By Dennis Principe
FORMER world champion Marvin Sonsona is promising to make good on several broken promises, but he still could not convince his manager that he is not worth every opportunity given to him.
And for the ninth time, Sonsona's patron Dr. Rajan Yraola is again spending thousands of unrecoverable money just to accompany his oft-troubled ward in a tough outing in New York.
The 23-year-old Sonsona is set to meet former world champion and one-time tormentor Wilfredo Vasquez, Jr. of Puerto Rico in a 12-round battle for the North American Boxing Federation (NABF) Featherweight championship.
Sonsona's bout against Velasquez will serve as one of the undercards of the 12-round world middleweight clash between defending champion Sergio Martinez of Argentina and challenger Miguel Cotto of Puerto Rico to be staged Saturday at the Madison Square Garden.
"It's always hard to turn him down. I treat him like my son whose request I cannot turn down even though he failed on each promise he made when it comes to shaping up," said Yraola.
After winning the World Boxing Organization super flyweight crown, Sonsona's fame went into his head and had this false belief that he also garnered invincibility by becoming a world champion.
"He had a one-day millionaire attitude. Though I also have to admit I was also at fault because I was also clueless on how to handle his success being a newcomer in boxing," said Yraola.
In 2009 Yraola brought Sonsona to Canada where he claimed the WBO crown by decisioning another Puerto Rican Jose "Carita" Lopez to become the country's second youngest world champion at age 19.
Sonsona is Yraola's first boxer in his modest Quezon City gym which is now home to few young prizefighters who are now world-rated.
Several missed General Santos-Manila flights and lesser time in the gym cut short his reign as world champion as Sonsona spent more time with friends who actually took advantage of his gullibility.
Sonsona got a second attempt at a world title but bowed to Vasquez, Jr. via 4th round TKO in their battle for the vacant WBO superbantamweight title.
"He really had no discipline back then. Our concern then was how to keep his weigth in check that we forgot to focus on whatever fight plan we needed," said Yraola.
This time, Yraola sees maturity and discipline in Sonsona and hopes it will continue and lead him to realize how gifted he is as a boxer.
"This time, listens to whatever we tell him when it comes to his diet. We are confident Marvin can become a big star for as long as he is still disciplined," said Yraola.
Proof of that was during the official when Sonsona came in just a shade under the featherweight limit by tallying 125.8lbs.
Sonsona, who scored a spectacular 3rd round TKO over former world champion Akifumi Shimoda of Japan last February in Macau, holds an impressive record of 18-1-1 with 15 knockouts.