Extra Points: Rising Star Promotions back in Atlantic City, NJ
Rising Star Promotions is coming back to its boxing home next month.
The Millville-based company is scheduled to stage a show in Atlantic City for the first time in nearly three years on March 26. It will be holding a card at Jim Whelan Boardwalk Hall's Adrian Phillips Ballroom.
Unbeaten bantamweight Emmanuel Rodriguez (10-0, 5 KOs) from Puerto Rico is slated to fight Florida's Frank Gonzalez (9-2, 4 KOs) in the main event. The rest of the card is still being developed.
Rising Star, which is being run by Millville's Debra LaManna, her son, middleweight boxer Thomas LaManna (31-5-1, 13 KOs), and Linwood's Mike Brestle, made its mark in Atlantic City. It staged a whopping 16 shows at locales such as the Claridge and Showboat hotels from 2016 to 2019, but hasn't been in town since July 20, 2019.
Boardwalk Hall is hosting boxing for the first time since April 13, 2019, when women's middleweight champion Claressa Shields earned a decision over Christina Hammer.
When the Covid-19 pandemic knocked out boxing on the Boardwalk, Rising Star started promoting south of the border. It hosted a series of cards at La Terraza Sports Bar in Agua Prieta, Sonora, Mexico in 2020-21 before regaining a license to promote again in New Jersey late last year.
The March 26 show will be the second boxing event held in Atlantic City this year, following the Gary Russell, Jr.-Mark Magsayo bantanweight championship fight at Borgata Hotel Casino & Spa - Magsayo won via majority decision - on January 22. There only four last year, all of which were promoted by Manny Rivera of Hard Hitting Promotions and were held at Showboat. Rivera signed a 12-fight deal with Showboat, but thus far has no cards scheduled for this year there.
In other boxing news, Atlantic City super-middleweight Gabriel Pham (15-2, 9 KOs) will face Demond Nicholson (24-4-1, 20 KOs), of Laural, Maryland, on February 19 at Maryland Live Casino in Hanover, Maryland.
On the MMA front, Ring of Combat will be returning to town on February 18 with a Ring of Combat card at Tropicana Atlantic City. Vineland-based Cage Fury is scheduled to have a show at Borgata on April 15.