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Thomas LaManna Set to Face Johan Gonzalez June 8 in His ‘Backyard’ of Atlantic City


Thomas LaManna will face Johan Gonzalez for the WBA Gold middleweight world title on June 8 at Bally’s in Atlantic City, N.J.

The bout, scheduled for 12 rounds, will be promoted by Main Events in association with LaManna’s Rising Star Promotions.

LaManna (37-5-1, 16 KOs) has won seven fights in a row since falling to Erislandy Lara in a 2021 middleweight title bout.

“I am definitely excited to fight in another world title fight,” LaManna said. “I was down and out after the first try, but now I’m back in the mix fighting for the WBA Gold against a very experienced opponent from Venezuela.”

LaManna calls Gonzalez (34-2, 33 KOs), who fights out of Las Vegas, “explosive and powerful,” and describes his coach, Ismael Salas, as “a master trainer.” But LaManna, born and raised in Millville, N.J. – a short drive from Atlantic City – says June 8 will be his night.

“I made my pro debut at Bally’s,” LaManna said, “and now I’m going to be fighting for a world title there, and being able to accomplish both there would be amazing. Atlantic City is my backyard, so it is going to be fire that night. And on that night, I don’t think there will be anyone that can beat me.”

In fact, LaManna, nicknamed “Cornflake,” is undefeated in 21 fights at Bally’s Atlantic City. He says this fight has been about a year in the making, and he’s thankful that Main Events is “taking a chance with me.”

“I admire Thomas for the way he has taken charge of his career and become a successful promoter in his own right,” said Main Events CEO Kathy Duva. “Now that he has an opportunity to challenge for the world title, Main Events is happy to step in and help so LaManna can focus exclusively on preparing for the biggest fight of his career.”

Gonzalez, nicknamed “Chelo Manotas,” is grateful in his own right for the chance to fight for a title, and on such a prominent stage.

“The dream for any boxer is to become a champion, so I am very happy for this opportunity,” he said. “LaManna has a lot of experience and is a very well-known boxer in the business, and that means I need to work harder to get the win.

“Atlantic City is a place with good boxing history,” Gonzalez said. “Now it is time to write my own.”

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