The last couple of "What a Shock" articles both focused on Japanese fighters travelling to pick up the upsets, ripping up the scripts and shocking the local fans. This time around we get the chance to focus on a fighter from the Philippines, the country that we suspect gets more upsets by their fighters than any other country. For this fight we roll the clock back just a few years and relive one of the most surprising upsets of 2015.
May 16th 2015
Auditorio Miguel Barragan, San Luis Potosi, San Luis Potosí, Mexico
Eden Sonsona (33-6-2, 11) Vs Adrian Estrella (22-0, 20)
Filipino Southpaw Eden Sonsona is not someone we suspect many will be too familiar with, unless a Filipino reading this. The surname might be familiar, with Eden being the cousin of the enigmatic Marvin Sonsona, but Eden probably not so familiar, despite being a professional for well over a decade.
Sonsona turned professional in 2004 and had success on the domestic stage, winning the GAB Super Flyweight and Bantamweight titles. Outside of the Philippines however he struggled to make an impact, losing to the likes of Kohei Kono, Silence Mabuza, Pungluang Sor Singyu and Jonathan Oquendo. His form outside of the Philippines was poor, despite a couple of wins in the US. He wasn't a bad fighter, but he was also not a particularly good one either, and by 2015 he had moved from Flyweight up to Super Featherweight, a weight that didn't seem likely to be a good one for him.
In May 2015 Estrella travelled to San Luis Potosi to take on unbeaten Mexican Adrian "Diamante" Estrella. At this point Estrella was 22-0 (20), he was being matched towards a title fight and had beaten the likes of Dante Jardon and Celestino Caballero. He was holding a number of WBC regional titles and was expected to continue his charge towards a world title by winning the WBC International Silver title here against Sonsona.
Estrella was a good boxer puncher, a strong fighter who was creating buzz. He was unbeaten, at home, 24 years old and the natural Super Featherweight. At the time he was likely being viewed as another potential Mexican to take on the then WBC world champion Takashi Miura, who was getting a reputation as a Mexi-killer.
Given how stacked things were in favour of the naturally bigger, stronger, more powerful, younger, unbeaten local it seemed like this was going to be a foregone conclusion. Estrella was going to win. He was going to win early, make a statement, and move to within touching distance of a world title fight.
Well that was what we all thought.
Just seconds into the bout Estrella touched down, it was ruled a push, rightfully, but it was clear that Sonsona was feeling something and he through the first round throwing hayemakers. He caught Estrella once or twice with wild left hands but Estrella stood up to them. It was clear that Sonsona had come into the bout with the mindset "to win, I need to stop him". Despite landing some huge single shots Sonsona was out worked and Estrella had more than enough good moments himself to secure the round, even wobbling Sonsona at one point. This was a surprisingly great opening round, despite the somewhat wild offensive work of Sonsona.
Roudn 2 started much like round 1 had been, with both men looking to land something big. Sadly for Estrella he was caught, big time, by a counter right hook up top from Sonsona. Estrella tried to beat the count, and got to his feet before stumbling to the corner and forcing the referee to stop the bout. He was up but out of it was he sat in his corner.
With Sonsona celebrating the Mexican TV cameras kept zooming in on Jhonny Gonzalez, sat ringside, who looked in pure shock at the way his countryman had just been stopped.
The victory for Sonsona should have put him in line for a big fight. He had just beaten one of the rising Super Featherweight stars of Mexico. Instead he spent more than 18 months out of the ring and picked up just 2 wins before his career began to capitulate and he went on a losing run which included two decision losses to veteran Jamie Barcelona.
Whilst Sonsona failed to build on this Estrella never rebuilt his career. He scored 6 wins, the most notable of which was a close decision over a then 41 year old DeMarcus Corley before losing 4 of 5 bouts and essentially seeing his career fall apart. As we write this he is still an active fighter, but his career is certainly falling a long way short the expectations he had on his shoulders coming into this bout.
Thinking Out East
With this site being pretty successful so far we've decided to open up about our own views and start what could be considered effectively an editorial style opinion column dubbed "Thinking Out East" (T.O.E).