Extra Points: Millville’s LaManna joins 30-win club
Millville boxer Thomas LaManna reached a milestone Saturday night.
The world-rated junior-middleweight earned his 30th career victory with a fourth-round TKO over Mexicos Juan de Jesus Gonzalez at La Terraz Sports Bar in Agua Prieta, Sonora, Mexico.
LaManna (30-4-1, 12 KOs) unofficially became just the fourth boxer from Atlantic, Cape May and Cumberland Counties with at least 30 wins, joining former Bridgeton light-heayweight contender Richie Kates (44-6, 23 KOs) former WBA heavyweight champion Bruce Seldon (40-8, 36 KOs) of Atlantic City, and former IBF lightweight champion Leavander Johnson (34-5-2, 26 KOs) from Atlantic City.
Kates, now 68, enjoyed an outstanding, 15-year career from 1969-83. He is considered the best local fighter to never win a world title, losing twice to the late Victor Galindez in title bouts. In their first meeting, on May 15, 1976 in South Africa, Kates suffered a controversial, 15th-round defeat. Kates landed an uppercut that opened a nasty cut on Galindez, who was allowed about 15 minutes to have the cut repaired before the fight resumed.
Seldon, who turns 44 later this month, became Atlantic City's first world champion with a seventh-round TKO over Tony Tucker in Las Vegas on April 8, 1995. He made one successful defense before losing the crown with a first-round loss to Mike Tyson in Las Vegas on Sept. 7, 1996. Seldon dropped out of sight for eight years before resuming his career in 2004. He retired in 2009.
Johnson won the IBF championship with a seventh-round TKO over Stefano Zoff in Italy on June 17, 2005. Three months later, in Las Vegas, he suffered an 11th-round TKO loss to Jesus Chavez. He collapsed in his dressing room afterward and died three days later at age 35. Christmas Eve was his 51st birthday.
LaManna, who is ranked 10th by the WBA at 154 pounds, joined the 30-win club with a solid performance against Gonzalez (21-14, 14 KOs). He scored two knockdowns and after the second one, the referee stopped the bout.
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