PHILLY BOXING HISTORY - March 25, 2022  
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Story by John DiSanto
File Photo by Darryl Cobb Jr. / Instagram: @darrylcobb


Atlantic City’s legendary Boardwalk Hall hasn’t seen fight action since 2019. However, the venue will be the site for an eleven-bout club show Saturday night in the building’s Adrian Phillips Theater. The card is promoted by Thomas LaManna’s Rising Star Promotions, and features an eight-round junior welterweight bout between Greg Outlaw and Jonathan Montrel in the main event.

“I’m proud of the product we’ve put together,” promoter Thomas LaManna said about the show. “We want to come out with a bang. I haven’t promoted a show in New Jersey since July 21st of 2019, and I’m coming back strong.”

Greg Outlaw (9-1-0-1, 4 KOs) was going strong too, posting eight wins and one No Contest, before suffering his first loss to Andrew Rogers last year in Philadelphia. He rebounded with a second-round TKO of Edgar Torres three months later, and looks to score his tenth victory against the undefeated Montrel (12-0, 7 KOs), a New Orleans fighter who heads north for the first time in his career for this fight.

“Greg has already suffered a loss,” LaManna said. “Can he suffer another one? And to fight a 12-0 guy who’s relatively unknown? I respect it. To be honest, I don’t know who’s going to win the main event. I’d probably have to go with Outlaw, but I don’t know.” 

The co-feature bout pits Philly’s Christopher Brooker (16-9, 6 KOs) against New Yorker Omar Kabary Salem (10-1, 4 KOs) in an attractive super middleweight match.

“The undercard is really good too,” LaManna said. “Chris Brooker against Omar Kabary Salem. Very interesting. Omar fought in Philly a handful of times, fought in Atlantic City a handful of times. We all know “Ice” (Brooker) and what he’s done. He went on a good, hot streak. He’s fought the “Who’s Who” in the Pennsylvania and New Jersey area. That’s a real crossroads (fight).” 

Salem is the hotter fighter, but Brooker is road tested and always comes to fight. 

“It kind of reminds me of when I fought Jamaal Davis,” LaManna said. “If I’m going to do anything and even have a shot to even be thought of as something, I got to beat the old head. Ice is a young vet. Look at him, look who he’s fought. Despite his record against these guys, look who he’s fought. Omar, being a former Olympian, if he wants to take this shit serious, he needs to beat to him.” 

LaManna is high on a number of other boxers performing on his card. 

“People should really keep an eye out for this kid Felix Parrilla,” he said. “He’s a 21 year old kid from New Haven, CT. He’s 4-0, with 4 knockouts, but he’s fought absolutely nobody and it’s his first six-rounder. So, it’s really interesting.” 

Parrilla takes on the more experienced journeyman Jenn Gonzalez (9-12-1, 5 KOs) of Nicaragua, in a featherweight contest.

The promoter also likes Brooklyn junior featherweight Khalid Twaiti (9-0, 4 KOs).

“He has a tough fight with Juan Centano (6-5-3, 1 KO), a Nicaraguan now based out of New Orleans,” he said. “He’s six and five, but he’s had wins against undefeated guys, draws against undefeated guys. He’s only been stopped twice. Really tough, rugged, hard-nosed guy.”

However, LaManna has a surprising pick for the fight that he thinks might be the best of the entire show.

“The best fight of the night is probably going to be Dan Murray against Michael Hughes,” he said. “Dan Murray, who actually got knocked out by Outlaw, is a tough, rugged, skillful, Irish kid from Jersey who just doesn’t give a shit. He don’t care who you are. He just wants to fight. Michael Hughes is a rough, tough, dirty mother f’er from Bronx, NY. That’s the most appealing fight to me, because I don’t have any idea (who will win). I just think they are going to try to beat the shit out of each other. They are both “opponents”, and skill-wise, they are the same. The winner is only going to be because they wanted it more than the other guy.” 

LaManna’s eleven-bout show begins at 7PM at Boardwalk Hall in the Adrian Phillips Theater, on the Atlantic City Boardwalk. Doors open at 6:00 PM.  




John DiSanto - Atlantic City - March 21, 2022