Boxing: Seanie Monaghan

Monaghan opens PPV with win

October, 12, 2013
Seanie Monaghan took another step toward a place many folks didn't think he would get to -- pay-per-view land -- with a win over Anthony Caputo-Smith on Saturday night.

No, he didn't headline the card, which unfolded at the Thomas and Mack Center in Las Vegas. But that he opened the pay-per-view portion of the card topped by a Timothy Bradley Jr.-Juan Manuel Marquez welterweight scrap was something of a marvel, considering he was dismissed by many -- and not just snobs, either -- as being a lunch-pail sort who was good for selling seats at local club shows, and that's it. But promoter Bob Arum saw something in the light heavyweight, and Monaghan showed Arum that Top Rank's investment in Seanie is a good one.

The Long Beach, Long Island resident Monaghan (19-0) stopped Caputo-Smith in Round 3, raking him with combos on the ropes. He landed left hooks and nasty rights when Smith was backed up against the ropes. Monaghan sometimes forgets to move his head, but to be honest, that's part of his charm. We can see him, at 32, maybe getting matched with a Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. in a year or so. Smith, from Pennsylvania, dropped to 14-2.

Promoter Top Rank signs Seanie Monaghan

June, 4, 2013
He is a blue-collar brawler, nothing majestic about his fighting style. His determination may well be his biggest asset. Yes, I have seen Seanie Monaghan fight a number of times, and he didn't scream "future world champion" to me. But the more I saw him in action, the more my mind opened up to his possibilities.

Here's what I wrote about Monaghan on Dec. 3, 2011:

Long Island ticket seller Seanie Monaghan, a local fave who will never be a threat to advance to the world title level, nevertheless gave the fans at MSG their money's worth, taking out Santos Martinez in 2:56 of round two of the Cotto-Margarito undercard. ... Seanie, a light heavyweight, rises to 11-0, and hey, maybe I should shut the heck up, and see how far this likable banger can go. Maybe he's the heir to Gentleman Gerry?

OK, I issue myself a demerit for the flippancy of that "will never be" assertion, but take back half a demerit for the open-mindedness found in the kicker.

My mind was open another measure when I wrote this on Aug. 1, 2012:

Seanie Monaghan is a local fighter who is in the midst, some think, of a transformation. Seen in many circles as a limited talent whose main skill, it could be argued, was selling tickets to his shows, promoted by Lou DiBella, the Long Beach, Long Island, boxer has raised his record to 14-0, with 9 KOs. ... We shall see (if he will be a world champion). The fighter is 30, just turned pro in 2010, and has some ground to make up. But (trainer Joe) Higgins is right in that he has improved noticeably in a couple years, and he has the sort of work ethic that makes it unwise to bet against him.

Then, on Oct. 23, 2012, I wrote:

Typical Irish brawler. Fights fan friendly. Lacks polish. Sells lots of tickets and beer. That was the scouting report on Seanie Monaghan, a light heavyweight out of Long Beach, Long Island, a year or so ago. Slowly, surely, the 31-year-old has shifted perceptions of the many people, who are now inclined to see him as a fighter who just may be able to transcend the labels.

Today, I received a press release that announced Monaghan (18-0 with 11 KOs; Long Beach, Long Island resident; age 31) had signed with Las Vegas-based Top Rank. "We are delighted that Seanie has decided to be promoted by Top Rank. He is a fan-friendly fighter who has a large and loyal fan base," said Hall of Fame promoter Bob Arum. "We expect to showcase his talents on the televised undercard of the much anticipated Juan Manuel Márquez vs. Timothy Bradleypay-per-event on October 12 at the Thomas and Mack in Las Vegas."

Top Rank VP Carl Moretti told me he can see Monaghan fighting for a title at 175 pounds and admitted he is pumped at the ticket-sale possibilities Monaghan brings to the TR table. "From an attraction point of view what we could do with him and (Puerto Rican prospect Felix) Verdejo at Madison Square Garden is scary," he said.

My takeaway? Be careful about declaring a ceiling on a fighter. Determination and ambition can fill in skill gaps.

