By Jake Donovan
Edgar Sosa remains in the hunt for another shot at the flyweight title after a systematic beatdown of Shigetaki Ikehara
. Eight rounds of brutality finally came to a halt mere seconds into the 9th round of their Televisa-televised headliner in Leon, Mexico.
The fight was one-sided all the way through, as Sosa fought like a man on the mission from the moment he left his stool to begin the fight. The mission is in fact another crack at a major title, after having fallen short against then-World flyweight champion Pongsaklek Wonjongkam last October.
Ikehara was forced to feel the brunt of his pain and frustration. Sosa was relentless in his attack, battering the visiting Japanese flyweight round after round, most of which was spent with Ikehara's back against the ropes while burying his head in a defensive shell.
Sosa nearly ended matters in the fifth round, unloading with power shots and at one point forcing Ikehara to double over with a brutal body attack. More of the same followed in the ensuing rounds, with the bout dangerously close to being stopped at several points in rounds seven and eight.
Ikehara was being worked on by his cornermen prior to round nine when he was paid a visit by the referee, who warned the fringe contender to fight back or run the risk of a mercy stoppage.
Given the language barrier, it's entirely possible that Ikehara had no clue what was being told to him by the third man. However, body language is universal and the referee saw a beaten fighter stagger off of his stool at the start of the ninth, wisely intervening without a single punch being thrown in the round.
The official verdict is a ninth round stoppage.
Sosa improves to 46-7 (28KO) with the win, his third straight. The 'silver' title at stake means he remains in line for a crack at newly crowned lineal champion Toshiyuki Igarashi, who won the crown with a hard-fought split decision over Sonny Boy Jaro earlier this month in Japan.
Unlike his countryman, life isn't so grand at the moment for Ikehara, who suffered a career-altering beating in this fight. The 30-year old heads home having now lost two straight, as he falls to 22-4-2 (18KO). The bout was his first outside of his native Japan, though figures to be his last fight for quite a while, if ever again.
In the televised co-feature, battle-tested journeyman Miguel 'Mickey' Roman scored a minor upset in taking a split decision over free-swinging Dante 'Crazy' Jardon in their 10-round bout.
The assignment was a bit of overly optimistic matchmaking for Jardon, who always makes for great theater but has appeared limited when a knockout doesn't immediately present itself. Roman is a normally durable featherweight, though the sight of being flattened by lightweight titlist Antonio DeMarco earlier this year might have created the perception that he is more vulnerable than is actually the case.
What wasn't taken into consideration was the fact that Roman had no business fighting at lightweight. Against Jardon, he was the much bigger man and made that statement throughout the fight. Jardon held his own and made his presence felt on more than one occasion, but was also backing up more than at any other point in his career.
The action was close throughout, but Roman was the aggressor and the rightful winner in a fight that probably could have went either way. No official scores were announced, other than that it was a split decision.
Naturally, Jardon took issue with the decision, demanding a rematch during the post-fight interview. The question was repeatedly posed to Roman, to the point where a fight nearly broke out after the fight before both camps were quickly separated.
Roman ends a two-fight skid as he improves to 38-10 (27KO). Jardon has now dropped two of his last three as he falls to 20-3 (18KO).
Jake Donovan is the Managing Editor of Boxingscene.com. Follow Jake on Twitter: @JakeNDaBox