in his sixth fight since resuming his career following a prison sentence for aggravated assault involving a former girlfriend. He was never in trouble and gradually caused swelling around Fiorletta’s left eye.
Spadafora used busy combinations to the head and body and wore down Fiorletta (24-8-2) in the welterweight bout at War Memorial Auditorium.
As the fight reached the middle rounds, Spadafora maintained a busy punch output while Fiorletta failed to counter or cut his angles.
After an action-limited first round, Spadafora stepped up the pace in the second. He connected with a lead right jab and right-left combinations to the head. Spadafora also was effective from short range with right uppercuts and right hooks to the head.
Fiorletta, who weighed in at 144 pounds, enjoyed a successful round as he stalked Spadafora and socred with rights to the head in the third. Late in the round, Fiorletta pressed Spadafora and also connected with combinations to the body.
Spadafora, weighing 143 pounds, resumed a busier pace in the fourth, peppering Fiorletta with lead lefts to the head and rights to the body. In the fifth, Spadafora continued to punish Fiorletta with rights to the body. Spadafora also doubled on his right jabs.
An apparently frustrated Fiorletta kneed Spadafora around the groin area early in the sixth, prompting Gentile to deduct a point. Spadafora was unfazed by the infraction and remained busy with lead right jabs to the head and combinations to the body.
He won the IBF lightweight crown over Israel Cardona in 1999. After fighting Leonard Dorin to a draw in a title unification and eighth defense, Spadafora vacated the belt to move up to junior welterweight in 2003.