Tuesday, November 21, 2023

November in the New York and New Jersey Boxing Scenes

By Frank Bartolini

The second week of November was very active and entertaining for the fight game. Getting things started was promoter Lou Dibella of Dibella Entertainment. Edison Ballroom in the heart of Times Square, New York City, hosted this event on November 7th. A first-rate affair that had cadets from West Point greeting well-dressed guests on arrival, former U.S. Marine junior lightweight Jamal Herring, Cincinnati, Ohio, returned to action after a brief fifteen-month retirement. He stopped and outclassed undefeated Nicholas Molina of Lowell, Massachusetts in round one. A packed house saw Herring raise his record to 24-4, 12 KOs, as Molina slipped to 13-1, 5 KOs.

Two nights later, the New Jersey Boxing Hall of Fame (NJBHOF) had its fifty-third annual inductions at the Venetian in Garfield, New Jersey. Held at an opulent banquet hall, the New Jersey Boxing Hall of Fame dinner is a formal event just shy of being a black-tie affair. Notable guests included the Commissioner Larry Hazzard, former heavyweight contender Chuck Wepner, heavyweight contender Otto Wallin, and world-renowned officials, boxing judge Steve Weisfeld and Referee Benji Estevez. Inductees this year were former world rated middleweight Omar Sheika, one time world rated light Anthony Fletcher (who was recently released from prison after serving 29 years first degree murder that was reduced to aggravated manslaughter by the Innocence Project), and heavyweight journeyman Maurice Harris. NJBHOF President Henry Hascup devotes countless hours to the Hall, and also handles the master of ceremonies duties for the annual event.

On Saturday, November 11th in Newark, NJ at The Robert Treat Hotel, the number one promoter in the Garden State, Rising Star Promotions, entertained a sold-out crowd. This was Rising Star Promotions' fiftieth fight card since starting the business in December of 2015. World ranked middleweight Thomas “Cornflake” LaManna is the CEO of the outfit. LaManna has been a key player in reviving the sport in the Garden State.

That evening, super bantamweight Emmanual Rodriguez got back on the winning track after losing two out of his last three battles. Rodriguez of Newark NJ is a popular boxer who sells a ton of tickets. Gilberto Mendoza was flown in from Modesto, California to face Rodriguez. Rodriguez has solid skills but is not a heavy hitter. Winning every round Rodriguez went home with an eight round unanimous decision victory.

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