‘The Scholar’ confident entering upcoming Ramsey bout

  • Sonya Lamonakis battles Alysia Williams-Stevenson, the daughter of upcoming opponent Laura Ramsey, on Oct. 6, 2010. Lamonakis won by unanimous decision. contributed photo

Recorder Staff
Thursday, May 18, 2017

“The Scholar” will celebrate a June 10 homecoming of sorts.

Yes, women’s heavyweight boxer and Turners Falls native Sonya Lamonakis will return to the city where her professional career began on that date, when she’ll fight Laura Ramsey in a 10-round bout for the Universal Boxing Federation (UBF) women’s heavyweight title at the DCU Center in Worcester.

After a successful amateur career during which she won four Golden Gloves titles, Lamonakis began her professional career at Mechanics Hall in Worcester on June 24, 2010. She stopped Kasondra Hardnett 42 seconds into the second round of that bout to win by technical knockout.

Seven years, 14 bouts and two titles later, Lamonakis brings her 10-2-2 record back to Worcester, where she’s trying to add to her impressive collection of belts with a shot at the UBF crown. Lamonakis owns the New York State women’s heavyweight title and the International Boxing Organization (IBO) women’s world heavyweight title. Now she gets her second shot at the UBF belt, which is currently vacant.

“My goal is three world titles,” Lamonakis said. “The IBO, UBF and hopefully WBC. That would be a dream come true.”

The 42-year-old Lamonakis will not only have to overcome her ring opponent but also a nearly two-year hiatus from fighting. She last fought on July 4, 2015 when she battled Gwendolyn O’Neil for the UBF women’s crown. Lamonakis lost that bout by split decision, but O’Neil has since vacated the belt. Lamonakis was scheduled to fight again following that bout, but the bout scheduled to take place in Aruba was canceled due to a hurricane.

Life dealt Lamonakis another blow around Christmas of 2015 when her father, Stephen, passed away after a battle with cancer. Lamonakis took some time off from fighting but continued to train, and she said that despite the layoff, she is ready to go and does not expect to have any rust.

“It took a year for me to get my brain together after my father passed away last Christmas,” Lamonakis said. “I’ve been training consistently, so I know I’m in good shape. I’m sparring a lot, doing pad work and my conditioning is good.”

Her opponent is 47-year-old Ramsey, who Lamonakis knows well. That’s because Lamonakis’ second professional fight came against Alysia Williams-Stevenson, Ramsey’s daughter. Williams-Stevenson was making her professional debut on Oct. 6, 2010 when she faced Lamonakis in New York City and Lamonakis beat her by unanimous decision. That bout was so good that both fighters were awarded bonuses by promoter Lou DiBella. Lamonakis said that Williams-Stevenson was gracious in defeat but that her mother has been doing plenty of talking leading up to the upcoming bout. Apparently, she’s trying to settle a family score.

“She’s out for a little payback,” Lamonakis said. “When I beat her daughter, she said that eventually we would cross paths in the ring. She has been singing like a canary. She came into my home gym (Gleason’s, New York City) a few months ago and made a video on someone’s phone about how she is going to knock me out.

“I already beat her daughter. Now I’m going to beat her. If she has any sisters or aunts, she can bring them, too.”

Ramsey has a 10-7-0 career mark but has lost four of her last five bouts. Her most recent fight was on April Fool’s Day when she lost by unanimous decision to Sonya Fox.

Lamonakis is part of a full card on June 10. Tickets are $45 and Lamonakis said that anyone interested in going should contact her mother, Sharon, at 863-3052. If anyone orders tickets online, they must enter “Sonya” in the promo code for Lamonakis to get credit for the tickets, which helps her boxing purse.

Lamonakis is 2-0 in two fights in Worcester and is hoping to keep her perfect record intact.

“I need to seek and destroy,” Lamonakis said. “This is my comeback fight after a two-year layoff, and it’s homecoming for me.”

If Lamonakis can raise the UBF belt on June 10, it will put her in line to fight Alejandra Jimenez, the current World Boxing Council (WBC) women’s heavyweight whose record is 7-0-0 with five knockouts.