‘The Scholar’ is ready to rumble
Turners Falls native heavyweight boxer Sonya 'The Scholar' Lamonakis, facing the camera and now hailing from Bronx, N.Y., sizes up previous foe Tiffany 'The Terminator' Woodard, who she'll fight again March 22 at 5-Star Banquet Hall, Long Island, N.Y., for the New York state title.
Sonya Lamonakis’ wait appears to finally be over.
After months of frustrating news and potential fights falling through, the women’s professional boxer from Turners Falls finally has a date booked for a title fight.
Lamonakis will fight a familiar foe in Tiffany Woodard on March 22 at the 5-Star Banquet Hall in Long Island, N.Y., where she will appear in an eight-round bout for the New York State Heavyweight Title. It will mark the fourth bout between the two combatants. Lamonakis is 2-0-1 against Woodard, coming in.
It has been a long couple of months for the boxer nicknamed “The Scholar,” due to her being a full-time eighth-grade U.S. history teacher in Brooklyn. In November, she had a scheduled fight against Gwendolyn O’Neil for the Women’s International Boxing Association heavyweight title canceled on the night before the fight when O’Neil failed the mental portion of her pre-fight exam. Then, in January, Lamonakis was supposed to get a shot at the World Boxing Council heavyweight belt against Marija Pejakovic in Prague, Czech Republic, but that fight was canceled after the fight failed to get sanctioned by the WBC, due to the sudden death of WBC president Jose Sulaiman less than a week before the fight. Lamonakis said she’s been informed that the fight in Prague is going to take place in late April as a 10-round bout. But that is not what she is focusing on now. She’s got the title fight she has been waiting for, and barring some unforeseen circumstance, it finally looks like Lamonakis will get her crack at a title.
Lamonakis, who sports a 8-1-2 record and is the No. 2-ranked women’s heavyweight in the world, has had a lengthy layoff since her last fight, a unanimous Aug. 14 decision over Tanzee Daniel. She said that she has been training hard at Gleason’s Gym in Brooklyn in preparation for what she thought was her previous chances to fight, so she is not worried about rust.
“I’ve been training hard,” Lamonakis said. “I always feel good to go after six-round fights, so I’m not worried about going eight rounds. The only nervousness I have is that it all goes smooth, because I’ve had so many setbacks.”
Her opponent is a familiar one, having fought Woodard of Wilson, N.C., on June 14, 2012, when they fought to a six-round draw. Woodard is 4-7-3 as a professional and is also facing a lengthy layoff; she last fought in October and has fought only once in nearly two years. Lamonakis, who has defeated Woodard in the past, said she is using this as a shot to redeem herself after what she felt like was a letdown in her last bout against Woodard.
“This is like redemption for me,” Lamonakis said. “I’m going to fight her for the final time and I’m really happy about it. She’s a really good opponent and she’s an active fighter, so I know we won’t have any issues with the fight going off. I’m looking forward to it.”
Anyone interested in going to the fight live can do so as part of a bus trip that will be leaving Turners Falls on the day of the bout. Cost is $90 per person and covers the cost of the bus and the ticket. Tickets can also be purchased for $60 (general admission). Anyone interested in buying tickets or signing up for the bus can contact Sonya’s mother Sharon Lamonakis at 863-3052.