FORMER world champion Marvin Sonsona basked in the klieg lights of boxing mecca Madison Square Garden in New York after scoring a split decision win over one-time tormentor Wilfredo Vazquez Jr. in the undercard of the Miguel Cotto-Sergio Martinez World Boxing Council (WBC) middleweight title fight Sunday (Manila time).
Sonsona sent Vazquez reeling to the canvas in the opening round of their rematch on the way to a 96-92, 96-92, 92-96 win that avenged his fourth round knockout loss to the Puerto Rican in their World Boxing Organization (WBO) super-bantamweight title bout four years ago.
The 23-year-old native of General Santos City, the former WBO super-flyweight title holder, was deducted a point in the sixth round for hitting Vazquez at the back of the head, but that didn’t prevent him from winning his fifth straight fight since losing to Vazquez in 2010.
The 10-round fight was for the NABF featherweight crown.
The Filipino improved to 19-1 overall, including 15 KOs as he lined himself up for a possible crack at the 126-lbs title.
Vazquez, son of legendary Puerto Rican warrior Wilfredo Vazquez Sr., fell to 23-4-1 with 19 KOs as he lost for the third time in his last five matches.
“He’s a dirty, rotten fighter,” Vazquez said of Sonsona later. “When I pressured him, he held.”
But the Puerto Rican, 29, admitted being caught by the Filipino off-guard in the first round.
“He landed one good punch, the punch that knocked me down.”