Seanie Monaghan wins at MSG

January, 19, 2013
Seanie Mongahan did his job at the ticket sales office, and in the ring, on Saturday night at the Madison Square Garden Theater. The Long Beach, Long Island light heavyweight turned away the slowish but stubborn Roger Cantrell in an eight rounder underneath the Orlando Salido-Mikey Garcia mainer.

Monaghan’s left eye was cut midway through and his right was puffed shortly after, but he kept winging shots, looping rights, mainly, and that impressed the judges. They had the New Yorker, who had a large contingent of rooters in the house, ahead, 77-75, 78-74, 79-73, after eight. Monaghan, promoted by Lou DiBella, rose to 17-0, and the loser, a Washington resident, slipped to 15-3.

The NYFightBlog 2012 Boxer of the Year

December, 31, 2012
Boxing in New York picked up the pace in 2012. The new series at the Barclays Center took off, and the debut in October was a success. Having a focal point is an immense boost to the local scene, as young fighters can know that they have a stage ready for them when they're ready to rock. Madison Square Garden has taken notice and is getting more active booking fights cards, with a slate booked into the Theater Jan. 19. All these men can benefit from the amped-up buzz in NYC.

Ladies and gents, here is your 2012 NYC Top Ten Pound-For-Pound List.

1) PETER QUILLIN He has an XL personality and his boxing has been improving, fight by fight. No reason why Quillin shouldn't be a full-on star in 2013. The 29-year-old Manhattan resident retired Winky Wright in June, and then whacked Hassan N'Dam around, exiting the Barclays Center with the WBO middleweight belt, on Oct. 20. He is the NYFightBlog BOXER OF THE YEAR. (No. 3 last year)

2) PAULIE MALIGNAGGI Paulie escaped the Barclays Center with a W over young Mexican rumbler Pablo Cano on Oct. 20, and was looking forward to a career-best payday rematch against Ricky Hatton. Hatton's body didn't cooperate, and he was stopped in his return bout. So the 32-year-old Bensonhurst tactician is still hunting Plan B. We wonder -- and suspect he wonders -- if he has lost a quarter-step, or if he can return in his next bout in fine form, with peppy legs, a busy jab, the whole package. We're betting yes ... but just in case, he's been setting up business prospects and is doing a bangup job as an analyst for Showtime, so if he has lost a foot off his fastball, 2013 will find Malignaggi with options regardless. (No. 2 last year)

3) DANNY JACOBS Last year, he thought he would die. This year, Jacobs has been climbing his way up the middleweight ladder, and doing it with as much grace and charm as any pugilist out there. The Park Slope resident, age 25, looks to rise to 25-1 when he gloves up Feb. 9 at Barclays. He kicked cancer's ass, I suspect he will do the same a few times in the ring this year, and by the end of the year, he should be ready to tackle a titlist. I root for him -- sorry, just being honest. (No. 8 last year)

4) ARGENIS MENDEZ The Dominican-born Brooklyn resident won an IBF super featherweight title eliminator over Martin Honorio in July, so we can presume an opportunity will pop for the 20-2 hitter soon. He came up short against Juan Carlos Salgado for the vacant IBF super feather belt in 2011, but we're betting he gets over the title hump in 2013. At 26, he should be in his physical prime. (N0. 5 last year)

5) ZAB JUDAH The Brownsville native is 35, and we're tempted to say he's looking at his last chance when he meets junior welterweight champion Danny Garcia at Barclays in the headliner Feb. 9. But Judah is a name, and a character, and even if he can't get the better of the under-appreciated Philly hitter, Judah will continue to receive opportunities. He's been talking tough ahead of the Garcia bout, and dad is back in his corner, but we still recall the stinkbomb effort he turned in against Amir Khan in July 2011. Will Good Zab or Bad Zab show up at Barclays? (No. 7 last year)

6) JOSEPH AGBEKO Last year's No. 1 went 0-for-2012, as the Bronx based Ghanian didn't glove up once this year. He could have fallen off the list but he gets consideration for what he's done. The 28-2 32-year-old is slated to meet 34-8-1 Luis Melendez on Feb. 22, so he could rise again next year if he regains his step. (No. 1 last year)

