Welterweight prospect Thomas ” Cornflake” LaManna took time out from training to discuss his much-anticipated Sept. 15 showdown with Dusty Hernandez-Harrison at the 2300 Arena in Philadelphia and live on CBS Sports Network
What are your thoughts on Dusty Hernandez-Harrison?
I think he is better than what people are given him credit for. He is 29-0-1 for a reason. He has defeated everyone that they have put in front of him
(except the one draw).
How important is this fight for your career?
This is a career-defining fight. The winner gets a world ranking. It is for the USBA title and a spot in the Top 15 (in the world). This is a big opportunity for both of us. I am zoned in and I will do what I have to do to get the win. It is a huge opportunity. I have a loss and I don’t like that feeling.
You just mentioned that you have a loss. What did you learn from that defeat that will help prepare you for this upcoming fight with Dusty?
The Douglas loss has prepared me for this. Being a headline fighter on television. We will be seen by more people being on CBS Sports Network. I am five fights more mature since my loss. I have been fighting solid competition and I have been more active.
What in those five fights has helped you prepare for this fight?
None of those guys are comparable to Dusty, but I fought guys with different styles and went some rounds with them when people may have questioned my stamina. I fought a rugged guy in Ayi Bruce and a crafty southpaw in Ariel Vasquez. Those guys aren’t killers, but I was getting work in.
What things have you fixed since the loss to Douglas? Did you feel you were overmatched in the fight?
It opened my eyes and it showed me that I needed to fix stuff. My diet and daily living. I was overmatched in maybe size, but I really felt going into that fight that I would beat him.
What are you doing different?
My diet and other things I do when I am not training. I was a middleweight because I was too lazy to drop down in weight. I have made a lot of adjustments.
You started out at middleweight, but you have eased your way down to welterweight. How difficult has that been and what type of advantage does this play into the September 15 fight?
I was always a big middleweight, but strength-wise I wasn’t. Now at welterweight, I am more explosive, faster, more experienced and now I can dictate the action. This is the first time he (Harrison) is fighting someone bigger than him. He has been fighting smaller guys. He now will have to face punches from a grown man.
The fight was originally scheduled for Atlantic City, where you would have been involved in the promotional aspects of the show. That would have entailed doing a lot of work behind the scenes, which would have taken some time away from training. Are you relieved that the fight is in Philadelphia?
I am thankful for that. I know I would have had to get involved in the promotional aspect and some of the stuff leading up to the fight. To me it doesn’t matter where the fight is. Philadelphia is a neutral ground. As long as there is a ring, it doesn’t matter where it takes place
Why this fight right now?
It’s time. He has fought one tough guy and if you saw the fight, he lost it (officially a draw with Mike Dallas). I have no doubt in my mind that I will win the fight and maybe even stop him. But it is a great opportunity to get showcased on national television for the USBA title.