Recap by Resolution Sports.
Rising Star Promotions, in association with the Atlantic City Boxing Hall of Fame, returned to The Claridge Hotel on Saturday night, presenting a seven-bout card.
In the main event of the evening, Thomas “Cornflake” LaManna (22-2, 9 KOs) dominated veteran Eduardo Flores (25-25-3, 15 KOs) in an eight round bout in the junior middleweight division. In the contest, LaManna did a nice job of working behind the jab and setting up his combinations.
In the second frame, LaManna backed the tough Ecuadorian up with a straight right hand before unloading a flurry, which was a theme he continued to employ as the fight progressed. Using quick hands and consistent movement, LaManna remained in control of the action while also frustrating Flores by not letting him mount much of an attack.
Over the middle rounds, LaManna went to the body more often, and he eventually got to a point that he was just simply having fun in the ring. The gritty Flores kept trying to create some type of offense, but he was unable to solve the puzzle that LaManna was dealing him over a dominant eight frames.
When the final bell rang for this bout, LaManna officially saw himself emerge victorious by flush 80-72 counts from the ringside judges.
In the co-feature bout of the evening, journeyman Michael Mitchell (4-7-2, 1 KO) shocked local favorite Chuck Mussachio (19-4-2, 5 KOs), who was fighting on the Atlantic City boardwalk for the 19th time. By securing the majority decision win with scores of 60-53, 58-56 and 57-57, Mitchell claimed the RSP light heavyweight title.
This fight truly turned in favor of Mitchell midway through the second round when he landed a crushing right hook that had Mussachio in serious trouble. Mitchell immediately went on the attack in an attempt to put Mussachio away, but the Wildwood native somehow hung on without going down. While he did survive that early danger, Mussachio was never truly able to get going over the remaining four frames.
In a super middleweight contest, Pleasantville resident Gabriel Pham (7-1, 3 KOs) eliminated Puerto Rican veteran Jose Valderrama (5-18, 3 KOs) in explosive fashion, flattening him with an overhand left in the second round that initially put him out cold. However, Valderrama somehow woke up before the count reached 10, but the referee in charge intelligently did not allow the damaged fighter to continue. The official time of the stoppage came at 2:50.
Competing with Pham for best finish of the night was undefeated welterweight Yurik Mamedov (4-0, 2 KOs), who disposed of Jose Jimenez (0-1) in his pro debut. Mamedov overwhelmed Jimenez from the opening bell, dropping him in the second frame with a one-two combination that followed a flush overhand right. When action resumed, Mamedov buckled Jimenez again with a sharp jab before sending him back to the canvas with a flurry of hooks from both hands. After Jimenez hit the floor that second time, a referee stoppage halted the bout at 2:59 of the second frame.
The three opening bouts of the night saw all three local favorites fall in decisions. In a junior welterweight outing, Lanoka Harbor native Dan Murray (1-1) was never able to get going against Nahir Albright (1-1) of Philadelphia, suffering a shutout loss on the cards, 40-36×3. Atlantic City bantamweight Dallas Holden (1-1) fell to tough Wilmington pugilist Weusi Johnson (2-2) by tallies of 40-36×2 and 39-37, while Brooklyn lightweight Tomas Romain (1-1) outpointed Jamil Simmons (0-1) of Pleasantville in his pro debut by straight counts of 39-37.