Atlantic City, N.J. (Feb.6, 2018) On Wednesday, February 14th, while couples are preparing to head out for Valentine’s Day dinner, Atlantic City’s Thomas “Cornflake” LaManna and Gabriel Bracero of New York, the fighters topping the inaugural card of Rising Star Promotions’ Boardwalk Boxing series will be in the gym, giving their time and sweat to their first love, boxing.
Media are invited to enjoy sandwiches courtesy of White House Subs, and get to know the main event fighters and trainers, who toil day and night for the love of boxing, ahead of their crossroads WBC Championship bout on February 24th.
Some of the world’s greatest fighters have stepped into the Atlantic City Police Athletic League through the years. Gym manager Bill “BJ” Johnson recalls some of the greats – “Mike Tyson, Evander Holyfield, Hector Camacho, Bruce Seldon, William Joppy…Manny Stewart brought his fighters over from Kronk to spar sometimes.”
Like so many trainers, however, it wasn’t the star power, or the glitzy lights and fancy suits and dresses that surround a blood stained canvas that made Johnson a boxing devotee. It was love for his sons that first brought him to the PAL gym. His sons have long moved on from boxing, but Johnson’s passion for boxing is still driven by love. “We keep the youth off the street and out of trouble,” said Johnson, who couldn’t count the number of young men and women he’d driven toward a narrow path with the discipline of boxing training. At 76 years old, the veteran trainer gave no indication he’d be divorcing the sport he loves any time soon.
Thomas LaManna, the CEO of Rising Star Promotions, grew up watching the hard-hitting, no quarters given fights made by Hall of Fame matchmaker Russell Peltz, and it was his love for both the Atlantic City boxing atmosphere and those knockdown, drag out battles that Peltz produced that inspired him to get into the boxing promotions game, and he hired Peltz to make sure that fans attending his events would have their hearts stolen by the warriors in the squared circle on the boardwalk.
LaManna’s opponent, Gabriel Bracero exudes love and positivity when talking about how boxing freed him mentally from the physical confines of the prison walls in which he spent seven years in his 20s. Before his good behavior enabled him to transfer to a prison with a boxing program, Bracero would shadow box and run in place in his jail cell, closing his eyes and envisioning himself outside, beyond the walls of the prison, preparing for just this type of opportunity.
On February 14th, you are cordially invited to fall in love with boxing and the personalities that give their sweat and blood for our entertainment and their own glory. Please join us for lunch and an open workout featuring Boardwalk Boxing’s main event fighters, Thomas LaManna and Gabriel Bracero who will step into the ring on February 24th at the Showboat Casino.
WHO: Thomas LaManna–Welterweight–Millville, NJ–25-2, 9 KOs
Gabriel Bracero–Welterweight–Brooklyn, NY–24-3, 5 KOs
WHAT: Media Workout & Lunch
WHEN: Wednesday, February 14th, 11:00 a.m.
WHERE: Atlantic City PAL Gym
250 N. New York Ave, Atlantic City, NJ 08401
LUNCH PROVIDED BY WHITE HOUSE SUBS
FIGHT NIGHT TICKETS: $150, $80 and $55 and can be purchased at: www.risingboxingpromotions.com