ATLANTIC CITY — Millville middleweight boxer Thomas LaManna and Atlantic City super-middleweight Antowyan Aikens will try to stay undefeated Saturday night at Bally’s Atlantic City.
LaManna (13-0, 7 KOs) will take on Ahsandi Gibbs (10-3, 4 KOs), of Tampa, Fla., in an eight-round fight. Aikens (8-0, 1 KO) will face Sherman Artis, Jr. (2-0, 0 KOs), of Severn, Md., in a six-rounder.
The two bouts are part of a seven-fight card being held by Philadelphia-based promoter Russell Peltz. In the 10-round main event, Camden super-featherweight Jason Sosa (11-1-3, 7 KOs) will face New York’s Michael Brooks (10-1-1, 2 KOs).
LaManna, 22, is coming off the longest layoff of his four-year pro career. The Millville High School graduate last fought on Sept. 28, 2013, at Bally’s, when he gained a six-round, unanimous decision over Joshua Robertson.
“I wasn’t intending to take off for so long,” LaManna said. “I tried to get on a couple of cards, but nothing could be worked out. I’ve been in the gym the whole time, though, so I’m in shape.”
Gibbs has been inactive for much longer, however. The 35-year-old hasn’t been in the ring since suffering his third straight loss via a first-round knockout to James Kirkland on March 5, 2011.
Before Kirkland stopped him in 34 seconds, Gibbs lost to Ibaheim King and Marcus Upshaw after a 10-0 start.
“All I know about him is he’s short, compact and always coming forward,” said LaManna, who engaged in a staredown with Gibbs during Friday’s weigh-in at Bally’s. “He can bring anything he wants to into the ring, and I’ll be ready for it.”
Aikens, 25, is fighting in his hometown for the first time since 2012, when he earned a decision over Steven Tyner at Tropicana Casino and Resort. He is no stranger to Bally’s. In addition to fighting there twice, he used to work at 6ix Bistro, a restaurant adjacent to Bally’s Ballroom.
In his last fight, Aikens gained a six-round decision over Marcus Brooks at Dover Downs Hotel & Casino in Delaware last Aug. 23.
Like Gibbs, Artis has been inactive for a while. The 28-year-old last fought on Aug. 19, 2011, earning a four-round, majority decision over Lee Snow.
“I’ve been training for six weeks (at Bullpen Vale Tudo in Egg Harbor Township), so I’m ready,” Aikens said Friday. “I was actually supposed to fight Artis in Delaware, but he said he had a hand injury. All I know about him is his name.”
Doors to Bally’s Ballroom open at 6:30 p.m. with the first fight slated for 7:30. Approximately 100 tickets were available as of 6 p.m. Friday. Tickets are $50 and $75 and are available at Bally’s box office and through Ticketmaster.
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