“Top Rank is the biggest promoter in the game — it was a dream come true,” said pro boxer and Long Beach resident “Irish” Seanie Monaghan, shortly after Top Rank Inc. held a luncheon at the Friars Club in Manhattan on Tuesday to formally announce the signing of the light heavyweight boxer.
Monaghan, 31, is undefeated at 18-0, with 11 knockouts, and said that the agreement with Top Rank marks the next step in his career after he decided to turn pro in 2010.
The World Boxing Association currently ranks Monaghan the 11th light heavyweight in the world, and the signing with Top Rank comes after a stunning first-round knockout in front of 7,000 people at Radio City Music Hall in April.
Las Vegas-based Top Rank promotes many of the top boxers from around the world, including Manny Pacquiao and Juan Manuel Marquez. It has also promoted fights in the past for venerated pugilists like Muhammad Ali, Joe Frazier and Oscar De La Hoya.
Monaghan said that he had hoped to clinch a deal with the company as his professional boxing career progressed. “We put ourselves out there and they blew [everyone else] away with an offer,” he said.
Monaghan said that Top Rank’s co-founder, Bob Arum, is “the most famous, prestigious promoter alive.” In a statement, Arum said that the company wanted Monaghan in the fold, and described him as an exciting fighter with a large following.
“We know he has a huge fan base, so we would never want to have an event where his fans wouldn’t be able to see him,” Arum said.
That led Top Rank to arrange Monaghan’s debut as a client on Oct. 12 as the undercard for the Juan Manuel Marquez-Timothy Bradley bout at the Thomas and Mack Center in Las Vegas. Monaghan is set to fight Anthony Caputo Smith (14-1, 1 KO), and the event will air on pay-per-view on HBO.
“To fight on HBO is a big deal around the world,” Monaghan said.
He added that as soon as his family, friends and fans found out that he had signed with Top Rank earlier this month, he received approximately 200 messages on his Facebook page and said that people were already talking about going to Las Vegas to watch the bout.
“They were asking what hotel am I staying at?” he said. “It’s going to be a massive, massive crew.”
Top Rank said it wants to continue his exposure in New York as well. Monaghan has been a big draw in the area — hundreds of “Team Monaghan” fans turn out to every fight — and Arum said he wants to continue that success.
“We’re in talks with Madison Square Garden, who’s very interested in Seanie coming back and fighting again,” Arum said.
Going forward, Monaghan said that Arum wants to arrange a world title shot, and that the promoter has had his eye on him for a while.
“It’s very exciting and motivating to hear how confident they are in me,” Monaghan said. “It’s a gigantic opportunity, and I’m going to take full advantage of it.”