Thomas Lamanna finally has landed the high-profile fight he has pursued the past couple years.
BoxingScene.com has learned that plans are in place for Lamanna to battle Erislandy Lara on April 24 at a site to be determined. The Lara-Lamanna bout is expected to headline a “FOX PBC Fight Night” show that will air just before the start of a FOX Sports Pay-Per-View card that’ll feature heavyweights Andy Ruiz Jr. and Chris Arreola in the main event.
The FOX main event between Lara and Lamanna will be a 12-rounder. Lara holds the WBA world super welterweight title, but his fight against Lamanna could be contested at 160 pounds for a vacant version of the WBA middleweight title.
Lamanna, 29, is ranked eighth among the WBA’s middleweight contenders. Lara, 37, has fought almost exclusively at or near the junior middleweight maximum of 154 pounds since he turned pro in July 2008, but the Cuban-born southpaw has often discussed a willingness to compete in the middleweight division.
Lamanna (30-4-1, 12 KOs), of Millville, New Jersey, has knocked out two middleweight journeymen in Agua Prieta, Mexico, since losing a 10-round unanimous decision to Las Vegas’ Brian Mendoza (19-1, 13 KOs) in a very competitive, 10-round, 154-pound fight August 29 at Microsoft Theater in Los Angeles.
Lara (27-3-3, 15 KOs) beat Greg Vendetti (22-4-1, 12 KOs) by unanimous decision in the 12-round main event of FOX’s telecast August 29. Lamanna was on standby to replace Vendetti as Lara’s opponent that night in the event Vendetti tested positive for COVID-19 or was forced to withdraw from their fight for any other reason.
While widely viewed as an elite boxer in his division, Lara will face a huge underdog in a third straight bout when he meets Lamanna next month. Before he defeated Vendetti, Lara knocked out Mexico’s Ramon Alvarez (28-8-3, 16 KOs) in the second round of their August 2019 bout at The Armory in Minneapolis.
Lara regained the WBA world 154-pound crown by beating an overmatched Alvarez, the older brother of four-division champion Canelo Alvarez. In Lara’s previous appearance, he fought to a 12-round split draw with Argentina’s Brian Castano (17-0-1, 12 KOs), who owned the WBA world super welterweight title at that time.
Lamanna, meanwhile, was stopped in the fifth round by Mexican contender Jorge Cota (30-4, 27 KOs) in his bout before his loss to Mendoza.
Keith Idec is a senior writer/columnist for BoxingScene.com. He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.