Extra Points: Millville’s LaManna Loses Title Shot
Thomas LaManna's bid to win a world title ended in defeat Saturday night.
The 29-year-old Millville boxer, who was vying for the WBA middleweight championship, suffered a first-round knockout loss to Erislandy Lara at Dignity Health Sports Park in Carson, California.
Lara (28-3-3, 16 KOs), who is also the WBA super-welterweight champ, won the 160-pound belt in decisive fashion. The 38-year-old southpaw threw a straight left that landed on LaManna's right ear. LaManna (30-5-1, 12 KOs) fell on his back, his head bouncing off the canvas. Referee Thomas Taylor stopped the bout without a count at one minute, 20 seconds of the round.
Lara had established control almost from the outset, catching LaManna with a pair of lefts. On the next exchange, as Lara threw another punch, LaManna lowered his hands and got caught.
LaManna, a 2011 Millville High School graduate, was attempting to join Atlantic City's Bruce Seldon and the late Leavander Johnson as the only boxers from Atlantic, Cape May or Cumberland County to win a world title.
Seldon won the WBA heavyweight crown with a seventh-round TKO over Tony Tucker on April 8, 1995. He retained the title with a 10th-round TKO over Joe Hipp four months later before suffering a first-round TKO loss to Mike Tyson on Sept. 7, 1996.
Johnson became IBF lightweight champion on June 17, 2005 with a seventh-round TKO over Stefano Zoff.
Exactly three months later, he lost via 11th-round TKO to Jesus Chavez. Johnson collapsed in his dressing room after the bout and died from head injuries five days later, on Sept. 22, 2005.
Two other local boxers came up short in title bids. Bridgeton light-heavyweight Richie Kates dropped a pair of controversial bouts against the late Victor Galindez in 1976 and 1977, respectively. Atlantic City's John Brown lost title challenges against Shane Mosley (IBF lightweight) and the late Diego Corrales (IBF super-featherweight) in 1999, then lost a pair of challenges against IBF super-featherweight champ Steve Forbes in 2000 and 2001.
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