Former WBA Lightweight World Champion, Leonard Doroftei, is disappointed that he is to evaluate the premises of his pub-restaurant in Ploiesti (60km north of Bucharest). He claims he would move to Montreal, Canada, digisport.ro informs.
Information surfaced last week that his restaurant will be evacuated, after receiving from the local authorities a notification, motivated by the fact that the building is at risk in case of earthquake.
Doroftei received the location from Ploiesti City Hall eleven years ago, when he was also named ‘Honorary Citizen’ of the city.
Doroftei claims he is the only one in the building who received the notification, none of those residing there receiving such a warning. He says he has invested no less than EUR 200,000 in the pub and now he is considering an extreme decision: to emigrate.
“I would ask the local council, if you evacuate me, is there any project to rehabilitate the building? They have nothing, I can tell you that!” Doroftei said for libertatea.ro.
“I returned home for the people, for my people in Ploiesti, good or bad. However, since Friday I feel like I have no hands and no legs. I have decided, in October, after I solve all the issues regarding debts, I’ll go back to Canada. The family has the citizenship, I’ll start over in Montreal. I believe my fellow people from Ploiesti have had enough of me. My clients were, most of them, foreigners,” Doroftei said.
Leonard Dorin Doroftei, born on April 10, 1970) is a Romanian-Canadian former boxer, WBA Lightweight World Champion from January 5, 2002 to October 24, 2003.
Doroftei took up boxing at the age of 14 at the Ploieşti boxing club. From 1983 to 1984, he won every Romanian national junior title. He went on to win five national senior titles in 1992–1994 and 1996–1997. He won bronze medals at the 1992 Summer Olympics in Barcelona and the 1996 Summer Olympics in Atlanta. In addition, he was declared World Champion in 1995 and European Champion in 1993 and 1992. His record as an amateur was 239 victories and 15 defeats.
In 1997, Doroftei turned professional, signing with the Canadian club Interbox. Throughout his career, Dorin competed on ESPN, Showtime, and HBO. On January 5, 2002 he won the WBA world lightweight title, winning in a thrilling split decision over Argentinean boxer Raul Horacio Balbi 112–115, 114–113, 115–112. On May 31 the two fought again in Bucharest; this time, Dorin scored a knockdown en route to a clear cut unanimous decision victory, 118–111, 117–112 and 118–110.
A lightweight title unification bout on 17 May 2003 with American boxer Paul Spadafora, the IBF champion, ended in a draw, 114–114, 115–113, 114–115. The bout took place in Spadafora’s hometown of Pittsburgh, and Dorin was a significant underdog. However, Dorin seemed to control the vast majority of the fight. He got to Spadafora early and often, surprising the champ with his intensity and workrate. Most observers agreed that Dorin had been robbed of a decision he deserved. Unfortunately for both fighters and boxing fans, a rematch never materialized.
On October 24, 2003, Doroftei was to fight a match against Panamanian boxer Miguel Callist. Doroftei had already announced that this would be his last professional match regardless of the result. As it turned out, the match was cancelled after Doroftei exceeded the maximum weight for lightweights at the weigh-in: he was 4 1⁄4 pounds (1.9 kg) over the 135 pounds (61 kg) weight limit, so he lost his WBA title.
On 24 July 2004, Doroftei lost his undefeated mark when he tried to get the WBC l title, getting knocked out with a body shot in two rounds by Arturo Gatti.
He now resides in Romania with his wife and 3 children and is working as a trainer for boxing prospects. He has his own pub-restaurant in Ploieşti, which is decorated with his photos and memories from his boxing career.