by Ronnie Nathanielsz
“Marvelous” Marvin Sonsona plans to defend his newly-won North American Boxing Federation featherweight title or his WBO International title in an “activity fight” over ten rounds before he steps into the ring for a possible world title fight.
Sonsona’s manager Dr. Rajan Yraola told BoxingScene.com/Manila Standard that following their arrival on Tuesday, Sonsona would leave for his hometown of General Santos City to fix his house which was gutted some months ago in a fire and to celebrate his 24th birthday on July 25.
However, Dr. Yraola said that immediately after Froilan “Sniper” Saludar’s IBF eliminator for the No. 1 flyweight spot against McWilliams Arroyo in Puerto Rico in early July, trainer Jun Agrabio will fly to GenSan and resume Sonsona’s training for the next two weeks.
In a performance that was far from marvelous the lanky southpaw avenged his knockout loss to Wilfredo VazqueZ Jr before a jam-packed crowd at famed Madison Square Garden to win a split ten round decision and capture the North American Boxing Federation featherweight title on Saturday.
HBO commentators Col. Bob Sheridan and veteran boxing analyst Larry Merchant repeatedly referred to it as an “ugly fight” punctuated by excessive holding, low blows and a takedown.
Sheridan said Sonsona looked “lackadaisical” at times in the ring compared to fighters like Manny Pacquiao and Nonito “The Filipino Flash” Donaire.
Sonsona started off impressively and dropped Vazquez with a right and two vicious shots to the liver but the tough Puerto Rican survived the knockdown and came back in the middle rounds but made no real impression on Sonsona who proved to be a letdown considering his spectacular 3rd round knockout of former world super bantamweight champion Akifumi Shimoda in Macau last February 22.
With the win Sonsona improves to 19-1-1 with 15 knockouts while Vazquez whose father, the former world champion Wilfredo Vazquez Sr was not in the corner of his son after an emotional breakup, dropped to 23-4-1, 19 knockouts.
Dr. Yraola told the Standard that when Vazquez caught Sonsona a couple times with a right straight he felt the power of the Puerto Rican although he was hurt much more by a head-butt flush on his nose that sent him down on his knees in the seventh round followed by a low blow a few seconds later but referee Steve Willis didn’t penalize Vazquez Jr . Instead he deducted a point from Sonsona for hitting Vazquez on the back of the head in the sixth round which Sonsona was winning comfortably.
Two of the three judges Michael Pernick and Julie Lederman scored the fight for Sonsona 96-92 while the third judge John Poturaj inexplicably had Vazquez the winner by the same 96-92 margin.
Sonsona told reporters after the fight - “it was a tough fight even though I didn’t fight as well as I should have. I tried my very best. I am happy about the win. I had a hard time with him. He is a really good fighter.”
A sore loser, Vazquez described Sonsona as “a dirty fighter. I tried to pressure him but he kept holding. He got in one good punch, the one that knocked me down but I thought I won easily.”