After beating a drug addiction and being reunited with his earlier trainer, welterweight Paul Spadafora (46-0-1, 19 KOs), is ready to take the next step in his comeback.
Tonight, he will meet Solomon Egberime (22-3-1, 11 KOs) at the Mountaineer Racetrack Casino and Resort in Chester, W.Va.
Spadafora is not taking the challenge lightly.
"[Egberime] is definitely not a lower-class type of guy. The style he has is in-and-out, fast, and that is a [challenging] style for me," Spadafora said.
The "Pittsburgh Kid" is trained by Tom Yankello, who has a lot of confidence in his fighter.
"Skills overcome, craft wins, and [Spadafora] is the more-skilled fighter ... I know I have the better guy," Yankello said.
Spadafora said he has been off of drugs and alcohol for "over a year." And Yankello said the difference is remarkable.
"[Spadafora] being clean has shown me so much more. I definitely think he is stronger, and there is no doubt he is hitting harder," Yankello said.
On the same card, Monty Meza-Clay (33-3, 21 KOs) will face super featherweight Emmanuel Lucero (26-12-1, 14 KOs), in a rematch of a July 14 bout that went to Meza-Clay by majority decision.
Yankello believes the difference in Meza-Clay's eight-round bout will be the body work.
"We have been working on going to the body more. I feel like in the last fight [Meza-Clay] could have gotten that guy out of there if he would have went to the body," Yankello said.
There are two other local fighters on the card.
Super middleweight Morgan Fitch (7-0, 3 KOs), will face Cameron Allen (4-11, 2 KOs). Fitch is coming off of a six-month layoff because of a broken rib, but he is confident he will put on a great show.
"I know I am ready and in the best shape I have ever been in. Come Saturday, I plan on coming out and hurting [Allen]," Fitch said.
"Whenever I catch him slipping, then he is going to go to sleep."
Welterweight Billy Hutchinson (4-1-2, 2 KOs) will face Jose Caraballo (5-4, 1 KO). Hutchinson said he is a "completely different fighter" and is ready to show the improvements he has made.
But Spadafora's bout is the eye-catcher on the card.