Lamonakis all psyched up for rematch with Ewell
Heavyweight Sonya Lamonakis lands a shot to Carlette Ewell's kisser during a draw two years ago. They'll meet again in an Aug. 2 in an IBO Heavyweight title fight being billed as War in Paradise in Sint Maarten.
Sonya Lamonakis lands a stiff jab to the face of Claudette Ewell, who she tied two years ago and will fight again, this time on Aug. 2 in Sint Maarten for the IBO Women's Heavyweight title.
Turners Falls native Sonya Lamonakis, left, will take on Carlette Ewell as the headline fight during the War in Paradise on the Caribbean Island of Sint Maarten on Aug. 2 for the vacant International Boxing Organization Women’s Heavyweight title. The two women met over two years ago and fought to a draw.
The opportunities continue to grow for Turners Falls native Sonya Lamonakis.
Just a few months after winning the first professional women’s boxing title of her blossoming career, the 39-year-old recently found out that she will get her biggest opportunity yet when she gets a shot at the vacant International Boxing Organization (IBO) Women’s Heavyweight title Aug. 2 in Philipsburg, Sint Maarten.
Lamonakis will take on Carlette Ewell in the headliner of a card being billed as the War in Paradise.
Sint Maarten is located on the southern half of the island Saint Martin, which is located in the Caribbean and lies to the east of Puerto Rico and the Dominican Republic. Lamonakis was asked to take part in the fight and she said she jumped at the opportunity. The IBO is one of the top boxing organizations in the world, and winning the female heavyweight title would be her biggest accomplishment to date.
“This would be the biggest win ever,” she gushed Wednesday. “They were looking for two top heavyweight women to fight, and I’m so grateful to get this opportunity.”
The year 2014 has already been a successful one for Lamonakis. On March 22, she earned her first career title with a unanimous decision over Tiffany Woodard for the New York state title in Long Island, N.Y. She still holds that belt, which will not be on the line in the Aug. 2 bout.
This will mark the second time the pugilists will meet in the ring. The first time they fought was a six-round bout that ended in a draw on Jan. 21, 2012. That was the sixth professional fight of Lamonakis’ career and the first she did not win.
“Of course that hurt a little because it was my first draw,” she recalled. “Truthfully, I’m a whole different fighter. I’ve had six fights since then, she’s had none.”
According to Boxrec.com, Lamonakis has gone 4-1-1 since that bout. Ewell has not fought. Lamonakis followed up the draw against Ewell with a draw against Woodard in her very next fight. She was able to avenge that draw to Woodard with her win on March 22, and now hopes to avenge the draw with Ewell and pick up the IBO title in the process.
“I’m totally ready for this,” she said. “My punches are better now than they were then, my footwork is better and my cardio is better. I’m in the prime of my career and she is past her prime.”
Lamonakis believes that one of the biggest edges she can exploit in this fight is her conditioning. The first time the two women fought was a six-rounder. This time around, with an international belt on the line, the fight will go 10 rounds. It’s the first time in her career that Lamonakis will fight a 10-round bout, but she’s not concerned.
“The first time we fought, she had more experience than me,” Lamonakis explained. “She was 17-7 and I was 5-0. It was a close fight, and at the end of six rounds, she was taking these big, deep breaths. I think with four more rounds I can take advantage of that and I think I can beat her.”
Lamonakis said that with two-plus years of fighting since that, she is a more seasoned and polished fighter as well. Although confident, she also stressed that she has to prove it in the ring.
“I’m not taking her lightly,” Lamonakis said. “I respect her as a fighter just like I do anyone else in the sport. But she’s going to have to hit me with a telephone poll if she wants to knock me down, because I’m not going to go down easy.”
Lamonakis just finished off her first year of teaching eighth-grade U.S. history in New York and she has continued to train diligently. She was supposed to fight for the WBC women’s heavyweight title in Prague, Czech Republic, at the end of April but the fight was postponed two days prior to her scheduled flight due to political unrest and was not rescheduled. She said she was disappointed but has moved on and is thrilled for the upcoming opportunity.
Lamonakis, who trains out of the world-famous Gleason’s Gym in Brooklyn, N.Y., has also been working with the Give A Kid A Dream non-profit organization, which is run by the gym. She said the organization helps pay for underprivileged kids that train at the gym. They pay for subway cards and free training. It’s not to turn kids into professional fighters but to keep them off the streets and safe. They request report cards, monitor Facebook and other social media sites and other behaviors as well.
“We try to make sure they’re doing the right thing,” she said.