Saturday, September 5, 2009

The Kid's the Real Deal - Sonsona Decisions Lopez

Andrew Fruman recaps last night's Rumble at Rama IX show.

Photo © Ivan Montiel

Long after his victory over Jose Lopez had ended, young Marvin Sonsona was still signing autographs and posing for photos outside the Casino Rama Entertainment Center. Smiling, but bruised – his left eye had a bump over it, and his right was adorned with a small white bandage covering a single stitch needed to close a cut – the new title holder graciously interacted with the fans still milling about.

He was enjoying the attention, and it had been thoroughly deserved for it had been a grueling give and take battle that after a strong beginning looked to be slipping from his grasp. Lopez had made a valiant charge over the mid to late rounds, and Sonsona appeared to be wavering, but showing poise beyond his years, the 19 year old weathered the storm and buckled down late to cement the unanimous decision win.

Marvin Sonsona Gym Workout Photo Gallery

After a closely fought opening few rounds in which Sonsona had a slight edge, the Filipino southpaw broke through by dropping Lopez along the ropes in round 4 with a big left hand. Lopez made it to his feet, but looked far from steady and was forced to call on all of his ring savvy to escape further danger.

After the fight, Sonsona said he believed he was heading for a knockout win at that point and was surprised by Lopez’ resiliency. He was not alone, as it appeared to just about everyone in the building that the 37 year old veteran was in big trouble and ready for the taking, but instead of folding, Lopez made a determined stand and was gamely fighting back by the end of the round.

Building on his gutsy survival effort in the 4th, Lopez made a good showing in taking the 5th and re-established himself in the fight by battling on level terms through the next two rounds. Then in the 8th, he put together by far his best round of the fight, landing a number of solid hooks and right hands to the body and head, only to lose 2 points in the closing seconds of the frame for what was deemed by referee Rocky Zolnierczyk to have been an intentional low blow.

While Lopez had been warned for straying low in the 6th round, deducting 2 points appeared to be an overreaction on the ref’s part. The punch appeared to land on the hip and did not look like it was purposely thrown south of the border.

Undaunted by the penalty, Lopez continued to have the better of the action in round 9. Grimly determined to hold onto his strap, he kept working hard to the body (which resulted in a couple more low blows) and the steady pressure had Sonsona less willing to engage and starting to look discouraged. Having never been beyond the 5th round, the 19 year old was now fighting only in spurts as his energy levels had dropped noticeably.

The 10th round was a close one with Lopez continuing to press the action, and doing the steadier work, but a couple big flurries from Sonsona indicated he still had something left in the tank.

With the fight hanging in the balance, Lopez came out for the 11th putting the pressure on, but was met by a more willing Sonsona. Having found his second wind, the young challenger let his hands go with more conviction than he had shown in several rounds. Both men had their moments in closely contested frame, with Lopez still plugging away to the body and landing several good right hands, with Sonsona finding the mark with right hooks and straight lefts.

Sonsona was the busier of the two fighters over the final three minutes, as the effects of working so hard to get back in the fight from round 5 on had finally caught up with the older man. The youngster was clearly spent as well, but he dug deep and out-hustled Lopez over the final 3 minutes to take the frame on all 3 judges cards.

The final scores were unanimous in favor of Sonsona, 114-111, 115-110 and 116-109.

The Boxing Bulletin scored the contest 114-111 for Sonsona.

After the bout, promoter Alan Trembley said Sonsona could return to Casino Rama for his first defense, and Sonsona's team indicated it was a very real possibility. The crowd definitely took to the youngster, and with a big Filipino community in the Southern Ontario area, future appearances seem to be a natural fit. The possibility of a double-header involving Steve Molitor was discussed.

In the main supporting bout, the aforementioned Molitor scored a TKO over Dario Azuaga. Towering over the Argentinian, who looked like he belonged a couple weight classes south of the featherweight class, Molitor had his way throughout the bout, landing a number of clean right hooks and left hands.

After dropping Azuaga with a hard straight left in the 4th round, Molitor finished his game but badly over-matched opponent with two more knockdowns in the 5th. The official time was 1:50.

e-mail Andrew Fruman


Anonymous said...

Im impressed with his performance.

Watch the entire fight here: (sports and blogs section)