Lamonakis title fight on horizon
WBC heavyweight contender Sonya Lamonakis flexes during a recent weigh-in prior to an April loss in Sacramento, Calif..
For many, the New Year can be a clean state from trials and tribulations of prior years.
That was not the case for Sonya Lamonakis.
The Turners Falls native and professional women’s boxer’s bad luck carried over into 2014 when her scheduled World Boxing Council (WBC) title fight was been postponed until some time in February.
Lamonakis’ bad luck began back in November when scheduled to fight Gwendolyn O’Neil for the Women’s International Boxing Association heavyweight belt. O’Neil failed the New York State physical the night before the fight. According to Lamonakis, O’Neil failed the mental part of the exam.
There was talk about Lamonakis instead fighting in December, but that all changed when she got the offer she was looking for: Saturday’s WBC heavyweight title bout.
There was one hook, however, in that the fight was going to take place in Prague, Czech Republic. She was to fight Serbian super middleweight Marija Pejakovic, who would be moving up a weight class to take the fight for the vacant title. According to Universal Boxing Federation, Lamonakis is the second-ranked women’s heavyweight. Pejakovic is the third-ranked super middleweight.
Lamonakis received the bad news last week that the fight would be postponed. The issue for the postponement was likely the death of WBC president Jose Sulaiman on Jan. 16. According to Lamonakis, each fight needs to be sanctioned by the organizing body, in this case the WBC, and with the death of the former president, the paperwork did not get filed.
“I’m assuming that they couldn’t get the sanction signed by the WBC,” Lamonakis said.
Lamonakis said that she has been told the fight will be rescheduled for some time in February. Until then, her wait continues.
“It’s been very hard,” she said. “It’s been emotional. But I continue to progress and move forward. If I want to win a world title, I have to keep going forward and know that my time is going to come.”
Until then, Lamonakis will continue her training at Gleason’s Gym in Brooklyn. She also went back to teaching full time this fall and has a new job, moving from Harlem to Brooklyn, where she now teaches U.S. History to eighth-graders.
“I always wanted to teach in a middle school,” she explained. “It was the perfect opportunity.”
Lamonakis is also working as a volunteer for the Golden Gloves amateur boxing organization, which is where she got her boxing start. The four-time Golden Gloves winner said it’s a great way to give back to the organization that has helped spawn so many boxing careers.
“It’s great, I can lecture the fighters about staying in school and going to college,” she explained. “I tell them not to be fooled by the (Floyd) Mayweather money bags.”
And so the wait continues for Lamonakis. Will the third time will be the charm?