When you endeavor to do something different, it helps to have people to provide the proper guidance. And that’s why Boxing Insider was fortunate to be able to work with someone like Sonya Lamonakis, who currently serves as Vice President and Registration Chair of USA Boxing Metro, which governs amateur boxing in the New York metropolitan area.
They’ll oversee “Boxing Insider Fight Night,” which takes place on Thursday night at the Sony Hall in Times Square (235 W. 46th Street, to be exact).
Most of you probably know Sonya from her days as a professional boxer. She campaigned for the better part of seven years as a heavyweight, in a career that was highlighted by a decision win over Carlette Ewell to win the IBO championship in December 2014.
Possessor of a master’s degree in education, she is now a math teacher in the New York City public school system.
We did a little Q&A with her about amateur boxing on all levels.
Q: How do you observe amateur boxing impacting the young people who get involved, as far as their future is concerned, whether they progress to the next level or not?
A: Well, you ask, why do people box? People box for different reasons. Some get involved for a future, some get involved for the love of the sport, and some get involved for personal growth. If you plan on being a successful professional fighter having an extensive background in the amateurs will help. You can see when the big fights come, which professionals had amateur careers. All the boxers on top now have had amateur experience, that’s where you learn your craft, fine tune, and decide whether or not this life is for you.
Q: How lively is the amateur boxing “scene” in the NY Metro area as compared to other areas you’re aware of? Is it on the upswing?
A: Well, being the VP of USA BOXING METRO, and the registration chairwoman, we are ranked in the top 3 in America. The National office in Colorado counts on Metro as a leading example of how a successful LBC should run.
We are one of the top performing LBC (local boxing committee) in the country. We have a big membership of athletes, coaches, doctors, and officials. We host over 80 sanctioned shows a year. We have athletes come from other LBC’s to compete in Metro shows. We run the most sought after tournament in America, The Ring Masters, for their chance to box at Madison Square Garden, other popular venues include, the Barclay Center, Sony Hall, Classic Car Club of Manhattan and also our famous gyms like Gleason’s Gym Church Street Boxing, and Gotham.