The first boxing card at renovated Nassau Coliseum in 31 years features a pair of warrior welterweights who figure to provide end-to-end action and a pair of Polish heavyweights whose power undoubtedly will fuel the passions of the crowd.
But there’s nothing like having a local hero to highlight the show, and that’s why the real draw for the Premier Boxing Champions card is 35-year-old Long Beach light heavyweight Seanie Monaghan, who will face former Olympian Marcus Browne of Staten Island in a battle of unbeaten contenders that could lead to a title shot for the winner.
Former world champions Omar Figueroa Jr. (26-0-1, 18 KOs) and Robert Guerrero (33-5-1, 18 KOs) will meet in the main event, and the Fox telecast will start at 8 Saturday night with a heavyweight match between Adam Kownacki (15-0, 12 KOs), who trains in Bellmore, against Polish countryman Artur Szpilka (20-2, 15 KOs).
In between those fights, Monaghan (28-0, 17 KOs) will get his chance of a lifetime against Browne (19-0, 14 KOs), who is on the verge of No. 1 contender status in the 175-pound division.
“This is a dream come true to fight at this venue,” Monaghan said. “This is going to be the biggest night of my life. It’s do-or-die for me.”
As frequent sparring partners over the past decade, Monaghan and Browne know each other well, but business takes precedence over friendship.
“I know this guy trains like a dog, and he’s no pushover,” Browne said of Monaghan. “My feelings about Seanie won’t mean a thing . . . I have a destiny to fulfill, and that’s to become a world champion. If my mother was in the other corner, she would have gotten it, too.”
Browne, 26, is an athletic southpaw with a defensive style and is the clear favorite, but Monaghan believes he is physically and mentally stronger. He hopes to wear down Browne in the late stages of their 10-round bout.
“I describe my style as a boulder at the top of a hill,” Monaghan said. “You give it a little push, and it starts kind of slow. But when it gets down to the bottom, it’s charging, and nothing can stop it. So he’s going to have some trouble later on in this fight.”
Monaghan originally signed a contract to fight WBC champion Adonis Stevenson, but that bout fell through when the Canadian chose to fight in Montreal instead. Promoter Lou DiBella still made good on his promise of a purse approaching $200,000, which Monaghan said is the biggest of his career by far.
At the same time, Monaghan knows it will be tough to pull the upset against Browne, who has been nurtured by PBC founder Al Haymon. “Marcus is like the promoter’s kid here,” Monaghan said. “Al Haymon loves him. We’ve seen Marcus get lucky decisions before. We’ve seen Marcus get away with a lot of nonsense.
“All I want is a fair fight. We’ve seen him do a lot of holding. The ref warns him and Marcus never stops holding.”
Expect a desperate fight because only the winner still will be holding on to his dreams of a light heavyweight title shot.
NASSAU COLISEUM’S CARD
Omar Figueroa (26-0-1, 18 KOs)
vs. Robert Guerrero (33-5-1, 18 KOs)
Welterweight, 10 rounds
Marcus Browne (19-0, 14 KOs, Staten Island)
vs. Sean Monaghan (28-0, 17 KOs, Long Beach)
Light heavyweight, 10 rounds
Artur Szpilka (20-2, 15 KOs)
vs. Adam Kownacki (15-0, 12 KOs)
Heavyweight, 10 rounds
Eric Walker (15-0, 8 KOs)
vs. Patrick Day (13-2-1, 6 KOs)
Super welterweight, 10 rounds
Jamal James (20-1, 9 KOs)
vs. Ionut Dan Ion (also known as Jo Jo Dan, 36-4, 19 KOs)
Welterweight, 10 rounds
Alicia Napoleon (7-1, 5 KOs, Lindenhurst)
vs. Mary McGee (23-3, 12 KOs)
Vacant IBF women’s junior middleweight title, 10 rounds
Brandon Figueroa (12-0, 8 KOs)
vs. Eliezer Aquino (19-2-1, 13 KOs)
Junior featherweight, eight rounds
Tommy Rainone (26-7-1, 6 KOs, Rockville Center)
vs. Fidel Monterrosa (37-13-1, 30 KOs)
Welterweight, six rounds
Earl Newman (10-0, 7 KOs, Brooklyn)
vs. Quinton Rankin (12-4-2, 9 KOs)
Light heavyweight, six rounds
Vincenzo D’Angelo (2-0, 0 KOs, Glen Cove)
vs. Dequan Burgos (1-0, 0 KOs, Bronx)
Super middleweight, four rounds