By Ronnie Nathanielsz
Philippine bantamweight champion Eden Sonsona scored his second impressive win in the United States with a smashing eighth round knockout over former world champion Mauricio Pastrana of Colombia at the fantastic Dallas Cowboys Stadium on the undercard of "The Event" headlined by pound-for-pound king Manny Pacquiao and former champion Joshua Clottey.
Filipino featherweight Michael Farenas’ bout also on the non-pay-per-view undercard against veteran Joe Morales of San Antonio, Texas ended in a second round "no decision" after an accidental clash of heads opened up a nasty gash over Morales right eye and forced the ring physician to rule that the fight be stopped since Morales was in no position to continue.
It was a disappointing end to a fight where former two-division world champion Gerry Penalosa wanted to display the potential of the hard-hitting southpaw whose record now sits at 26-2-3 with 23 knockouts, many of them against certified Thai patsies but some of them over quality opponents in the US.
Among the early fights including the supporting main events where Humberto Soto dropped David Diaz in the first and last round en route to handily winning the vacant WBC lightweight title with a unanimous twelve round decision over the former champion and former two-time lightweight champion Jose Luis Castillo calling it quits after five uneventful rounds against WBC Americas welterweight champion Alfonso Lopez, by the far the outstanding performance was that of Filipino southpaw Sonsona.
Sonsona who is from Pacquiao’s hometown of General Santos City followed up his 2nd round TKO win over Eilon Kedem in the Pacquiao-Miguel Cotto undercard dropped Pastrana in round three and in the eighth and final round, finishing off the former world champion with a thunderous left with the referee not even bothering to count. The official time was 1:33 of the final round.
With the win the protégé of the late Rod Nazario, business manager and father figure of Pacquiao who entrusted Sonsona’s career to Pacquiao while Nazario’s son Rommel serves as manager, improved to 19-5 with 6 knockouts and served notice that should he maintain his focus and discipline he could emerge as a potential world title prospect.
Rommel Nazario was clearly overjoyed over Sonsona's focus in training and his commitment and told us from ringside in Dallas that Sonsona "dominated the fight and won every round."
The 21 year old Sonsona dominated Pastrana of Colombia who dropped to 35-13-2 with 23 knockouts. The win was all the more impressive- since the 37 year old was a former IBO super flyweight champion, IBA super flyweight champion and IBA bantamweight champion who had faced a number of formidable opponents in his career including Rafael Marquez, Celestino Caballero and Jhonny Gonzalez.
Pastrana had also scored a twelve round unanimous decision over Jose “Carita” Lopez in January 2001 before Lopez won the WBO super flyweight title and then lost it in his first defense against Filipino southpaw “Marvelous” Marvin Sonsona, a cousin of Eden, in September 2009.
Sonsona who hasn’t faced the kind of quality opponents that Pastrana has had to contend with made an impressive US debut last November when he scored a smashing 2nd round TKO victory over a worthy opponent in Eilon Kedem.
Sonsona returned to Manila and less than one month later won the vacant Philippine bantamweight crown with a stunning knockout in 45 seconds of the very first round over Monico Laurente.