Until now, 31-year-old Long Beach light-heavyweight Sean Monaghan has made a name for himself as a New York club fighter who sells tickets with his action style. But Top Rank promoter Bob Arum, who Tuesday announced his signing of Monaghan, envisions something much bigger.
Monaghan (18-0, 11 KOs) will have his next fight against Pennsylvania state champion Anthony Caputo-Smith (14-1, 10 KOs) on the undercard of the WBO welterweight title match between champion Timothy Bradley and Juan Manuel Marquez Oct. 12 in Las Vegas. Monaghan's bout will kick off the pay-per-view telecast at 9 p.m.
Arum then hopes to feature him on a Madison Square Garden card and, ultimately, arrange for him to challenge WBA light-heavyweight champion Beibut Shumenov as part of a planned show in June, 2014 at MetLife Stadium.
"We believe he's ready to step up to next level," Arum said Tuesday. "He already has a very good fan base, and we think we're going to expand that fan base by giving him additional exposure Oct. 12 on the telecast of a big pay-per-view show all over the world."
Monaghan described the contract with Top Rank as "a dream come true" and proclaimed himself ready to take on the world although he has yet to fight a top contender. "It's time for me to make my escape from New York and show my face around the country and show people what I can really do," Monaghan said.
"I know there's skeptics out there. I'm willing to fight anybody. I get turned down a lot by matchmakers. When the time comes, you guys will see what I'm really made of. It's my time to shine."
Carl Moretti of Top Rank said Monaghan's drawing power is part of the package. "Anytime somebody draws an army like that, you're going to raise an eyebrow, and he does," Moretti said. "But he's more than a ticket-seller, and that's the reason for going forward with this."
Caputo-Smith will be Monaghan's toughest opponent, and he packs punching power of his own. "He's a strong little kid," Monaghan said. "But I'm not worried about him. He's not stopping this train from getting to where it's going."