6) JOAN GUZMAN The Dominican formerly known as Little Tyson tasted defeat for the first time, losing a technical decision to 17-0 Khabib Allakhverdiev on Nov. 30. At 36, it looks like Guzman (33-1-1) has lost a mile off his fastball. Can he transition to being a clever junkballer, or will he be off this list next year? (Guzman No. 4 last year)

7) PATRICK HYLAND The Irish transplant lost his 0, when Javier Fortuna beat him, with the interim WBA feather crown up for grabs, on Dec. 8, underneath Pacquiao-Marquez, but showed he belonged at that class. We suspect he will learn from the loss and might well come back stronger, secure in the knowledge that that sized stage is appropriate for him. And whatever happens, he can take this to his grave: he is the top boxer in the stable of MTV's Snooki. (Not rated last year)

8) LUIS COLLAZO The 32-5 Queens-based boxer looked sharper than I expected in a win against Steve Upsher Chambers on the first Barclays card. An ex welterweight champion, he's 31, has his head on straight, is freed from promotional entanglements (cough Don King cough) and is backed by Golden Boy, which has the pull to get him opportunities. It is up to him to keep winning, and 2013 could be the year he gets to wrap another belt around his waist. (No. 16 last year)

9) EDDIE GOMEZ The 20-year-old from the Bronx fought and won five times this year. He has confidence galore and perhaps the skills to match it. If he stays healthy, and doesn't let rising fame mess with his head, 2013 could be a breakthrough year for Gomez (12-0). We can see him headlining a ShoBox by the end of the year. (Not rated last year)

10) DMITRIY SALITA/HECTOR CAMACHO JR (TIE) These two will clash underneath Garcia-Judah at Barclays on Feb. 9. The winner gets this spot, the loser drops off. The 35-1 Salita, age 30, is slightly favored for the 152 or under contest, as the 34 year-old Camacho was knocked out cold in his last outing, by 12-1-1 Luis Grajeda in July. (Salita No. 20, Camacho No. 15 last year)

Honorable Mention: Sechew Powell (No. 10 last year), Joe Hanks (last year not rated), Seanie Monaghan (last year not rated), Will Rosinsky (last year not rated), Chris Algieri (last year not rated), Gabriel Bracero (last year No. 13)

Monaghan to headline Wednesday in NYC

October, 23, 2012

Typical Irish brawler.

Fights fan friendly. Lacks polish.

Sells lots of tickets and beer.

That was the scouting report on Seanie Monaghan, a light heavyweight out of Long Beach, Long Island, a year or so ago.

Slowly, surely, the 31-year-old has shifted perceptions of the many people, who are now inclined to see him as a fighter who just may be able to transcend the labels. Monaghan (15-0, 10 KOs) fights Wednesday night at Roseland Ballroom in NYC, against 22-17-2 Pennsylvanian Rayco "War" Saunders, on a card promoted by Lou DiBella.

This is the fifth time Monaghan is gloving up in 2012. He and his trainer, Joe Higgins, want a TV slot, on an ESPN or ShoBox show in the near future. They think he has just about earned it, and is the sort of prospect who deserves it.

"I want to thank DiBella Entertainment for putting me on again," Monaghan said at a Monday presser at Jack Demsey's in midtown. "I worked very hard for this fight. Whenever I step into the ring, I'm fighting my opponent. But I'm also fighting stereotypes that I'm just a brawler. I can always pull out that card too. But I'm going to win this fight by boxing."

Higgins, the boxer's biggest booster, weighed in. "Seanie is a true professional," he said. "He never complains. He does everything we ask him to do. He's not just the prototypical Irish brawler either. He's boxing now and improving his skills. He's put the bricklaying job on the side and is a fulltime professional boxer now. I'm confident that Seanie will end the matter inside the distance. I think we're going to have a lot of Irish in the room. I believe the nation is ready for Seanie Monaghan and will be clamoring to see him on live national TV."