by Cliff Rold
This Saturday, while most boxing fans in the U.S. still have their attention turned to the latest chapter in the Bernard Hopkins Methuselah Chronicles, a pair of old rivals will lock horns for the third time. Airing on UniMas (the former Telefutura), we’ve got a twilight showdown between former 108 lb. titlists Edgar Sosa (47-7, 28 KO) and Ulises Solis (35-2-3, 22 KO).
Fans of smaller fighters know this should be a good one. Even the most ardent may be scratching their heads and asking, ‘when did I miss their first two fights?”
Unless one was making the rounds at local Mexico City cards in the early 00’s, it’s a fair question. Both men have accomplished much in their careers. They were co-reigning titlists during part of the last decade. Sosa made 10 defenses of his WBC crown from 2007-09. Solis defended the IBF diadem eight times from 2006-09.
Since 2009, Sosa has fallen shy in challenge for glory at 112 lbs. Solis regained his IBF belt but was stripped due to injury last year. At their peaks, there was no unification clash between the two Mexican battlers. There seldom are such affairs in the lowest weight classes (not that there are a ton higher on the scale).
Sosa probably had the stronger title reign in terms of opposition. Solis could always point to a pair of results that said he was the man. Who could have known just what they were seeing when those results came in?
On Cinco De Mayo 2001, a 6-0-1 Solis won a six-round split decision over a 5-0 Sosa. On boxing’s observed Mexican Independence Day weekend in September 2003, they squared off again. By then 14-0-1, Solis managed a 12-round majority decision for the Mexican Light Flyweight title over a 12-4 Sosa.
It would be Sosa’s last loss until the end of his title reign. Of his two losses since, one (Rodel Mayol) was fraught with controversy over how it was officiated and the other (Pongsaklek Wonjongkam) came to a probable future Hall of Famer. His title win in 2006 came against Brian Viloria in a solid affair.
Solis would lose only once, in his first title shot, before going on to glory. His other loss, to end his first title run, came to Viloria in 2009. It was just one of the cases of both men’s career’s intersecting in the years since the fought, one of their common opponents. There has been plenty for them to compare each other against but their paths would not cross again until now.
Now is as good a time as any.
Sosa is 33. Solis is 31. Both would like to find another title among their tomorrows. To get there, they first must get back to yesterday and see if anything has changed since they were novices learning their trade.
Solis remains rated by two sanctioning bodies at 108 and could use a victory here to propel him to title contention in that class or at 112 lbs.
Sosa can protect a more imminent possibility. He is rated #1 by the WBC at 112 lbs. and is poised to play mandatory to the winner of the April showdown between champion Toshiyuki Igarashi and former Strawweight titlist Akira Yaegashi. At 33, given the typical shelf life of Flyweights, Sosa can’t count on ever getting this close to a mandatory again.
He can’t afford another split, another majority decision, another loss of any kind.
There is always the chance of something special when two veterans with something to fight for, with some pieces of their prime still remaining, square off. This weekend, there is the added bonus of seeing two proven professionals in the ring for what will feel like the first time.
It’s one chapter three with a freshness even the most jaded cynic can’t complain about.
The Weekly Ledger
But wait, there’s more…
Abril Bests Bogere: http://www.boxingscene.com/abril-tames-lion-retains-his-belt-awkward-affair--62970
Ratings Update: http://www.boxingscene.com/forums/view.php?pg=boxing-ratings
For those who think the way back when was always better, a lot of fights in the unlimited rounds era probably looked a lot more like Richard Abril-Sharif Bogere then Gatti-Ward. Imagine 40 rounds of that? Be happy some fights can only last twelve rounds…Finally got around to checking out the show “Homeland.” A few episodes in and, so far, it’s pretty overrated. FX’s “The Americans” is better…Gary Russell calling out Juan Manuel Lopez is awesome. It allows him to sound ready for bigger fights while tricking the awesome with a name they’ve heard before. That name is of course with a rival promoter so Russell can continue on with this ridiculous slow roll development of his. How any of this makes him a better fighter remains to be seen…The whole Ricky Burns-Miguel Vazquez delay only has to kill a showdown between Burns and Broner if Burns were to be cut in a win. Otherwise, a June 15th showdown with Broner isn’t impossible to make except by modern boxing illogic. Two months used to be plenty of time…Francisco Pianeta is as good as anyone in terms of foes for Wladimir Klitschko. It’s amusing to see some American fans complaining like they have a clue who fights at Heavyweight these days.
Cliff Rold is the Managing Editor of BoxingScene, a founding member of the Transnational Boxing Rankings Board, and a member the Yahoo Pound for Pound voting panel, and the Boxing Writers Association of America. He can be reached at [email protected]