Maddalone suffers first professional loss

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Bayside heavyweight Vinny Maddalone suffered his first professional defeat Saturday night at the Taj Mahal in Atlantic City, dropping a six-round unanimous decision to grizzled veteran Al “Ice” Cole.

Cole, a late replacement for Russell Chasteen, took the fight Friday, but had been sparring with longtime friend and stablemate Ray Mercer, who fought and eventually lost to Wladimir Klitschko in the main event. The former International Boxing Federation cruiserweight champion of the world, Cole was a huge step up in class for Maddalone from Chasteen, despite Cole’s not having posted a victory in his last seven fights, going 0-6-1 against mostly world-class opposition.

“We thought we’d catch him on his way down,” Maddalone said Monday. “He was just more experienced.”

Ringside reports had Maddalone and Cole boxing on pretty much even terms through the first two rounds before Cole took control in the third round, using his considerable reach advantage and straight punches to counter the shorter, wider punching Queens native.

“I should have done what I had to do,” Maddalone said. “I think I won the first two rounds. After that it was like I had a mental block or something.”

But Cole was hardly active, resting for large portions of the fight and clinching often.

“I didn’t do anything in a couple of those rounds,” Cole was quoted as saying in one report. “I should have been popping my jab. I was helping Mercer for only a couple of weeks, but it was the most sparring I’ve had in two years.”

Maddalone was still very much in the fight in the fourth, when Cole opened up a cut under Maddalone’s left eye. Another cut opened over Maddalone’s right eye in the fifth, with Cole doing just enough to win the rounds on the scorecards.

Heading into the sixth and final round — the bout with Chasteen was originally scheduled for eight rounds — Maddalone needed a knockout to win, according to the three ringside officials. But it was Cole who controlled the pace. Toward the end of the stanza, the former champ landed a strong left jab that rocked Maddalone.

Cole, however, could not put Maddalone on the canvas, even though the Bayside brawler was “out on his feet,” one report stated. Referee Tony Perez allowed Maddalone to make it to the final bell, though the decision would certainly not be in his favor.

The final tally had Cole winning by scores of 58-56 on two cards and 59-55 on the third. Cole raised his record to 32-10-2 with the win, while Maddalone fell to 15-1.

“He put it on me,” Maddalone admitted. “He gave me a [expletive] beating. My face was a punching bag. I took a beating and I stayed on my feet. It was brutal, but I loved it. My trunks were covered in blood.”

Prior to the bout, Maddalone was hoping to fight locally sometime this summer before a break-out televised bout in October. Those plans, however, may well be scrapped in the face of his first pro loss.

“I never want to be in that position again in my life,” Maddalone said. “I know what I have to do now. Now I just got to learn the tools and get the experience in the ring.

“I learned a lot from this,” he added. “I need to turn it around and make it a positive for me. I gotta do it.”

Two Queens fighters

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