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“My last shot” – Thomas “Cornflake” LaManna Confident Ahead of Showdown with Juan Carlos Abreu

Millville, N.J.

In boxing, most fighters don’t get a opportunity to fight for a world title. The seasoned middleweight contender Thomas “Cornflake” LaManna will fight for a second opportunity. The 32 year old remains undeterred despite a last-minute opponent switch from Yohan Gonzalez to Juan Carlos Abreu for his upcoming WBA “Gold” Middleweight World Championship bout on June 8th at Bally’s Atlantic City.

Having sparred with Abreu last year during training camp preparations for Jr. Middleweight contender Jesus Ramos Jr.’s fight, LaManna (37-5-1, 16 KOs) feels a sense of familiarity heading into the 12-round main event. «It was good work, but I’m aiming to make it look easier and show a different level than our sparring session on June 8,» LaManna remarked confidently. “It’s crazy how a lot of people aren’t giving me a shot with Abreu, nothing new I will just make it look easy and have fun doing it”.

Acknowledging Abreu’s veteran status and impressive career, LaManna is fully aware of the challenge ahead. «It’s another step from where I came from with the whole Lara thing to get this opportunity to fight for a second tier version of the world title with the WBA. It means a lot, and I’m gonna give everything to make sure I win,» he said to Ryan Songalia of Ring Magazine.

The Dominican power puncher Abreu (26-7-1, 24 knockouts), known for facing high-level competition throughout his 13-year career, including Pablo Cesar Cano, Jesus Soto Karass, Egidijus Kavaliauskas, Alexander Besputin, Charles Conwell and more recently an upset victory over highly touted Tursynbay Kulakhmet plus World Champions like Humberto Soto, Jamal James and Jaron “Boots” Ennis, presents a formidable adversary for LaManna. “By far it’ll be the best win of my career. It’ll mean everything because it’s not like I was being handed anything.. What’s going to make the night special is that I’m gonna have to work for this win. Abreu just recently lost a majority decision in a final WBC Title Eliminator against highly regarded Conwell (19-0 14KOs), so if he’s good enough for that then he’s good enough for me to earn respect from all.” Despite Abreu’s experience, this will be his first bout at Middleweight.

For LaManna, this fight marks a significant comeback since his first round knockout loss to Erislandy Lara in May 2021 for WBA’s “Regular” Title, followed by a challenging period of battling depression, mental health battles and massive weight gain. «It feels good, I’m proud of myself for never giving up, never quitting, always believing that I had it in myself to give myself a second, third, fourth, fifth chance, whatever it takes to eventually fulfill my dream». With seven consecutive victories under his belt, LaManna sees this fight as the pinnacle of his career thus far. “It’s my last shot, there’s no other way to put it. Only thing left to do is hear And New WBA Gold World Champion from Millville, New Jersey” LaManna concluded the Ring Magazine interview.

The event also marks the promotional return of Main Events, led by Kathy Duva, after a hiatus since 2020 and their first show in New Jersey since 2018.

Rest of card:

Terell Bostic vs. Carlos Rosario*

WBA Federcentro Jr. Welterweight Championship

Saleh Ali vs. Michael Ruiz

Chiara Dituri vs. Perla Lomeli

Damian Tinnerello vs. Jovonni Bennett

Gabriel Gerena vs. Lyle McFarlane

Jean Pierre Valencia vs. Patrick Bernard Harris

Justin Palmieri vs. Andrew Toppin

Delvin McKinley vs. Richard Hernandez