By: Ken Hissner
The state of New Jersey had fourteen shows in 2017 and Thomas “Cornflake” LaManna headlined on four of them all in Atlantic City, New Jersey. He will be headlining on February 24th at the Showboat Hotel in Atlantic City.
LaManna is 25-2 (9), from Millville, NJ, and dropped his weight down to welterweight five fights ago and is 4-1 with all the wins at the Claridge Hotel & Casino. Of his twenty-seven fights he has fought in Atlantic City in sixteen of them. There were seven at the Claridge since 2015, seven at Bally’s, one each at Resorts and Boardwalk.
The 26 year-old LaManna turned professional in November of 2011 and won his first sixteen fights through December of 2014. Most of his fights were promoted by J Russell Peltz of Peltz Boxing out of Philadelphia. Peltz and Brittany Rogers also of Peltz Boxing have now joined Rising Star Promotions and will be doing the matchmaking where the mother of “Cornflake” Debra LaManna is the promoter.
LaManna won the WBC Fecarbox title in August of 2017 easily defeating George Sosa at the Claridge Hotel in Atlantic City. His previous trainer was Hassan Hameed-El where he learned the fundamentals of boxing. “He’s like a second father to me,” said LaManna.
LaManna will be taking on Brooklyn’s Gabriel Bracero, 24-3 (5) whose record is almost identical to LaManna’s. It will be LaManna’s second title defense of the WBC Fecarbox welterweight title. In his first defense which was his most recent fight in November he defeated Samuel Amoako, 23-16, of Ghana, winning all ten rounds on the judge’s scorecards. It’s time for LaManna to be world ranked and hopefully it will happen after this upcoming fight. Bracero is a tough opponent from what this writer has seen.
The two losses for LaManna were to a pair of very good boxers. Antoine Douglas, 16-0-1, stopped LaManna’s sixteen bout winning streak in 2015 for the WBA Fedelatin middleweight title. That’s when he knew it was time to drop down a division or two. The other loss was for the vacant USBA welterweight title losing to Dusty Hernandez Harrison, 29-0-1, in 2016.
LaManna was nice enough to answer some questions.
KEN HISSNER: From the first time I saw you fight I could see you knew all the fundamentals of boxing. You had a different trainer then. Who is your trainer now?
THOMAS LA MANNA: “Chino” Rivas.
KEN HISSNER: Do you feel at welterweight you have found the right division?
THOMAS LA MANNA: Yes, definitely. I use my size and height advantage. Nine out of ten times I will be the bigger guy except in the Harrison fight.
KEN HISSNER: I was pleased to see you brought in J Russell Peltz and Brittany Rogers to do your matchmaking. Who was doing it previously?
THOMAS LA MANNA: I was doing all the matchmaking etc. I was signed with Russell one time. He’s was a great guy and one of the best matchmakers in the business. I wanted to step up and do promoting myself at one time. I brought in Michelle Rosado who is a marketing specialist. Ceasar Gonzalez he is my laison and does all my medical work and working with the commissioin. He was the first guy we brought along as a paid staff member.
KEN HISSNER: Dusty Hernandez Harrison has not fought since your fight with him. I know there were problems between him and his father who had been working the corner. Did you try to get a rematch with Dusty?
THOMAS LA MANNA: We grew up together in the amateurs. It was for the USBA title and we put our friendship aside and remain friends. We never tried to get a rematch.
KEN HISSNER: What are your goals for 2018? We’re focusing on Bracero.
THOMAS LA MANNA: We’re having a baby girl in May.
KEN HISSNER: You draw quite a crowd at your fights. Is this what decided to go to the Showboat?
THOMAS LA MANNA: I think we were looking for a bigger venue. The Claridge was great for us and I’m not saying we are leaving the Claridge.
KEN HISSNER: I want to thank you for taking the time for this interview. Is there anything you would like to say to your fans?
THOMAS LA MANNA: My pleasure Ken.