Philadelphia-based boxing promoter Russell Peltz was impressed enough with Millville middleweight Thomas LaManna's performance last Saturday to sign him to an exclusive promotional agreement Thursday.
Peltz was ringside at Bally's Atlantic City last Saturday to see LaManna (14-0, 7 KOs) earn an eight-round, unanimous decision over Ahsandi Gibbs (10-4, 4 KOs).
"Young prospects like Thomas LaManna are the reason I'm still in this business," Peltz said Thursday in a statement. "LaManna is coming off the biggest win of his career and I'm looking forward to working with him, his dad, Vinny, and his trainer, Hassan Hamid-El."
LaManna, 22, returned from a six-month layoff to beat Gibbs, who had not fought in three years. The bout was LaManna's ninth in the area, following seven fights in Atlantic City and one at New Jersey Motorsports Park in Millville two years ago.
LaManna, a 2011 graduate of Millville High School, indicated that in a statement Thursday that he was also considering signing with manager Al Haymon before joining Peltz and Jersey City-based Gulfstream Co., LLC.
Haymon, whose client list includes superstar Floyd Mayweather, Jr., was just named as the "Manager of the Year" for 2013 by the Boxing Writers Association of America.
"I'm very happy signing with Peltz Boxing," LaManna said in the statement. "I was approached by Al Haymon to sign with him at the same time I was in talks with Peltz. I was never sold on the Haymon name and I knew I would be worth more to Peltz. I am 100 percent confident that Peltz and Vinny Ponte (of Gulfstream Co., LLC.) will get me to where I know I'm capable of getting to and that's to a world title."
LaManna has always been a popular draw in Atlantic City and has handled a step up in competition with a number of solid performances that netted victories over veterans such as Yolexcy Leiva and Joshua Snyder in recent outings.
He struggled at times against Gibbs, allowing the smaller fighter to keep him pinned against the ropes, but used his boxing skills to control most of the fight.
"LaManna has good skills and punches in combination," Peltz said. "He may look like your next-door neighbor, but he knows what he's doing in there. Once his body develops as he gets older, he'll probably grow into a light-heavyweight. He's 6-foot-2 and he has quick hands and he brings a crowd with him. It's a perfect fit for both of us."