by Cliff Rold
Lost in all the earned Stateside hoopla in recent weeks about the upset results in Lopez-Ortiz and Garcia-Khan is a simple truth:
Shocking though those fights were, they ain’t got a thing on what remains the upset of 2012.
Those fights raised the pulse and brought the “wow” reactions in plenty.
Only one upset drew reactions of “WTF?” (This being a family readable site, folks can explain that to the kids). In a fight taken so for granted even the hardcore weren’t all that interested, seven times stopped journeyman Sonny Boy Jaro walked through one of the most accomplished Flyweights in history.
Jaro TKO6 Pongsaklek Wonjongkam remains the upset of the year.
Now Jaro goes from Rocky to defending champion. He has a younger man with less wear on tap, and he’s on the road. He was on the road for Wonjongkam too.
Can Jaro keep the crown?
Let’s go to the report cards.
Sonny Boy Jaro
Titles: Lineal/WBC World Flyweight (2012-Present, 1st Attempted Defense)
Previous Titles: None
Height: 5’2 ½
Average Weight – Last Five Fights: 111.2 lbs.
Hails from: Binangonan, Rizal, Philippines
Record: 34-10-5, 24 KO, 7 KOBY
Record in Major Title Fights: 1-2, 1 KO, 1 KOBY
Current/Former World Champions/Titlists Defeated: 2 (Florante Condes, Pongsaklek Wonjongkam)
Current/Former World Champions/Titlists Faced in Defeat: 4 (Florante Condes, Pornsawan Porpramook, Edgar Sosa, Giovanni Segura)
Titles/Previous Titles: None
Height: 5’5 ½
Average Weight – Last Five Fights: 112.75 lbs.
Hails from: Tokyo, Japan
Record: 15-1-1, 10 KO
BoxingScene Rank: Unrated
Record in Major Title Fights: 1st Title Shot
Current/Former World Champions/Titlists Defeated: 0
Current/Former World Champions/Titlists Faced in Defeat: 1 (Tomonobu Shimizu)
Pre-Fight: Speed – Jaro B; Igarashi A-
Pre-Fight: Power – Jaro B+; Igarashi B
Pre-Fight: Defense – Jaro C-; Igarashi B+
Pre-Fight: Intangibles – Jaro B; Igarashi B+
Jaro is an offensive minded and a smaller Flyweight, but he can crack. Where he struggles here is chasing the younger man. Igarasgi, who will have home field in Japan, has quick hands and stands taller. While he isn’t as experienced against top-level competition, he’s seen some solid veterans. Shimizu outboxed him but the experience was valuable in only his ninth pro fight.
In his last bout, Igarashi showed growth. Wilbert Uicab came him a stern twelve rounds, but those were valuable rounds and earned him this shot. He’s not a huge puncher, but one doesn’t have to be to stop Jaro. What Igarashi needs to do is wear the man down with his jab and pick up points. If the stop comes, it comes.
Jaro could be on a high still from his win and can be afforded more time to train and focus than has perhaps been the case in the past. He’s capable of making a rough fight and landing big. The thinking here is he won’t be able to do enough of it. Lightning is a bottle rarely stays there. Igarashi should be able to win, likely by decision, and bring the lineal Flyweight crown back to Japan.
Report Card Picks 2012: 36-13
Cliff Rold is a member of the Ring Magazine Ratings Advisory Panel, the Yahoo Pound for Pound voting panel, and the Boxing Writers Association of America. He can be reached at [email protected]