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Lamonakis Wins New York State Title
by Bernie McCoy
March 23,  2014
Photo credit: 
Claudia Bocanegra


(MAR 23) Sonya Lamonakis won a decisive eight round decision over Tiffany Woodard to win the vacant NY State heavyweight crown in the main event of Uprising Promotions' fast paced seven bout card at the sold out Five Star Banquet Center in Long Island City on Saturday night.

Lamonakis, at 229 pounds, came to the bout with a 45 pound edge over Woodard, 184, and while that was surely a factor in the winner's controlling most of the infighting over the eight rounds, the margin of victory came about more as a result of Lamonakis' lethal left hooks and overhand rights, weapons which thwarted Woodard's efforts to keep the bout at long range with her effective left jab.

Lamonakis controlled the pace from the opening bell and over the first two rounds, confidently moved forward through those probing left jabs. This pattern continued over rounds three and four as Lamonakis seemed in control of both the movement and pace of the bout. To Woodard's credit, she maintained her game plan and seemed to have more success as the bout progressed, landing a fair share of her jabs and follow-up rights. But, at any point when the momentum of the bout threatened to change in Woodard's favor, Lamonakis was ready with answering flurries of her own, anchored by the lethal left hook to both the body and head. While the pace slowed slightly in the second four rounds, the pattern continued apace: each fighter trading spurts of offense, with Lamonakis seeming to maintain an ongoing edge in the action. Sensing she was behind in the scoring, Woodard made a gallant effort to pick up the pace in the final two rounds, but again, Lamonakis was able to reach down and provide her own offensive rejoinder, each time Woodard mounted an offensive effort. To her credit, Woodard fought right to the final bell and, in fact, the eighth round may have been her best of the bout. But, typical of the previous seven rounds, Lamonakis not only weathered the storm but came back with what had worked the entire fight, "up and down" left hooks to the body and head interspersed with an occasional overhand right.


The crowd, overwhelmingly vocal in support of Lamonakis throughout the eight rounds, seemed to anticipate the NY State heavyweight title belt being on it's way it's to Gleasons gym, Lamonakis' training site, and shortly after the final bell the three judges acquiesced: Tony Pallilo saw the fight 78-74, John McKaie 78-75 and Robin Morgan 79-73. It was left only for NYSAC Chairwoman Melvina Lathan to formally anoint the new champion, wrapping the belt around Lamonakis.

This was the fourth bout between Lamonakis and Woodard, currently ranked three and four in Dee Williams' authoritative WBAN ring rankings in the heavyweight class. Lamonakis won the first bout, a six round unanimous decision, in December 2010, followed by a six round majority nod in August 2011. The two fought to a six round draw in June 2012. This bout, which may have been the most decisive win of the quartet of fights, upped Lamonakis' record to 9-1-2 while dropping Woodard to 4-8-3.

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