Sometimes the best thing a fighter can do is win. They don't need to make it pretty but just win. That's even more important when facing a fighter who has previously beaten you.
That seemed to be what was on the mind of "Marvellous" Marvin Sonsona (19-1-1, 15) late on Saturday night when he avenged the sole defeat of his career and out pointed a lackadaisical Wilfredo Vazquez Jr (23-4-1, 19) in a fight that certainly didn't set the world alight despite showing some burst of very impressive work.
The fight started sensationally for Sonsona who managed to dropped Vazquez with a body shot inside a round. It was really a marvellous start for the Filipino whop seemed set to avenge his his loss in the most sensationally way imaginable. Unfortunately the knockdown was the fights sole highlight and from then on it was all down hill.
In rounds 2 and 3 Sonsona won as the fight gradually became messier and messier. Both guys held, neither guy seemed able to connect with much of note and in all honesty the fight began to just suddenly break down.
If round 4 was bad then it just got worse with Sonsona fighting in bursts and Vazquez doing very little other than following and being held when he was too close for comfort. It was atrocious with the referee often having more to do than the actual fighters who were happy to hold and make a mess of the action. It seemed clear that the messier it was the safer it was, though it did cost Sonsona a point in round 6 when he landed a shot on the break.
The security of the messy action vanished in round 7 when Sonsona was hurt by an accidental head clash in the opening moments and then a low blow soon afterwards. They weren't nasty accidental fouls but Sonsona did milk them for what they were worth.
After forgettable action in rounds 8 and 9 we got to the final round with the bout seemingly in Sonsona's control. Suddenly we got some interesting in round 10 what what looked to be an American Football tackle by Vazquez and, later in the round, the referee seemed to be caught by a punch from both men. It was certainly the most notable part of the fight other than the knockdown, a real shame.
Oddly the bout was some how scored a split decision with everyone scoring the bout 96-92, though one judge some how managed to score it it for Vazquez Jr who was, in all honesty, the clear loser.
Although the fight failed to come alive it's a fight that will have mentally done Sonsona a lot of favours and will almost certainly help him move on to the next level as he attempts to become a 2-time world champion.
It was announced yesterday that once beaten Filipino star "Marvellous" Marvin Sonsona (18-1-1, 15) will get a chance to avenge his sole defeat as he gets a long awaited rematch with Puerto Rico's Wilfredo Vazquez Jr (23-3-1, 19).
The bout, set for June 7th, has been one of the bouts added to the Sergio Martinez-Miguel Cotto under card and will be for the NABF Featherweight title as well as revenge for Sonsona.
The men first met back in February 2010 when both unbeaten starlets rising through the rankings. On that particular day however a baby faced and under-sized Sonsona was stopped in 4 by the naturally bigger and more developed Vazquez. At the time Sonsona was just a kid in boxing terms aged just 19 and whilst WV2 was a youngster himself he was still significantly older at 25 years old.
Since then Sonsona has grown up. He has developed both physically and mentally. He has shed some of his childish out of the ring tendencies and whilst he's still not the most mature of people he is no longer the wild child of Filipino boxing. It seems he had someone give him the proverbial "last chance" warning and finally clicked that he has the raw talent to become a very rich individual.
The development of Sonsona was seen just a few months back when he starched Akifumi Shimoda in 3 rounds in Macau. The shot he delivered showed his talent whilst his willingness to wait for the opportunity was mature and very much a case of his experience being shown. It was one of the highlights of the year and one of the best KO's we've been privy to in 2014.
The KO over Shimoda was Sonsona's 4th straight win since the loss to Vazquez.
For the Puerto Rican things haven't been so great. He has won 5 bouts since beating Sonsona but lost 3 including notable upset losses to a shop worn Jorge Arce and a criminally under-rated Yasutaka Ishimoto. Whilst their was no real harm in losing to Nonito Donaire in 2012 it does add to the Filipino-Puerto Rico sub story that some will develop for this fight.
Although we expect Vazquez, now 29, to start as the betting favourite we do view this as a very competitive match up between two men looking for a big win to put them in line for a title fight. With that in mind we've got to favour Sonsona who has the added fire of wanting revenge as well as his chance to become a multi-weight world champion.
(Image, of Sonsona, courtesy of boxrec.com)
Much of "Ring of Gold" looked like mismatches with one man so heavily favoured over the other that there was an inevitability to them. Not all the fights however were easy to predict and the 6th fight on the show was certainly a more 50-50 contest and a fight that had boxing fans and media alike split over who would win.
The bout in question saw Japan's Akifumi Shimoda (28-4-2, 12) fighting against Filipino Marvin Sonsona (18-1-1, 15) .
What made it so interesting was that it was hard to split the men on paper. Both were former world champions with Shimoda having held the WBA Super Bantamweight title and Sonsona having been a former WBO Super Flyweight champion, both had their strengths with Shimoda having the better all-round skills whilst Sonsona was the power puncher and of course both had their fans championing their cause.
