BEST BOXER - 2007
Bonsante doesn't have the best record in local fight circles. The veteran middleweight out of Shakopee has lost six of his last ten bouts—most recently, a bloody technical decision to hot middleweight prospect John Duddy at Madison Square Garden. But in modern boxing, records can be deceiving. Without question, Bonsante has faced higher-caliber contenders than any other active Minnesota fighter in recent years (the opponents in his last six defeats had a collective record of 122-5). In January, the 36-year-old Bonsante made a rare hometown appearance, squaring off against Matt Vanda, favorite son of St. Paul's East Side. The trash-talking Vanda walked into the Target Center ring with a better record (35-2) and the advantage of being eight years younger. But in a performance that was heartening to craftsmen everywhere, Bonsante proceeded to take Vanda apart with precision. It put nearly 9,000 fans on their feet, a fitting capstone to the biggest night for Minnesota boxing in recent history.