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Tuesday, October 24, 2006
Ex-champ paroled for shooting fiancee plans return

Associated Press

ERIE, Pa. -- Former IBF lightweight champion Paul Spadafora, on parole for shooting his fiancee, plans to return to the ring next month after a two-year layoff.

Paul Spadafora
Spadafora, who last fought in 2004, will headline a card on Nov. 22 in Erie, Pa.

An opponent has not been announced, but the fight will be the main event of the 22nd Erie Boxing Classic on Nov. 22, said Spadafora's promoter Michael Acri.

The former champ passed up an offer to fight Oct. 20 on the undercard of "Mike Tyson's World Tour" in Youngstown, Ohio.

Spadafora was paroled earlier this year after spending seven months in state prison and six months in a corrections boot camp after pleading guilty to shooting his fiancee in the abdomen in October 2003.

He completed a 90-day alcohol treatment program and has been training in Erie since his release.

"Since the day he was released from boot camp, he's been waiting for this to happen," Acri said. "Now, it's reality. He's been very positive. He has a different attitude on life."

Spadafora (38-0-1) last fought in July 2004, knocking out Francisco Campos in the third round. That was Spadafora's second straight win since giving up his IBF lightweight title to move up to junior welterweight.

"Everything that happened really opened my eyes," Spadafora said. "I'm more mature right now that I have ever been. More than you know, I missed everything I had and that has pushed me to appreciate it and never let something like that ever happen again."