By: Ken Hissner
Top Rank’s matchmaker Brad Goodman and J Russell Peltz of Peltz Boxing will put on a show that headlines with heavyweights Philly’s Bryant “BY BY” Jennings, 23-2 against Russia’s Alexander Dimitrenko, 41-3. The co-feature has another Philly favorite in Jesse “Hollywood” Hart, 24-1 against Mike Gavronski, 24-2-1, of Tacoma, WA, both a pair of ten round bouts with Hart’s NABF super middleweight title on the line.
This will be seen also on ESPN Saturday night. The undercard is also filled with main event talent as former WBA World Super Featherweight champion Berlin’s Jason Sosa, 20-3-4, returns looking for a title fight as he takes on Dominican Reynaldo Blanco, 14-4, out of PR, over 8 rounds. Another Philly favorite is young Christian Carto, 15-0, a fast rising bantamweight who is a real crowd pleaser in an 8 round bout against Mexican Javier Gallo, 25-15-1, of Bueno Park, CA.
Millville’s Thomas “Cornflake” Lamanna, 25-2-1, looks to get back into the WBO rankings taking on Matthew “Mayhem” Strode, 25-6, of Greensboro, NC, over 8 rounds. USA Olympian Shakur Stevenson, 7-0, of Newark looks to keep unbeaten in taking on Carlos Ruiz, 16-4, of Distrito Federal, Mexico, over 8 rounds.
Heavyweight Olek Sander, 13-0, from the Ukraine takes on Avery Gibson, 9-6-4, of L.A., over 8 rounds. Hard hitting lightweight from Allentown, PA, Joseph “Blessed Hands” Adorno looks to make it 9 straight knockouts in taking on Augustine Mauras, 6-4-3, of Lawrence, Mass, over 6 rounds. “Robert Garcia will be in my corner with my dad,” said Adorno.
This writer was able to get comments Wednesday at the Atlantic City PAL starting with Jennings who said “The time has come again for the world to know who I am. I’m expecting him to come out better than he did in his previous fight. I’m expecting him to have the will to win, wanted to establish his name and his legacy.” Dimitrenko said “It is very important for me to be here, to fight live on ESPN with Jennings. I will do anything to win this fight. I am here to win this fight. I prepared myself very well. It’s an honor to fight here in America. Everybody watching will get a great show. Saturday night can’t come soon enough. I am ready to fight.”
Jesse Hart had this to say: I don’t have anything derogatory to say about him (Gavronski). I think he’s alright. The Atlantic City market is one of the best in the world because it is so rich in boxing history. Mike Tyson fought Michael Spinks here. Before the market went to Las Vegas it was all here in Atlantic City. This is boxing roots. This is boxing heritage.” Gavronski had this to say about Hart: “I’m absolutely ecstatic. A lot of hard work has gone into this, but there’s more hard work to do. I need to keep my head into it, and that’s about it.” In being asked about being the underdog he said, “I don’t even worry about that stuff. I’m just going to stick with what I know and do what I do.”
Unbeaten Carto said “I’m worried about this fight. After that I can sit back and relax, and enjoy the rest of the show. We agreed to come in at 120 instead of 118, and we have had a training camp of 8 weeks. I have a new trainer in Billy Briscoe. I’m fighting a guy who has been around. I’m ready for what he brings. I bring a fan-friendly style into the ring. I know I have a ton full of support from family and friends.” His brother and manager Frankie said “we have known Billy for some time and this has been proven to be most beneficial. He has sparred with former world champ Villoria, Philly’s “Scooter” Fulton, Rommuel Cruz and DC’s unbeaten Alex Marin.”
Stevenson had this to say: “I have a lot of family and friends coming. I plan on putting on a fine show. I feel every time I’m in the east coast, I have my best performances. I’m coming off two straight knockouts, and I’m going to get my third in a row on Saturday night.” I feel I’ve waited my whole life to get a world title. That would be a dream come true. I’m ready to move into the top ten and take on anyone who has a belt.”
LaManna had this to say “It feels great fighting in my adopted home town. They could have put someone else on the card. I’’ glad they recognized all the hard work that me as an individual put into my craft, marketing myself, and the fan base I bring to the table. On Saturday night, I’am going to perform in front of everybody . It’s a big platform. It’s pretty cool getting all of this notoriety, and exposure and stuff, but I learned how to not let the hype get to me. I’m focused on what I have to be focused on, and that’s my fight. I hope to get back into the WBO rankings with a win. Tommy Brooks is my new trainer.” Sosa said “I haven’t been this focused in the past two years and look forward to getting back in the ring.”