Vinny LaManna Interview: Son Fighting on CBS Tonight, USBA Bout Moved to Philly
By Robert Brizel, Head Real Combat Media Boxing Correspondent
In a Real Combat Media interview exclusive, promoter Vinny Lamanna of Rising Promotions told why he believed his son Thomas ‘Cornflake’ LaManna, 21-1 with nine knockouts, Millville, New Jersey, will beat Dusty Harrison, 29-0-1 with 16 knockouts, Washington, D.C., for the vacant USBA Welterweight title at 2300 Arena in Philadelphia tonight.
Originally scheduled to be held at Mark Etess Arena at Carl Icahn’s Trump Taj Mahal Hotel and Casino in Atlantic City, the LaManna versus Harrison USBA bout and eight bout fight card bout on the CBS Sports Network has been moved to 2300 Arena in Philadelphia. Local 54 Union Trump Taj Mahal employees are on strike over the offer of reduced contractual health benefits, causing the casino, which Icahn picked up in bankruptcy in March 2016, to incur a 100 million dollar revenue loss, leading to its permanent closing date on October 10. The casino is still open with $20 an hour scabs crossing the union picket line of $12 an hour workers. The boxing establishment opted not to cross the picket line, and moved the boxing show to Philly to avoid controversy.
Acknowledging Harrison is no ‘dog’ of a fighter due to his unbeaten ledger, Mr. LaManna nonetheless stated Mike Dallas Jr. got robbed in his draw with Harrison in their recent bout. LaManna, who predicted his son would beat Antoine Douglas when they fought, remained steadfast his son Thomas had a least four solid bouts of experience to Harrison’s one-the key factor in Mr. LaManna’s belief Thomas is going to win on CBS tonight. Real Combat Media predicts LaManna will win by ninth round stoppage. Mr. LaManna believes Thomas will win by eighth round stoppage. The bout could go the 10 round distance if the early rounds, known for fireworks in the 147 pound division, remain too cautious.
Robert Brizel: “Did your son Thomas make the 147 pound weight limit at the weight in Wednesday? How much did he weigh in at for the vacant USBA Welterweight title bout?”
Vinny LaManna: “Thomas weighted in at 146.1 pounds for the main event.”
Reader’s Note: Dusty Harrison weighed in at 146.8 pounds for his main event bout with LaManna. In the preliminary bout to the main event, 6’4” New Jersey heavyweight champion Dan Pasciolla weighed in at 245 pounds, while 6’5” opponent Ray Edwards weighed 256 pounds for their scheduled six round bout.
Reader’s Note: Doors at 2300 Arena, located at 2300 Swanson Street, will open at 7 P.M. Tickets for the eight fight card, which begins at 8 P.M., are priced at $75, $50 and $40. They are available today by calling Peltz Boxing at 215-765-0922, by calling Bam Boxing at 215-280-6709, by calling the 2300 Arena box office 267-273-0945, or at the door of 2300 Arena the night of the fight.
Robert Brizel: “Congratulations. That is a phenomenal accomplishment for Tommy.”
Vinny LaManna: “Yes.”
Robert Brizel: “Do you think the lower weight will give Tommy an advantage against Harrison? The lower weight can make Tommy fast and stronger. He could also go back up in weight after the weigh in to his previous weight zone of 154 to 160 pounds. What is the whole strategy behind Tommy’s first venture in the 147 pound weight class?”
Vinny LaManna:” Well, this is Tommy’s real weight.”
Robert Brizel: “Is 147 pounds where tommy belongs?”
Vinny LaManna: “147 pounds is where Tommy belongs. Remember his fights where he weighed 164, his opponents were 154 and they entered the ring at 170 pounds, and Tommy walked in the ring at 165.”
Robert Brizel: “Harrison has an unbeaten record at 29-0-1. Does that impress you?”
Vinny LaManna: “Not one bit. “
Robert Brizel: “It looked like Mike Dallas Jr. got robbed at the DC Armory last May when he had to settle for a 10 round split draw with Harrison.”
Vinny LaManna: “Absolutely. 100 percent Harrison did not win that fight.
Robert Brizel: “Harrison’s 29-0-1 record appears o be padded. Is it?”
Vinny LaManna: “Look, everybody (each pro fighter) has their record. Tommy has fought four quality opponents, such as Antoine Douglas, Jamaal Davis, and a couple others. Harrison has fought one quality guy, Mike Dallas Jr., a bout which he lost and got a gift draw he know he did not deserve. Harrison got a gift.”
Robert Brizel: “Do you think the moving of this bout from Carl Icahn’s Trump Taj Mahal Casino and Hotel in Atlantic City, currently under a strike after bankruptcy, and closing in October, has affected this bout in anyway? You and Tommy are familiar with the venue at 2300 Arena.”
Vinny LaManna: “Not at all. The Pennsylvania Athletic Commission and Commissioner Greg Sirb are a good commission. I feel confidential the judging will be neutral and fair.”
Robert Brizel: “Do you think LaManna versus Harrison will go the distance. I predicted Tommy would win by ninth round stoppage.”
Vinny LaManna: “I say Tommy will win by an eighth round stoppage.”
Robert Brizel: “At 147 pounds, Thomas LaManna is taller, stronger and faster.”
Vinny LaManna: “(I agree with you) 1000 percent.”
Reader’s Note: Dusty Harrison is 22 years old, Tommy LaManna is 24 years old.
Vinny LaManna: “When they weighed in yesterday, and looked at each other eye to eye, they looked to be about the same height. Tommy has a longer reached, but they appeared just as tall.”
Robert Brizel: “Harrison could try to fight his way inside. Do you think Harrison will try to run hold and hide?”
Vinny LaManna: “I think Harrison is going to fight harder (than my son Tommy). Harrison is a dog of a fighter.”
Robert Brizel: Do you think Harrison trying to fight his way inside will expose him to Tommy’s harder and faster punches?”
Robert Brizel: “Do you think Dusty Harrison will try to make a slugfest of it right away?”
Vinny LaManna: “No I don’t think so. I think the first couple of rounds will be boring.”
Robert Brizel: “Do you think the fighters will be more cautious?”
Vinny LaManna: “They will both be cautious for the first couple of rounds. They both have a lot at stake on the line.”
Robert Brizel: “Are a lot of Tommy’s fans coming in to 2300 Arena to watch Tommy?”
Vinny LaManna: “A couple of hundred people.”
Robert Brizel: “Tell me about the corner and training changes for the better for Tommy after the Antoine Douglas loss.”
Vinny LaManna: “We’ve got a lot of experience in the corner. We’ve got Ray McCline, the trainer of Virgil Hill. We have got former world heavyweight champion Ray Mercer, welterweight mighty Mike Arnoutis, and various other fighters working with us. We’ve also been sparring cruiserweight fighter Chuck Mussachio and other talented local fighters in preparation. Nobody works harder in training than my son Thomas LaManna. We had a ten week camp to prepare for Harrison.”
Robert Brizel: “What do you think of you son’s opportunity tonight to fight nationwide on the CBS Sports Network?”
Vinny LaManna: “It’s a blessing! I would have preferred Friday or Saturday night. This way the crowd could have been there for both people.” (As opposed to tonight’s rescheduled Thursday night television date after the show was moved to Philly from Atlantic City).