By Ronnie Nathanielsz
In a huge fight that could restart his promising, career former world super flyweight champion “Marvelous” Marvin Sonsona returns to the ring to battle former WBC super bantamweight champion Toshiaki Nishioka of Japan in a blockbuster Top Rank Card at the Cotai Arena in Macau.
Sonsona, who has a record of 14 knockouts in 17 wins who was touted as the second youngest Filipino boxer to become a world champion at the age of 19 when he wrestled the WBO Super Flyweight title from veteran Jose Carita Lopez of Puerto Rico in September 4, 2009 in Ontario, Canada, Sonsona was unable to sustain his momentum when he was stripped off his world title belt after failing to meet the 115-lb. requirement just before entering the ring against Mexican Alejandro Hernandez of on November 21 of the same year. The fight, also held in Canada, ended in a draw.
Just three months after being stripped off his world title, his international promoter & matchmaker Sampson Lewkowicz gave Sonsona another shot at becoming a world champion via the vacant WBO World Super Bantamweight title fight against undefeated Wilfredo Vasquez Jr. in February 27, 2010. The Filipino boxer was unfortunately stopped in the 4th round.
Amidst speculations that his world title win was a fluke Sonsona fought back to score a unanimous decision against Mexico’s Carlos Jacobo at the Hoops Dome in Lapu Lapu City.
Well known Filipino promoter Sammy Gello-ani, who is a partner of Lewkowicz, recalled that Sonsona then went on to knock out Carlos Fulgencio in the 5th round on March 17, 2012 when Gello-ani pitted him against the Dominican. Sonsona was back on track.
Lewkowicz then sent him in June 2012 to the United States to train for his July 7, 2012 fight against Orlando Cruz in Las Vegas. A thigh injury however cut short his training and put on hold his boxing career for over a year, an unfortunate drawback that he definitely did not need. On September 7, 2013, Sonsona fought and won over veteran Jason Egera in Balamban, Cebu. That fight was to prepare him for the planned WBC World Cup happening in December of the same year, the first event was to be held in Russia. The event was postponed indefinitely however following WBC President Sulaiman’s health condition until his demise.
Gello ani told the Manila Standard that Sonsona’s “training was again shelved when his house in Brgy. Bula, General Santos City recently burned down. Sonsona and his family lost all their belongings and by this time, what prize money he had won in his previous fights had long been depleted. The series of unfortunate events in the young boxer’s life served as an eye opener for him and has hopefully given him the maturity and drive to persevere in his training and to further hone his skill inside the ring” against a veteran who lost to Nonito “The Filipino Flash” Donaire who went on to be named “Fighter of the Year” in 2012.
Sonsona contacted his Philippine promoter Sammy Gello-ani to ask for another chance. Gello-ani then contacted his partner & Sonsona’s International promoter Sampson Lewkowicz of Sampson Boxing LLC.
Sonsona and Lewkowicz had a long talk over the phone where Sonsona promised and confirmed that he will train well and be ready to fight again.
And just like the father in the parable of the prodigal son, Lewkowicz welcomed Sonsona back into the fold via Top Rank’s Ring of Gold promotion in Macau on February 22, 2014 against Toshiaki Nishioka for no less than a WBO International Featherweight Title.
A tall order perhaps for Marvin The Marvelous but then again, Sonsona’s raw skill inside the ring had never been a matter of concern with Lewkowicz & Gello-ani, as they believed that with the right mindset & attitude, coupled with the right training, Sonsona’s career will finally take off and soar higher.
Lewkowicz further promised Sonsona that if he wins against Nishioka, he will give him two more fights before another chance at a world title fight
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