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Maddalone fights in Queens, looks beyond
It's a homecoming for rugged heavyweight Vinny Maddalone. The Flushing native returns home Wednesday night to fight in Howard Beach, making his first Queens appearance in three years. The venue - Russo's on the Bay - is already sold out.
"It's going to be a great night of boxing," said Maddalone. "There will be food, drinks, you get to eat, watch some fights. Without a doubt, it's a big motivation for me to fight in front of my friends. I have to look good in front of everyone and I have to work hard to make that happen."
Maddalone - 34-7 with 25 knockouts - takes on Chris Koval (25-8) in the 10-round main event. The co-main event features an eight-round junior welterweight tilt between former world title challenger "Mighty" Mike Arnaoutis of Astoria, New York and Albany's Broderick Antoine. The card is being promoted by Joe DeGuardia's Star Boxing.
But this night is clearly about Maddalone, 38, and one more shot at boxing's biggest prize.
"It's 13 years that I've been pro," said Maddalone. "I am one fight away from the Klitschkos. It keeps the drive going inside me. I am a kid from Queens and I fought one of my idols, Evander Holyfield. No one ever though that would happen. So I just have keep winning and see what happens."
Maddalone has met world champions Tomasz Adamek and Jean Marc Mormeck. But his biggest fight remains the 2007 TKO loss to Holyfield.
Koval, who has met former heavyweight champ Shannon Briggs, isn't of that caliber. But Vinny from Queens has a game opponent in front of him. One who will be looking to spoil the homecoming.
"He's going to be right there in front of me and that's what I like," Maddalone said of Koval. "It's going to be a great fight. Two guys standing there, going toe to toe."