By Mitch Abramson
Sean Monaghan, the popular undefeated light heavyweight from Long Island, has been added to the Dec. 3 undercard at Madison Square Garden beneath the grudge match between Miguel Cotto and Antonio Margarito, his manager, P.J. Kavanagh told BoxingScene.com.
Monaghan, who last fought on Oct. 22, on another Top Rank show under Nonito Donaire’s unveiling at the Garden, is scheduled to face Michigan’s Santos Martinez (2-2) in a six-round bout. Though Monaghan was buried on the undercard that night, he still packed the Theater, with Kavanagh estimating that Monaghan (10-0, seven knockouts) drew around 1,200 fans. Top Rank was so impressed with the turnout, that Kavanagh said he was contacted by the promotional firm soon after the fight about appearing on the Dec. 3 card.
“Top Rank had him fight at the Theatre and they liked what they saw, so they made room on this undercard to have him fight again,” said Kavanagh, who’s managed Monaghan since his first pro fight. “He’s such an exciting fighter and the atmosphere is so great when he fights, [Top Rank] wanted him on this show as well.”
Monaghan remains a promotional free agent, though he has fought a number of his bouts for the Manhattan-based promoter Lou DiBella.
“We have a good relationship with Lou DiBella and everything has worked out great with top Rank,” Kavanagh said. “DiBella has always treated us well, but we haven’t signed with anyone yet. Sean is a New York guy, but he’d like to fight out in Las Vegas and to different places to get the experience.”
Kavanagh has big plans for Monaghan next year. He’s in discussions with the Irish light heavyweight champion, Ciran Healy, to have Monaghan challenge for the title in March to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day. Healy’s people are willing to travel to New York for the fight, Kavanagh said, who envisions the bout taking place at Madison Square Garden. It’s all part of building Monaghan into an attraction and although it’s still premature to make the comparison, his popularity is slowly approaching that of John Duddy, who abruptly retired in January.
The rationale for remaining unsigned, Kavanagh says, is so Monaghan can stay busy. The Dec. 3 fight will be his seventh of the year, and for a fighter such as Monaghan, who’s still learning on the job after a brief but successful amateur career, he needs the experience to develop into a complete fighter, a task left to his longtime trainer, Joe Higgins.