LaManna ends layoff

Millville’s Thomas LaManna, left, last fought nine months ago against Atlantic City’s Mike Arnaoutis, right.

Millville junior-middleweight Thomas LaManna ended the longest layoff of his professional career with a victory in Mexico on Saturday night.

LaManna (28-2-1, 9 KOs) fought for the first time in nine months and earned a first-round knockout over Lauro Alcantar (9-8-1, 7 KOs), of Mexico, in Cholula, Puebla City.

“I didn’t tell anyone I was fighting,” LaManna said. “I had to do what I had to do to get a fight.”

LaManna, 27, hadn’t fought since Nov. 16, when he gained a unanimous decision over Atlantic City’s Mike Arnaoutis (26-12-2, 13 KOs) at Showboat hotel.

LaManna was supposed to make his comeback last month at Showboat, but his scheduled opponent, Carlos Garcia Hernandez (15-21-1, 12 KOS), of Puerto Rico, was not medically cleared to fight, which forced the New Jersey Athletic Control Board to cancel the bout.

LaManna had also been mentioned in connection with a pair of top fights over the next few months, including a possible title shot against World Boxing Organization champion Jamie Munguia (33-0, 26 KOs), but negotiations fell apart.

Mungia will defend his title against Patrick Allotey (40-3, 30 KOs), of Ghana, on Sept. 14 in Carson, California.

Saturday’s victory left LaManna unbeaten in his last eight bouts (7-0-1). It was his first win by knockout or TKO in three years, since a first-round TKO over Engelberto Valenzuela (10-7 at the time), of Mexico, at the Claridge Hotel on July 22, 2016.

“I hadn’t fought in a while due to all types of letdowns,” LaManna said, “from the politics (of boxing) to fighters not wanting to fight. I was just happy to shake some rust off, and I’m looking forward to what the near future holds.”

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