Extra Points: Local Boxers LaManna, Seldon set for action this month
By DAVID WEINBERG
While Atlantic City's boxing scene remains quiet, two local fighters will be in action elsewhere this month.
World-rated Millville junior-middleweight Thomas LaManna (29-4-1, 11 KOs) faces Mexico's Juan de Jesus Angulo Gonzalez (21-14, 14 KOs) Saturday at La Terraz Sports Bar in Agua Prieta, Sonora, Mexico. The card will be livestreamed on Rising Star Promotions' Facebook page at 5 p.m.
Atlantic City middleweight Isiah Seldon (14-3-1, 5 KOs) returns to action after a 10-month layoff on Jan. 30 when he takes on unbeaten Joey Spencer (11-0, 8 KOs) in Los Angeles as part of a Premier Boxing Champions card that will be televised on Fox and FS1.
LaManna, who is ranked 10th by the World Boxing Association, is seeking his second straight victory after suffering back-to-back losses in 2020. In his last outing, the 29-year-old posted a first-round knockout over Jorge Pimental in Mexico.
He is also competing after being diagnosed with Covid-19 two months ago.
"I was supposed to fight in December, but me, my fiance and my daughter all tested positive for Covid on November 16," LaManna said. "I had a mean headache, a cough and shortness of breath for a few days and felt better after about a week, but I couldn't really start training until a few weeks ago. I've had about five weeks to prepare, so I'm ready to go."
Gonzalez, 32, is 4-6 in his last 10 bouts dating back to 2017. He registered a first-round TKO over Juan Manuel Valenzuela Castanada on Nov. 24, 2020 in his most recent fight in Mexico.
With a win, LaManna would unofficially become just the fourth fighter from Atlantic, Cape May or Cumberland County to earn 30 professional victories, joining former Bridgeton light-heayweight Richie Kates (44-6), former WBA heavyweight champion Bruce Seldon (40-8) of Atlantic City and the late Leavander Johnson (34-5-2), who was the IBF lightweight champion from Atlantic City.
Isiah Seldon, Bruce's son, is fighting for the first time since a second-round TKO over Darryl Bunting at Bally's Atlantic City last March 7, which was also the last boxing card held in Atlantic City.
"We had really hoped to capitalize on Isiah's performance in that fight, but the pandemic changed the entire boxing landscape," Seldon's co-manager, Jim Kurtz, said. "Fortunately, Isiah has been in the gym the entire time because we knew that a big opportunity was only a phone call away."
The 29-year-old is taking a step up in competition in an attempt to land a big fight down the line. Spencer, a 20-year-old Linden, Michigan native, was PBC's "Prospect of the Year" in 2019. He's coming off a fourth-round knockout over Shawn West in L.A. last August.
The Atlantic City PAL's boxing gym is still closed due to Covid-19. As a result, Seldon has been training in Philadelphia for this bout under the guidance of Danny Davis. Davis previously worked with Hall of Famer Bernard Hopkins.
"I'm looking forward to seeing Isiah climb through the ropes and watch him put on display all the things he's been working on with Danny Davis," Kurtz, said. "We know that a good performance will open up a lot of doors for Isiah."