Extra Points: World championship boxing returns to Atlantic City, NJ
By DAVID WEINBERG
World championship boxing is returning to Atlantic City next month: Interim IBF welterweight champion Jaron "Boots" Ennis (30-0, 27 KOs) will defend his title against Venezuela's Roiman Villa (26-1, 24 KOs) on Saturday, July 8 at Jim Whelan Boardwalk Hall's Adrian Phillips Ballroom.
Ennis-Villa will be the first world title fight held in Atlantic City since January 22, 2022, when Mark Magsayo upset WBC featherweight champion Gary Russell Jr. at Borgata Hotel, Casino & Spa. Ennis, a Philadelphia native, will be making his third appearance in Atlantic City. The 25-year-old earned a fourth-round TKO over Bakhtiyar Eyubov in 2020 at Ocean Casino Resort after beating former contender Mike Arnaoutis of Somers Point in 2016 at Showboat Hotel.
Villa, 30, is returning to Atlantic City after posting an eight-round, unanimous decision over Janelson Figueroa Bocachica at Bally's Atlantic City last September. He has won seven straight.
The Premier Boxing Champions card will also include unbeaten Cuban middleweight Yoelvis Gomez (6-0, 5 KOs) vs. Marquis Taylor (14-1-2, 1 KO) and Allentown, Pennsylvania lightweight Joseph Adorno (17-2-2, 14 KOs) vs. Edwin De Los Santos (15-1, 14 KOs). Tickets to the card, which is being promoted by TGB Promotions, go on sale Monday at Ticketmaster.com. The fights will also be televised on Showtime Championship Boxing.
The card is one of three scheduled for Atlantic City in the next five weeks. Promoter Sal Musumeci has a five-bout show at Bally's on Saturday. Brooklyn, New York super-lightweight Dimash Niyazov (14-1-3, 6 KOs) will take on Albany, New York's Larry Fryers (12-6-1, 5 KOs) in the main event. Popular Philadelphia heavyweight Joey Dawejko (24-10-4, 13 KOs) will face Michigan's Dennis Vance Jr. (4-9, 2 KOs) on the undercard.
Millville-based Rising Star Promotions returns to Boardwalk Hall on July 22 with a show at the ballroom. Millville middleweight Thomas LaManna (35-5-1, 14 KOs), ranked No. 5 by the WBC, will meet Argentina's Juan Manuel Witt (33-1-2, 25 KOs) in the 10-round main event. Atlantic City junior-middleweight Justin Figueroa (5-0, 5 KOs), a Holy Spirit High School graduate and Atlantic City Lifeguard, will take on Mays Landing welterweight Jeff Lentz (5-1, 1 KO) in a six-rounder. Lentz, who is also a former mixed martial arts fighter, is returning to boxing after an eight-year layoff.