LaManna-Sosa go nose to nose

Millville boxer Thomas LaManna, right, poses with George Sosa during Friday's weigh-in at the Claridge.

ATLANTIC CITY — Thomas LaManna’s next fight will also be his last one.

The Millville welterweight said Friday that he is retiring as a boxer after Saturday’s 10-round bout against Philadelphia resident George Sosa at the Claridge — A Radisson Hotel.

“I’m only 25, but I’m a veteran,” LaManna (23-2, 9 KOs) said before an unexpectedly eventful weigh-in. “I’m tired of boxing. I’m ready to see what else is out there in life.”

LaManna has been fighting as a professional for seven years.

He made his pro debut on Feb. 2, 2011, during his senior year at Millville High School, notching a first-round TKO over Anthony Williams, of Wilson, North Carolina.

He registered 16 straight victories before suffering his first defeat via TKO against Antoine Douglas two years ago in Westbury, New York.

LaManna is 7-1 in his last eight bouts, with the only loss coming via unanimous decision against Dusty Hernandez Harrison in Philadelphia last year.

“I made the decision to retire two or three weeks ago,” he said. “I’m just ready to do something else besides fight. I took the civil service test recently, and I’ve also got a job driving a delivery truck for a bakery. I’m still going to be involved in boxing on the promotional side (his mother, Debbie LaManna, is president of Millville-based Rising Promotions), b ut I’m done in the ring. I want to enjoy life.”

LaManna’s final fight will be against a familiar foe.

Sosa (15-9, 15 KOs) dropped a unanimous decision against Pleasantville’s Anthony Young on June 10 at a Rising Promotions show at the Claridge. Thomas LaManna was the matchmaker for the card.

The 31-year-old has tried to drum up interest in the bout this week, saying in a statement that “LaManna has been protected his whole career.”

During the traditional posedown during Friday’s weigh-in, Sosa shoved LaManna in the chest and the two had to be separated by New Jersey Athletic Control Board Commissioner Larry Hazzard.

“I think our noses touched by accident,” LaManna said with a smile. “It’s not a big deal. I don’t worry about that kind of stuff. He can talk all he wants, but he knows and I know what’s going to happen in the ring.”

Young (17-2, 6 KOs), a former football standout at Pleasantville High School, will be seeking his seventh straight win Friday against Nicaragua’s Carlos Winston Velasquez (24-30-2, 14 KOs).

Velasquez fought LaManna on June 10, losing a unanimous decision.

Although he normally competes as a 147-pound welterweight, Young checked in at 144 pounds Friday and is considering dropping to the 140-pound junior-welterweight division.

“I’m 29 years old and 30 is coming up (on Feb. 11, 2018),” Young said Friday. “It’s time for me to start stepping up the caliber of opponents and trying to make something happen.”

Notes: Eleven total bouts are scheduled, including a four-round bout between Pleasantville lightweight Sidell Blocker (1-8-1, 0 KOs) and Joshafat Ortiz (1-0, 0 KOs), of Reading, Pennsylvania. ... Doors to the Claridge’s Celebrity Theatre open at 6:30 p.m. with the first undercard bout slated for 7 p.m. ... Tickets are priced from $55 to $125 and are available at www.RSP

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609-272-7201 Twitter @PressACWeinberg

Member of The Press sports staff since 1986, starting my 25th season as The Press Eagles' beat writer. Also cover boxing, MMA, golf, high school sports and everything else.

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