A trip to Mexico served a far greater purpose than just securing another quick win for Thomas ‘Cornflake’ Lamanna.
The 29-year old junior middleweight claimed his second straight knockout victory, stopping locally-based Juan de Jesus Angulo in the 5th round of their Facebook-streamed main event Saturday evening at La Terraza Sport Bar in Agua Prieta, Mexico.
The bout—Lamanna’s second straight at the venue—came with the WBA Fedecentro title at stake, a fringe belt at first glance but one which puts the New Jersey native on his desired career path. At the top of the list is a desired showdown with reigning WBA 154-pound titlist Erislandy Lara.
“I really want that title fight next,” Lamanna told BoxingScene.com following his recent knockout victory. “I’m coming off of two wins—in a lot of people’s minds, it should have been three wins if you count when they denied me versus [Brian] Mendoza. I brought myself back. I overcame COVID. I got my two wins. I got myself back in the ratings.
“Now what I want to go after what’s mine. I want that WBA title, I want Lara. It’s a fight that’s been talked about many times but hasn’t happened for whatever reason. That’s the fight I’m really gunning for.”
The irony in Lamanna’s aforementioned loss to Mendoza was that the Millville, New Jersey-based junior middleweight was the standby opponent in the event that Greg Vendetti could not proceed with his Aug, 29th Fox-televised main event. The headliner went through as scheduled, with Lamanna remaining on the show in a previously scheduled supporting bout with Mendoza in suffering a questionable 10-round decision defeat.
Two wins have followed, both taking place south of the border in an event presented by Lamanna family-run Rising Star Promotions. Securing a regional title for this bout was by design, playing the sanctioning body game in hoping to advance in the rankings to the point of forcing a title fight with Lara.
Lamanna (30-4-1, 12KOs) is willing to put in more work should that be required. All that he asks is for the opportunity to prove his worth.
“If I can’t get Lara, then I want the big names,” insists Lamanna. “I want to fight J-Rock, Julian Williams. I want Jarrett Hurd. Tony Harrison. I want those big names, those championship pedigree names. I really want a big name.
“I feel like I’m right there, I’m growing and I’m learning with each fight. I’m right there and I’m ready take on those big names in the junior middleweight division.”
Jake Donovan is a senior writer for BoxingScene.com. Twitter: @JakeNDaBox