Philly heavyweight Sonny Conto makes successful pro debut

By Michael Woods

Badlefthook.com

The fight didn’t last long enough for me to get into some of my homework notes, sadly.

Yeah, heavyweight Sonny Conto took care of business, in the form of hapless Jimmie Levins, on Friday night at 2300 Arena in Philly, on a Raging Babe show which screened on Facebook Fightnight Live.

In front of hometown rooters galore, Conto put Levins on the canvas four times in the opening round, but for some reason the referee ruled them slips. The fourth time, the ref got the hint and pulled the plug at 2:19 elapsed.

”Getting that first one out of the way is important,” said Conto. “My father told me that this is my professional debut, but this is noting new. I have been doing this since I was 10 years old. The hometown crowd was amazing, and it was a great opportunity. I can’t wait until the next one.”

And when, pray tell, will the 22-year-old — a two-time Pennsylvania Golden Gloves Champion, silver medalist in the 2018 National Golden Gloves, bronze medalist in the 2017 National Golden Gloves, now managed by Split-T Management and promoted by Top Rank — do the next one?

“Can’t wait to do it again March 30,” he enthused.

And any possibility he gets a slot on the April 20 Terence Crawford-Amir Khan card at MSG?

“Always a possibility,” Conto told me.

So the homecoming dance was a bit of a mixed bag. He was so pumped going in.

”Born and raised on Ninth and Porter, I could walk to the arena if I wanted to,” Conto told me the day before the debut. Er — will you walk, I asked?

“Naw,” he said, chuckling, before predicting a second round KO win.

And he was happy to smash down Levins. But the main event brought forth emotions for Sonny and most everyone in the joint. Fan fave Christian Carto, a Philly kid, was dropped unconscious by a Victor Ruiz left hand in round two, and he lay on the ring mat for about 15 minutes, before being taken away on a stretcher. He had a CAT scan and was medically cleared two hours later, happily.

”Man, I’m still upset about it,” Conto told me Monday when I checked in. “That’s my boy, we came up together. Never underestimate any man, especially one with two hands! It just takes a second, man.”

Right — we in the media often understimate “journeymen” like Ruiz, right?

”It just takes a second! Yeah. I believe Christian will bounce back though,” Conto said.

Oh, last thing about Sonny for now: one of the tidbits in my notes I didn’t get to Friday night. He is NOT named after glowing Liston. He is “Sonny,” after his father’s uncle, for the record.

Follow Sonny on social here.

Watch his pro debut here.

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