It is Fight Week for local favorites and Top-10 contenders GLEN “Jersey Boy” TAPIA and “Irish” SEANIE MONAGHAN. Both fighters will headline an action-packed boxing card on Friday, May 8, televised live from Prudential Center in Newark, NJ on MetroPCS Friday Night Knockout on truTV, beginning at 10 p.m. ET. The live boxing series is presented by truTV and Top Rank®, and produced in association with HBO Sports®.
Commentators for the event will include Kevin Kugler providing play-by-play with analyst Ray “Boom Boom” Mancini and reporter Crystina Poncher. Kugler is a veteran announcer who has called college basketball and NFL coverage for Westwood One and college football for the Big Ten Network. Mancini is a 2015 International Boxing Hall of Fame inductee and former WBA lightweight world champion. Poncher is a commentator and reporter for Top Rank, as well as a host, reporter and correspondent for NFL Network and NFL.com. Additionally, closed captioning in Spanish will be available.
Tapia, who hails from nearby Passaic, will defend his NABO junior middleweight title against one-time world title challenger MICHEL SORO of France. Monaghan, the undefeated World Boxing Council (WBC) Continental light heavyweight champion from Long Beach, NY, will risk his undefeated record, title and No. 3 world rating when he battles 2000 Olympian CLEITON CONCEIÇÃO from Brazil. The four warriors boast a combined record of 91-8-3 (61 KOs) and a winning ratio of 89%, with over two-thirds of their victories by way of knockout.
Remaining tickets to the Tapia vs. Soro / Monaghan vs. Conceição boxing event, priced at $105, $60, $40 and $25, plus applicable taxes and fees, may be purchased online at www.Ticketmaster.com, charge by phone at 1-800-745-3000 or any Ticketmaster outlet. Tickets may also be purchased at Prudential Center’s box office.
Trained by Hall of Famer Freddie Roach and co-managed by Pat Lynch, Tapia (23-1, 15 KOs) enters this fight with six of his last seven victories coming by way of stoppage, including his last three. World-rated No. 6 by the International Boxing Federation (IBF) and the World Boxing Organization (WBO), Tapia returns to the ring on the heels of his biggest professional victory, a third-round knockout of former Australian junior middleweight and middleweight champion Daniel Dawson to claim the vacant NABO junior middleweight title. The fight took place on March 7 in Macau, China, and the sellout crowd made up mostly of Chinese boxing fans joyously chanted “Jersey Boy! Jersey Boy!” as the referee raised his hand. It was the second time he hard-hitting Tapia has reigned as the NABO junior middleweight champion. Tapia first claimed the title in 2013 when he upset the previously undefeated contender Abie Han via an eighth-round TKO.
Soro (25-1-1, 15 KO), a native of Abidjan, Ivory Coast who now fights out of Villeurbanne, Rhône, France, enters this fight riding a three-year, eight-bout unbeaten streak with his last three victories coming by way of knockout, including two this year.
Boasting two-fisted power and experience against quality opposition, Soro is a former French and WBO European junior middleweight champion. The only blemish on his record was a 12-round decision loss to International Boxing Organization (IBO) junior middleweight world champion Zaurbek Baysangurov in 2012, though he did knock the defending champion down in the second round and staggered him in the fifth.
One of the top boxing gate attractions in his native New York, Monaghan (23-0, 15 KOs) will be making his 2015 debut. He captured the WBC Continental Americas light heavyweight title in 2012 via an eighth-round TKO of Romaro Johnson. He has successfully defended the title four times during his three-year reign and has won five of his last six bouts by way of knockout. Monaghan is currently world-rated No. 3 by the World Boxing Association (WBA) and No. 6 by the WBC and the International Boxing Federation (IBF).
Conceição (20-6-2, 16 KOs), of São Paulo, Brazil, has scored his last five victories by way of knockout. His strong amateur background included being a member of the 2000 Brazilian Olympic team as well as being a two-time Brazilian National Champion. In his last fight, on February 20, Conceição scored a first-round knockout of Nei De Lima.
About Prudential Center
Prudential Center is a world-class sports and entertainment venue located in downtown Newark, New Jersey. Opened in October 2007, the state-of-the-art arena is the home of the National Hockey League’s (NHL) three-time Stanley Cup Champion New Jersey Devils, Seton Hall University’s NCAA Division I Men’s Basketball program, and more than 175 concerts, family shows and special events each year. Ranked in the Top 10 nationally by Pollstar, Billboard and Venue’s Today, Prudential Center is recognized as one of the premier venues in the United States, and welcomes 1.75 million guests annually. For more information about Prudential Center, visit PruCenter.com and Facebook, and follow @PruCenter on Twitter.