Whilst great fights happen around the world we do think that more big fights in Asia turn out to be great. Not a year seems to go by with out 3 or 4 FOTY contenders coming out of Japan or Thailand, and lets be honest we've already had more than 3 or 4 this year.
Amazingly it looks like we're about to get yet another FOTY style contest as WBC Flyweight champion Akira Yaegashi (18-3, 9) takes on Mexican great Edgar Sosa (49-7, 29). Both are out and out warriors though both are also highly skilled, world level competitors with reputations for action fights against top tier opposition.
Sosa, the WBC mandatory challenger, first made his name in the Light Flyweight division where he was a very impressive WBC champion. Surprisingly however he started his career 12-5 suffering losses to Ulises Solis-twice, Manuel Vargas, Omar Nino Romero and Isaac Bustos. All of whom were, at one time, world title holders.
It was in 2007 that Sosa scored his first big win, defeating Brian Viloria for the WBC Light Flyweight title. As the WBC champion at 108lbs Sosa would defend his belt regularly and in just over 2 and a half years he had amassed 10 defenses. These saw him beating, amongst others, Takashi Kunishige, Sonny Boy Jaro, Juanito Rubillar and Pornsawan Porpramook.
Since losing his title, controversially to Rodel Mayol in 2009, Sosa has mainly been campaigning in the Flyweight division. As a Flyweight Sosa has lost just once, dropping a decision in Thailand to Pongsaklek Wonjongkam in what was Wonjongkam's last notable victory. Since then Sosa has been rebuilding his career and attempting to get another world title fight.
Following the loss to Wonjongkam Sosa has gone on a 6 fight winning streak as he's beaten Rolio Golez, Wilbert Uicab, Shigetaka Ikehara, Myung Ho Lee, Ulises Solis and Giovani Segura. More impressively is the fact that the victories over Solis and Segura have come this year as Sosa has had one of the most outstanding years in global boxing. Arguably the only manstanding between Sosa and "Fighter of the Year" is Yaegashi.
Of course Yaegashi himself made his name originally at a lower weight. In fact Yaegashi first made himself known for his exploits at Minimumweight. Despite losing in his first world title fight, dropping a decision to Eagle Den Junlaphan, Yaegashi fought on hard and claimed the WBA Minimumweight title in a barn burner in 2011 with Pornsawan Porpramook.
Unfortunately Yaegashi's reign came to a very short end, losing in a unification bout with Kazuto Ioka. Instead of wallowing however Yaegashi allowed his body to fill out and settled in to the Flyweight division where he claimed the WBC and "lineal" title by defeating Toshiyuki Igarashi earlier this year. Since then he has defended the title once, winning a messy encounter with Oscar Blanquet.
Aged 30 Yaegashi is 4 years younger than his challenger in terms of years. In terms of fights Yaegashi is much, much less worn despite the tough contests with Pornsawan, Ioka and Igarashi. In fact Yaegashi with just 21 bouts and 156 rounds is a mere boxing baby compared to the 56 fights and 415 professional rounds.
It's this difference, not in experience but in wear and tear, that we think will help see Yaegashi to a victory. He has been in hard fights, of course he has, but so too has Sosa.
In terms of this fight, as a fight, we expect to see a lot of toe-to-toe trading as each man tries to have the last in exchanges. Sure we will have our moments where the action laxes a little bit but on the most part this will be nothing short of breath taking. We don't think either guy has the power to stop the other but then again neither will be wanting to take a shot with out returning fire instantly.
World Title Previews
The biggest fights get broken down as we try to predict who will come out on top in the up coming world title bouts.