MINNEAPOLIS (AP) - Anthony Bonsante told his family he would quit boxing if he lost to rival Matt Vanda.
It looks like the 36-year-old graduate of Crosby-Ironton High School will keep fighting for a little while longer.
Bonsante, who now lives in Shakopee, earned a 10-round decision over Vanda at the Target Center on Friday night to retain the IBA Americas middleweight and Minnesota middleweight titles.
Bonsante sealed the decision in emphatic fashion, landing three hard rights with just more than one minute remaining that knocked "The Predator" to the canvas.
"I wanted to stick him with the jab as hard as I could," said Bonsante, whose children paraded his title belts around the ring afterward. "The more he ate, the more I could go after him with the right. He counted on me getting tired, but in the seventh, eighth, ninth and 10th, that's when 'The Bullet' gets going."
Matt Vanda (left) leaned back from a punch thrown by Anthony Bonsante in a late round of their boxing match Friday in Minneapolis. Bonsante earned a 10-round decision over Vanda to retain the IBA Americas middleweight and Minnesota middleweight titles. Associated Press
The performance earned Bonsante a date with IBA world middleweight champion John Duddy of Ireland. The two will likely square off March 16 at Madison Square Garden in New York.
Bonsante (29-8-3), who rose to prominence after an appearance on the reality TV show "The Contender," was ahead on all three judges' scorecards. The fight was scored 98-92, 98-91, 98-91.
Vanda (35-3), who promised to "shut Bonsante up" after defeating Dillon Carew in November in boxing's return to Minnesota, knew he'd lost even before the news was delivered by the ring announcer.
"He won the fight," Vanda conceded just before the scores were announced. "It was a great fight."
The St. Paul native fell behind early as Bonsante dominated for most of the bout.
That was all according to plan, said 83-year-old Bill Kaehn, one of Bonsante's trainers.
"Our game plan was to box him until we had an opening," said Kaehn. "In the latter part of the fight, Tony was able to take him apart piece by piece. Tony followed the plan perfectly."
Minnesotans Allen Litzau, Raphael Butler, Joey Abell, Wilton Hilario and Kenny Kost all defeated out-of-state opponents in their undercard bouts.
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