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Lapu-Lapu City, Philippines – Coming off from a long 20-month layoff, former WBO super flyweight world champion “Marvelous” Marvin Sonsona (15-1-1, 12 KOs) registered an average unanimous decision victory over the durable Carlos Jacobo (16-4-1, 14 KOs) of Mexico. Sonsona was visibly struggling with his timing and was a bit sluggish, a far cry from the version that won the WBO super flyweight crown two years ago.

That being said, credit should be laid on Jacobo as well, who was giving the fans their money’s worth. Jacobo and Sonsona were trading power shots, but it was clear that Sonsona’s superior skills and movement gave him the fight. Both men landed strong blows and Jacobo was did not back down, though Sonsona managed to deck him to the canvas in the 8th round.

Marvin Sonsona (left) is declared winner over Carlos Jacobo (right).

Sonsona obviously struggled with ring rust, a fact he himself admitted to this writer.

“I felt heavy and slow,” Sonsona said. “It was like I am getting reacquainted with the sport again.”

The General Santos City native  had nothing but praises for his Mexican opponent, who was able to withstand Sonsona’s brand of punishment.

“Jacobo is a good fighter, very durable. I hit him with good punches but he was just able to take them.

“I almost lost my focus in the third round because I was really bent on knocking Jacobo out.”

Jacobo told this writer (who speaks little Spanish) that he was happy for the opportunity and that he will take the loss like a man. He also applauded the Cebuanos for the warm welcome and hospitality they given him and his trainer as well.

For Sammy Gello-Ani, Sonsona’s promoter, the victory is only the beginning of rebuilding Sonsona’s career. Gello-Ani told this writer that he was impressed with his ward’s rediscovered zeal for the sport and the win justified his decision to take Sonsona back.

“I am very happy with the way things are turning out,” Gello-Ani said. “Marvin still has the moves and the skills. It is just a matter of getting himself back to the game.”

As for the immediate future of his ward, Gello-Ani hinted that he might have something for Sonsona before the year ends.

“Marvin asked me when is he going to fight next,” said Gello-Ani. “That’s what I admire about him now. He has this burning desire to fight again. Me, I believe he needs two to four more fights before he gets another crack at a bigger event.”

“As for his opponents, Marvin is an ex-world champion. He does not deserve to fight Thais and Indonesians. I am aiming to get Latino fighters with good records.”

Fight of the Night

Jessie Albaracin (versus Marvin Tampus was the best match-up in last night’s event. Albaracin successfully warded off Tampus’ attempt to nab the former’s WBO oriental super bantamweight crown. Both fighters started out strong and traded leathers for almost the whole duration of the bout. While it seemed that Tampus was the stronger puncher of the two, it was Albaracin who employed better ring deftness and was more accurate with his punches.

Albaracin took huge advantage of Tampus’ come-forward approach, offsetting any advantage Tampus held with quick lateral movements and unrelenting combos. Albaracin scored two knockdowns in the 3rd round, although it seemed that Tampus lost his balance on both occasions. Albaracin went on to deck the still rushing Tampus once in the 4th and 5th innings, and finally knocked Tampus out in the 5th at the 1:56 mark.

Easy fight for Casimero

Former WBO interim light flyweight champion Johnriel Casimero (15-2, 9 KOs) made a quick work out of his assignment, Roemart Sentillas (11-8, 7 KOs). Casimero dominated the fight from the beginning with his skills and power, peppering Sentillas with solid shots to the body and head then weaving his way out of the danger zone. Sentillas, who was on defensive mode from the opening bell, never had the opportunity to gain the initiative.

Simultaneously with the closing bell in the 1st round, Casimero shot a straight right that landed squarely on Sentillas’ chin, knocking the latter out. It was clear that Sentillas was not getting back up after getting tagged with a perfectly timed power punch.

As the rules of boxing states, no one can be saved by the bell. Casimero’s punch was legal and a count should have been initiated. However, apart from not counting Sentillas out, Referee Teddy Alivio also failed to call it a TKO, which should have been the case since Sentillas was knocked out cold.

Sentillas was helped to his corner and after an examination by the ringside doctors, refused to come out for the second round.

Photo credits: Michael Angel Lopez

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Kenneth P. Ragpala is an award-winning sports blogger who has been covering the sport of boxing since 2008. His works have appeared in local newspapers in his home city in Cagayan de Oro and in several online publications abroad. Ragpala has written for several boxing websites, namely Fight Hype, 8 Count News, and Bleacher Report.