by Ronnie Nathanielsz
“Marvelous” Marvin Sonsona weighed in at 125.6 pounds for his WBO International featherweight title fight against former WBA super bantamweight champion Akifumi Shimoda of Japan, who tipped the scales at 125.8 pounds for their showdown at the Cotai Arena of the plush Venetian Resort Hotel & Casino on Saturday.
Sonsona told the Manila Standard shortly after the weigh-in - "It will be a good fight and I will try to go for a knockout if I get the opening but I am ready to go twelve rounds if I have to.”
The lanky southpaw from General Santos City has trained hard although the one month period seemed a little too short . However he told the Standard he is totally ready to prove he is back as a title contender.
ABS-CBN Sports & Action, the revamped Studio 23 channel will telecast the fight at 12:00 noon on Sunday.
Sonsona (17-1-1, 14 KO’s) who became the second youngest Filipino world champion at the age of 19 when he handily beat veteran Puerto Rican super flyweight champion Jose Carita Lopez but then fell prey to good times and a carefree lifestyle, seeks to resurrect his stature in what many consider a career defining fight.
Sonsona told us his spirits were lifted by the number of Filipinos who came out to support him.
His manager Dr. Rajan Yraola and veteran trainer Jun Agrabio both concede the 23 year old Sonsona has a formidable opponent in Shimoda (28-3-2, 12 KO’s)who has won his last six fights after losing his title in a shocking 7th round knockout to Rico Ramos in 2011 when he was in control of the fight and leading on the scorecards of all three judges.
Team Sonsona has worked diligently to get Marvin in shape. He’s been jogging religiously every morning and working out in Dr. Yraola’s Gym along Mindanao Avenue in Quezon City and sparring at Pacquiao’s gym at MP Towers in Manila, regularly going twelve rounds with southpaw featherweights Cristian Abila and Archie Toquero.
Both Yraola and Agrabio told us that Sonsona had given up his fun-loving ways in a determined effort to regain his standing as a world title contender which he would surely accomplish with an impressive win over Shimoda who is quick, moves well but doesn’t have the power that Sonsona possesses.
Yraola said he wants Sonsona to win by a knockout to impress Arum which would open up the possibility of big fights in the future.
Top Rank promoter Bob Arum who watched Sonsona’s press-public workout was impressed by the Filipino’s skill and also by his looks telling us Sonsona “is a good looking kid.”
Sonsona told us he plans to put on a good-looking performance in the ring against Shimoda who is ranked No. 2 in the world.