by Ronnie Nathanielsz
World Boxing Council president Don Jose Sulaiman says he was “stunned” by the victory of hard-hitting Filipino Sonny Boy Jaro who dropped longtime champion and Thai hero Pongsaklek Wonjongkam three times to win the WBC flyweight by a 6th round knockout to win the title in Chonburi, Thailand last March 2 .
Sulaiman told BoxingScene.com/Manila Standard “I was stunned by Jaro’s victory. I couldn’t believe it. Pongsaklek is almost 39 years old and anything can happen.”
The WBC president could only offer his observation that “something must have happened. Pongsaklek has never been knocked out before.”
At the same time Sulaiman blamed Japanese referee Yuji Yukuchi who he claimed “acted very badly” although he cited no specific instances.
Fukuchi deducted a point from the No. 8 ranked Sonny Boy Jaro for a low blow in the sixth round. When Pongsaklek was counted out all three judges had the Filipino ahead by one point 47-46 despite the fact that he had dropped Jaro once in round one and once again in round three before finishing off the champion in round six.
Pongsaklek admitted in a post-fight interview reported by boxingscxene.com that Sonny Boy Jaro was “the most powerful boxer I ever fought.”
Sulaiman confirmed that the new champion is mandated to defend his title against Japan’s Toshiyuki Igarashi and that he understood that Jaro’s manager/trainer Aljoe Jaro had “already negotiated on the phone” with the manager of Igarashi. However, Aljoe Jaro told us he is waiting for an email from the Igarashi camp.
The WBC president had approved the title fight on the condition that both Pongsaaklek and Jaro “commit themselves to make their next fight a mandatory against Igarashi, winner of a final elimination bout” which was mandated by the WBC at its last convention in Las Vegas in December.
Igarashi won the eliminator by a twelve round unanimous decision over Mexico’s Wilbert Uicab in Tokyo last November 6, 2011 and is ranked No.1. He had previously scored a 1st round knockout over former world title challenger Rexon Flores on July 3, 2010.
Igarashi made use of his hand speed and footwork top win a close decision over Uicab after twelve hard-fought rounds with American judges Duane Ford (114-113) and Rocky Burke ( 116-112) scoring it for the Japanese and John Lewis of Britain having Igarashi the winner 116-111.
The Japanese southpaw has a record of 15-1-1 with 10 knockouts. He fought in the 2004 Athens Olympics but lost his opening bout against Ethiopia’s Endalkachew Kebede.
Uicab is the same fighter who scored a twelve round unanimous decision to win the WBC silver title from Edrin Dapudong of former governor Manny Pinol’s Brave Heart Boxing stable on September 17, 2010 .