The established knowledge of both men saw and split views on them saw the bookies struggling to split them with the bout almost matched up as an events match. And through the first 2 rounds it was hugely even and massively competitive with neither man really managing to take control though Shimoda did appear to win both of them.
After the two opening and highly competitive rounds we then saw the power of Sonsona come in to play as he landed a devastating uppercut that sent Shimoda down in a heap. The Japanese fighter, who was down for a long time, did look in a bad way for a few minutes before finally getting back to his stool to regain his senses.
Although the bout had started evenly it had ended in eye catching fashion with a true KO of the year contender and a punch that deserves to be replaced time and time again. It was a beauty and it showed the advantage of really thunderous power and great hand speed.
With the victory Sonsona claimed the WBO International Featherweight title.
(Picture courtesy of boxrec.com)
Just a few hours ago saw the official weigh-ins for this weekends "Ring of Gold" card in Macau and everyone, unsurprisingly, weighed inside their allowed weight.
The fighters in the main event, Zou Shiming (3-0) and Yodthong Kokietgym (15-3, 11) were both inside the Flyweight limit. Shiming was the bigger man weighing 111.8lbs whilst Yodthong was 110.6lbs. This was the heaviest weight that Shiming has weighed, though only marginally.
The IBF Lightweight world title fight between Miguel Vazquez (33-3, 13) and Denis Shafikov (33-0-1, 18) saw both fighters weighing the exact same at 134.8lbs. The surprising thing here was that Vazquez didn't appear to be the 6" taller than the Russian as was widely reported. From what we saw it was, at most 4" and may well have just been 3". Surprising consider that much of the talk was about the Vazquez's impressive height advantage.
In the regional Super Flyweight unification bout between Rex Tso (11-0, 7) and Mao Matsuyama (7-7-1, 3) both men were again comfortably inside the limit. Tso, the heavier man was 114.6lbs whilst Matsuyama was 114.4lbs. Likewise the WBO International Featherweight title fight between Marvin Sonsona (17-1-1, 14) and Akifumi Shimoda (28-3-2, 12) also saw both fighters coming in in similar weight. Sonsona was 125.6lbs whilst Shimoda was 125.8lbs. For Shimoda, who made his name at Super Bantamweight, this was a career highest whilst Sonsona weighed his lowest since defeating Carlos Joan Gaspar Jacobo in 2011.
Sonsona's compatriot, and Japanese boxing star, Ryota Murata (2-0, 2) weighed a career highest 161.4lbs for his contest with Brazil's experienced Carlos Nascimento (29-3, 23) who was just less than a lb lighter weighing in at 160.6lbs. We believe this is Nascimento's heaviest weight since 2004 though it likely won't help him in what we view as being a bit of a mismatch.
The biggest difference in weight between fighters on the card was in the swing bout which saw Kuok Kun Ng (2-0) weighing in at 154.2lbs, his career high and some 3lbs heavier than when we last saw him. Kuok's opponent Rocky Alp Alp (5-10) was over 4lbs lighter standing at 150lbs on the scales. This difference was given a good run for it's money by Egor Mekhontsev (1-0, 1) who was 3.6lbs heavier than Atthaporn Jaritram (4-0, 1). Mekhontsev came in at 177.2lbs whilst Attahporn was well inside the 175lb limit weighing just 173.6lbs.
One other bout with a notable weight difference was Harmonito Dela Torre (11-0, 6) having more than 3lbs on Yakobus Heluka (7-5). De La Torre came in at 131.4lbs whilst Heluka was 128lbs.
In the one remaining bout, the contest between Jerwin Ancajas (18-1-1, 10) and Inthanon Sithchamuang (20-6, 11) was saw Ancajas having a small but notable advantage. The once beaten Filipino weighed 115.6lbs whilst the Thai was 114.6lbs.
(Picture, courtesy of Top Rank's twitter features Ryota Murata and Carlos Nascimento).
Teiken promoted Japanese fighters Ryota Murata (2-0, 2) and Akifumi Shimoda (28-3-2, 12) both landed in Macau earlier today for their upcoming fights on Top Rank's "Ring of Gold" card.
For Murata this will be his first bout on foreign soil as a professional and also his biggest test. Although still a novice he is being matched with experienced Brazilian Carlos Nascimento (29-3, 23) in a very good looking non-title bout. Whilst no title will be on the line this contest will televised on Fuji TV at approximately 19:57 local time (Japan).
As for Shimoda he's in what appears to be a great bout with former Super Flyweight world champion Marvin Sonsona (17-1-1, 14) of the Philippines. Sonsona himself also arrived in Macau earlier today (Tuesday) to begin his final preparations. This fight will see the winner claiming a WBO International Featherweight title and likely being moved into a position to fight for the WBO Featherweight in the next 12-24 months. Oddly this contest won't be televised live in Japan though it is set to be shown on Filipino TV where the contest is seen as a career defining bout for Sonsona.
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