By Jake Donovan
Javier Fortuna and Jason Sosa are all set for their super featherweight title fight clash in Beijing, China. Both boxers made weight for their scheduled 12-round main event, which will air live on China's CCTV5.
As has now been the case for all three of his title fights at the weight, Fortuna came in right at the 130-pound divisional limit. Sosa tipped the scales at 129.25-pounds for his first career title shot.
Friday's affair marks the second title defense for Fortuna (29-0-1, 21KOs), who claimed the vacant belt with a convincing 12-round win over Bryan Vasquez last May in Brooklyn, New York. The feat was arguably a career-best victory to date for the 26-year old southpaw from Dominican Republic, who now lives and trains in the greater Boston, Mass. area.
The lone other title defense for Fortuna came last September, scoring a 10th round stoppage over woefully overmatched Carlos Ivan Velasquez in Las Vegas. Fortuna also briefly reigned as an interim featherweight titlist before outgrowing the division in 2013.
Sosa (18-1-4, 14KOs) comes in riding an 18-fight unbeaten streak, however has become best known for a non-win that most observers felt should have been a loss.
That dubious feat came in his last ring appearance, when the 28-year old from Camden, New Jersey fought to a highly questionable 10-round majority decision draw versus former featherweight titlist Nicholas Walters last December at Turning Stone Resort & Casino in Verona, New York. The verdict was not at all well-received by those in attendance or watching at home on HBO.
Still, the fight provided the necessary springboard for at least one participant to move on to bigger and better things. Whereas Walters priced himself out of a potential showdown with Vasyl Lomachenko, Sosa now aims for his first bid at a major title simply by making himself available.
The strange scoring aside in the Walters fight, the squat puncher proved his worth in the manner in which he's rebounded from his lone career loss. Matched Philly-tough thanks to the masterful job by Hall of Fame promoter Russell Peltz and rising promoter/matchmaker Brittany "BAM" Rogers, Sosa went on a tear in scoring 13 consecutive knockouts prior to his HBO debut last December.
Friday's title bid will also mark his first career fight outside of The Americas. The majority of his career has taken place in the U.S. East Coast, along with three trips to Puerto Rico.
Jake Donovan is the managing editor of BoxingScene.com. Follow his shiny new Twitter account: @JakeNDaBox_v2